mildly rainy, and flower filled. Winter is an odd mixture of below freezing days and quite pleasant Spring-like days. Summer, though, is heat, pure and simple. We do not get the tawdry high humidity of the Deep South very often, but the Texas sun glares like a high school calculus teacher on amphetamines facing a hapless student who failed to turn in the make-or-break class homework project.
The only respites are spotty thunderstorms.
This July, torrential rains hit south Texas and the south Central
Texas "hill country" (a charming area of European immigrants, a few of whom even keep "old ways"). That's what gave us this relief.
So many times things work like that here. In early September, for example, we almost always break the merciless heat with a major thunderstorm on Labor Day weekend or so. We heave a collective sigh of relief in north Texas when this happens--the heat is finally broken. It will continue to get hot intermittently well towards Thanksgiving, but that early September rainstorm is the signal that the cool days will soon return.
The problem is that the *reason* we get this blessed rainfall is that a hurricane is usually blasting the Texas, Louisiana or northern Mexican Gulf Coast, and we are just getting a distant arm of the resulting storms. As with last week's rains, there's something faintly sad that our good weather fortune results from someone else's bad weather fortune. It does help one avoid the notion of weather as some sort of direct reward or retribution. The rain falls on the just and the unjust, that Bible verse said. I'm not a big fan of this type of "direct retribution" thinking anyway. I'm still smouldering with anger at the televangelists who termed 9/11 a divine retribution against the City of New York. It is tempting, though, to think we have all committed some grievous sin, or else Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the mascara-painted folks of the Trinity Broadcasting Network would not be visited upon us, plagues worthy of a pharoah. I'm a fervent believer that everyone must pursue his or her own path, even if that path leads one down roads I consider best unexplored. But when folks start insinunating that failure to follow their particular path led to tragedies wholly unrelated to that, then I want to make sure my path leads well away from theirs. Some days I think folks should stop spending so much time on the detailed handbook to achieving the afterlife, and think a little about what heavens and hells they create in this one.
I stopped by the Allen public library yesterday and picked up three books--a book on Folk Art in Texas, How to Draw in 25 lessons (I've already completed Lesson One, which can be summarized as "buy a pencil and some paper", so I'm flush with achievement), and how to make crafts from everyday junk (my art room is already looking forward to the cleansing). Meanwhile, in addition to the Paloma book I'm soldiering through, I picked up a neat "Pretentious Book of the Monthish binding with some Grandiose Name" edition of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca for a dollar at Good Will. I had had my interest sparked in it some months ago, when the BBC was reading a section at 3 in the morning and then burninggirl made an interesting comment in this journal about it. I had originally thought I'd read it, but now I think it's one of those books I'm not sure if I'd read or merely read the Classics Illutrated comic book or seen the movie (I am certain, for instance, that I have never made it through Ivanhoe, but know the comic book by heart), but I'm in mid-passage now. What a fun read--Manderley, indeed! I am pleased to say my masculinity is not confronted by the spectre of seeing Barry Manilow and reading gothic romance in the same weekend. I'm also pondering the big questions--a dear old friend reports dismay that a recent infant niece-let arrival now bears the name "Talia". I think it's a charming name, but have I been watching too much television?
Today I want to brave the heat, do needful things, have needless fun and get a few chores done. Then it will be Monday!