Rain fell in the dark hours before dawn; gentle, steady rain, soaking into dry ground, quiet rain, without thunder, or thrashing wind; the sort of rain that refreshes late summer gardens without a damaging deluge. The air was heavy and still, grey clouds delaying the light of day. I checked the hummingbird feeders that dangle from the east porch eaves, but found that the heavy dampness didn't invite me to my usual place in the rocking chair. I retreated inside to sip my mug of 'half caff' while watching the swirl of birds eager to feed in spite of the murky morning.
J. had arranged to meet a prospective truck buyer in town, which meant I had to follow in the car.
I crunched a hasty slice of toast laden with the last of the chicken salad, brushed my teeth, snatched up purse and reading material, feeling that I was being jostled hastily into the day.
As it turned out, the 'buyer' arrived with $600 less than the 'bottom line' price J. had specified. He was a bulky man, not fitting comfortably behind the wheel of the truck.
He left with the promise that he would try and procure the remainder of the price.
We had our doubts about that--verified when he later phoned to say he couldn't borrow the money.
J. had another errand in the next county, wanting to inspect a portable storage building that had been posted for sale. This meant I was still to trail behind in the car to a service plaza where he could park the truck.
By the time J.'s dealings were completed and I was once again the driver of the car I realized I was on the verge of becoming irritable. J. roared out onto the highway but I waited a few seconds too long to safely follow him into the stream of traffic flowing from both directions. The driver behind me tooted his horn, and I felt annoyance surging.
My way home was slow--an elderly Ford Ranger pickup was struggling to tow a small trailer with a pallet of lumber, slowing to barely 40 mph on every incline.
Finally arriving at the house I decided that the energy from the morning slice of toast had long since departed; I hoped that lack of nourishment--and not shear cussedness--was at the root of my grumpy mood! I served 'tea' to the cats while J. made phone calls, then it was decided we would drive to the Bread of Life Cafe and partake of the buffet.
Pleasantly full of food--advertised as southern home cooking--I found that I didn't mind the rest of J.'s errands. The sun was breaking through clouds, the back roads past Beachy Amish farms, even the slow crawl behind lumbering farm machinery had a soothing and almost soporific calm.
New England asters drooping in the morning's rain.
Asters, prairie sage, achillea--all have outgrown their space in the raised bed that flanks the front walkway.
Finally, a few nasturtiums.
A row of small zinnias in the veg garden.
The Japanese beetles have had a longer than usual season, spoiling the roses for many weeks.
They are giving up now, though not all vanquished.
A bouquet of The Poet's Wife and Hawkeye Belle.
Howard and Dawn have welcomed a new kitten, rescued by Howard from his job site.
She is becoming Dawn's 'lap kitten' but also has a fondness for Howard's hair.