Tuesday, June 10, 2014


It was a beautiful morning, cool, a breeze, sunshine. I hung sheets and towels on the line to dry before leaving with Jim to work at the other house. 
The clothesline, which was here when we bought the farm, sometimes needs shoring up.
Jim propped it several weeks ago after one post fell flat.
I think the underground end of it is slowly rotting away.
Another support was added this morning.

I suppose a real solution would be to build another clothesline.
Strangely, Jim, who has built many barns and houses large and small, has a history of cobbing together the posts for washing lines.

A group of self-sown sunflowers in the lower garden strip which we haven't planted this year.

I so wanted a leisurely morning!
Time to sit on the front porch and observe the hummingbirds whizzing around the feeder.
Time to wander about the dooryard, noting the scents and colors.

I decided on a skillet meal to fortify us for the day ahead.
I pulled an onion from the garden, added a selection of items on hand:
red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, asparagus from the garden, some ground beef--and left it to simmer while I went out again with my camera.

Several branches of the old grapevine seem to have winter-killed.
 New vines have appeared at the end posts of the arbor.
[Both the arbor and the clothesline were doubtless constructed by the late Haskell Rogers, and share similar characteristics.]

Garlic grows untended around the grape arbor.

Behind the grape arbor and beyond the clothesline are two elderberry bushes.
They are bursting with bloom and seem much taller than last season in spite of pruning in earliest spring.

The foxglove in the garden are reaching the end of their bloom. 
The one tucked in the back of the herb garden was slower to open.
It seems happy there in this rather dry corner.
These foxglove are listed as a perennial variety.  I started them as seedlings last year.

Charles Albanel has done well this year after looking feeble in previous seasons.

I came inside [reluctantly] to find that Jim had cooked eggs to eat with the stir fry.
I set about brewing tea, slicing a lemon--the basis of iced tea to carry along to the other house.
Cat litter boxes must be dealt with, the breakfast dishes washed
Jim loaded the table saw and other pieces of equipment onto the back of the truck.
He announced, 'I'm ready to leave when you are.'
I flung myself into the truck, clutching my container of tea.

At the other house we again worked indoors and out.
Jim's project was fiddly--measuring, cutting, fitting.

By the time we decided to quit about 3, dark brooding clouds were filling the sky. From the main highway we could see heavy black clouds to the west. Jim remarked that it was likely 
pounding down rain at home. 
We had turned onto Rte 80 from the crossroad we use when the wind began gusting, driving rain before it so that it was nearly impossible to see.
Sheets of rain, grey-white, billowing, bore down on us, branches flailed on either side of the tree-lined road.

 The wind and rain were so fierce that I uttered, "Dear God!" a statement that was both prayer and an exclamation of something approaching fear. Within seconds, a tree fell fully across the road, 
30-40 feet in front of us!
Jim managed to jockey the truck around [thankfully we were in old 'Snortin' Nortin' rather than the car] and drove cautiously back to a junction where we could take an alternative, longer route home. 

Headlights piercing the green darkness, windshield wipers slashing against the battering deluge of rain, Jim guided the old truck slowly along the twists and bends of a typical Kentucky back road. At times the rain came so fiercely that he kept the truck at a crawl.
Houses and barns seemed to waver in and out of the darkly shimmering landscape.
Jim muttered that a rain such as this could go over the bridge we would need to cross a half mile 
below our home. 
I said little, knowing from long experience that one does not distract the driver during a tense situation.
 The water had not come over the bridge.
As we neared home, the pounding rain diminished, the wind subsided.
We pulled into the yard, surprised to see that no tree limbs were down.

Pebbles, her coat shiny with wet, browsed unconcerned in her pasture.
One of the sheets I had pegged on the line lay like a sodden spread parachute on the ground.
Its mate, the pillowcases, the nightgowns and shirts, dragged, heavy with water, but still on the line.
I bundled them inside, soaking my clothes as I dripped my way down the basement stairs to heave the cold wet wad into the washer, punching in the spin cycle.
We went through the house turning on lights against a gloom that suggested sundown rather a mere 
4 o'clock.
I swapped my damp jeans for a dry pair, pulled on a warmer top.
A cozy sort of supper seemed the thing.
I mixed batter for pecan waffles, while Jim hauled on a waterproof jacket and foraged in the upper garden for blueberries.
Waffles with fresh berries and maple syrup, ground beef patties on the side, for me a comforting mug of tea.

Once again we have witnessed the awe-inspiring forces of nature unleashed.
Yet again we are thankful to be safe.
[The above three photos were taken an hour after the storm passed by--about 5 P.M. with the sky 
a bit lighter.]


  1. Being on the West of Britain, we get a lot more "weather" than we ever did when we lived in Dorset. Thought having said that, in the last year it was the Southern counties which got the worst of the weather and we were on the periphery here in Carmarthenshire. I know just what you mean when you write about the sudden monsoon-like downpour (summer rainstorms are always heavier and seem super-charged).

    I'm glad that you got home safely and only some wet washing needed sorting. I loved reading about your day and just hope that a buyer soon comes into view for your lovely farmstead. (Wishing for one here too!)

    1. Jennie; There is such a helpless feeling when bad weather rages--whatever one can do to ride it out may not be enough. My camera was in my bag beside me but I never thought to try for a photo--I huddled in the seat and watched that wall of rain and wind advance on us.
      [Yes, we're both ready for the sale of our respective properties!]

  2. I nodded to myself when reading about the cat litter boxes. Tom is the box man and is scrupulously clean with them. All of the cats have access to the outside with a large overgrown garden just next door but all choose to come back in to use the box. All day long I hear the sound of the box being cleaned out.
    Wow, I'm glad you missed that falling tree, that could have been serious.
    It must be exciting getting the new house fixed up, I don't know of such things as we have lived here for 49 years.

    1. Briony; So, its not only our cats who rush in from outdoors to use the 'facilities!'
      I hope this will be our last go-round of building or renovating a house. My parents spent their lives in the same town in which they were both born--and lived until their deaths in the little house they had built in 1949. Not exciting, perhaps, as some view things, but surely not an unhappy choice.

  3. It always amazes me at how quickly the weather can change - even in these mild and temperate islands. Reminds me of the old malapropism "the rain came down in torments".

    1. John; Doesn't it seem that human-kind is always pitted against the 'weather!'

  4. So glad you two made it home safely. I do not like driving in stormy weather.

    Enjoy the rest of your week ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainy; I was so glad that I wasn't driving! Visibility was nil at times. Our missing the falling tree was nothing short of a miracle.

  5. Our southern storms can be scary, glad you came through ok.

    1. Janet; There is surely a difference in 'southern storms' from other places we have lived. That said, we are in an area where the worst impact of a storm usually moves a few miles to the west of us.

  6. I always enjoy having news of Pebbles. I can imagine her chomping away, with a "seen it all before" look on her face :-)

    1. Kath; Pebbles seems to have a new lease on life after a poorly season last year. It can really be said of her that she doesn't know enough to go in out of the rain!

  7. That was an awful storm! So glad you, the cats and Pebbles survived the winds and rain. Praise the Lord. I'm beginning to feel guilty because our weather has been so perfect for months. Yes, I know we have earthquakes but in our 40 years here we have not even seen anything fall off a shelf -- not that it couldn't happen. But our share of bad weather is the size of a sand fly bite compared to a shark bite.