Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Most of Monday was spent in my mother's gardens.  She needs help maintaining now, and since I am a free agent for a few months I can give her some much needed assistance.   Her property backs up to a large wooded area, free of houses.  When you walk into the woods to empty your weed bucket, it's almost silent - in an eerie way.  All around huge maples have fallen, untouched.  They seem like prehistoric mammoths, moldering without disturbance or care.  The treehouse that my father built for Andrew lies on the ground in pieces, it's round 'window' staring up unblinking, as if to ask this question - where has everyone gone to?  When it is time to leave I feel grateful, and anxious to push this sadness away and return to my life where reminders of what was do not haunt me.  Of course, it's never THAT easy to run away from one's ghosts.

Out on the highway I receive calls from both Hilary and Scott - there is a tractor trailer overturned on the bridge.  This means that I will sit, without air conditioning, for what could be hours, waiting to pass over the river.  I take my chances and head south to the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, not realizing that there is a potent summer storm ripping through that area.  Nearly an hour later I am crossing this bridge to discover that all of the traffic lights are out and cars are engaged in a dangerous game of Who-Goes-First (it's a variation on 'Chicken'!) It is pouring (a good thing since we are parched) 20 minutes south of us, but our road is perfectly dry when I pull into our driveway.  My gardens were looking pretty crisp despite the shortage of water.
The radishes and zinnias that I planted last week were poking through - but they seemed pretty thirsty.
As I was watering, the pressure started to fail and I realized that we were running out of water.  We have an old cistern that was originally used to spray the orchards.  Scott has refurbished and recapped it, making the system more efficient and safer.  It holds A LOT of water!  The system catches the rain and it is pumped out to the various gardens, etc.  But sometimes, when Mother Nature decides to hold out, we have to call for water.  It isn't cheap.
The cistern can hold all and more that this vehicle brings.  I know that the Stargazers were happy ...
In a little while, when the sun dips to the west, I'll go back outdoors and water the long borders.  And I guess that I can cancel that little rain dance that I'd planned!

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