Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rain in Texas, Tattoo in Scotland, and good friends

The rain in Spain may fall mainly on the plain, but in Texas this August it falls on everything and with unusual frequency. We had a good storm this afternoon. I heard the distant thunder but at first, it’s often not recognizable—could be the construction trucks from the never-ending gas pipe work or any other number of city noises. But then a great clap right overhead, and Sophie was on her feet barking defiantly. I hadn’t even realized that she’d crept up close to me. It blew harder than usual this afternoon, and I worried about the umbrella on the deck. A friend who came by to pick something up about five, reported we lost a small limb or two from the big elm tree in front—the “suffering” tree that I was so indignant about earlier. And the rain continued, slowing down but still coming for well over an hour. Now it’s less a question of watering things than it is to dump water out of flower pots so the plants don’t get root rot.

Elmer Kelton wrote the classic novel, The Time It Neve Rained, about the 1950s drought in the Southwest. But years later, he wrote an article, “The Time It Always Rained,” about the problems that beset sheep ranchers when there is too much rain. I don’t have enough ranch knowledge to enumerate those problems, but I was struck by the fact that too much rain is almost as bad as too little. There are those pests!

A social day. Margaret, a steadfast friend since we met as student wives in Missouri in the early sixties, took me to lunch to celebrate my birthday, almost a month after the fact. We had delicious blue cheese burgers and good slaw with cabbage, kale, and a nice, just-right dressing. Each of us brought half of our lunch home. Then Margaret, good soul that she is, took me grocery shopping. Having spent too many months sending people off with grocery lists and getting some questionable products back, I find grocery shopping for myself a pure delight. And now that I do the motorized carts, it’s even better. I’m not sure Margaret had as much fun as I did.

My list was short, but I promised to cook dinner for my family tomorrow night. Then an opportunity came up to include a recipe in a guest blog, so I decided to kill two whatevers with one meal. I will cook a family favorite for them and take pictures for the blog. But it’s not a last-minute meal, at least not for me, and I needed some supplies.

Tonight, neighbors Margaret and Dennis came for happy hour, joined by Teddy and Sue. Margaret and Dennis have just been to Scotland and knew I’d want to hear all about it. Among other things, they went to Tattoo, an enormous military celebration of Scottish music and entertainment. Warmed the cockles of my heart when Dennis said that mind-boggling spectacle was great but not the highlight of the trip. He was most impressed by the majestic landscape of the Highlands. Fun for me to listen and relive some of my trip to Scotland. They kindly brought me a program from Tattoo and a kilt pin for my clan, MacBean. Dennis said, “Your clan is shrinking,” and I told him it’s always been small—but proud.

A confession: I am so grateful for company and for those who get me out of the cottage, but all day today I was thinking, “When will I write my thousand words for today?” I wrote maybe 200 just before they arrived at five and wrote the rest before I did the dishes. Now that’s focus.

And I got bookmarks today for Pigface and the Perfect Dog. Excited to start passing them out.

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