One day last week I had a few hours away from the bookstore. Having Bruce at the helm (i.e., desk and sales counter) gave me a chance to accompany the Artist on a trip down to the landfill south of M-72 — kind of a tradition with us, that trip, though it’s gotten much, much more expensive over the years. Still, we enjoy the drive and a stop in Cedar for ice cream on the way back. Then, since Bruce likes to leave by 4 at the latest to get back to Traverse City by 5, the Artist and I got ourselves up to Northport together to finish out the day.
The day (it was Friday) had turned cool and cloudy, with a fallish breeze ruffling the goldenrod along the roadside, and I remarked to the Artist, “I don’t mind this kind of weather at all. It seems to say, ‘Slow down. Take it easy.’” He said he felt just the same. And so we slow downed and took the evening easy after a simple supper, big bowls of ramen with spicy pork and vegetables. Overnight it rained at last, and the weather, wordlessly, told me I could take time off from watering the garden and should hold off hanging laundry out on the line, too. The grass doesn’t need mowing, the météo added, again without words. I got the message. Since then, of course, we’ve had more rain, including one really big overnight storm. No, make that two more big storms now.
In the late 1980s, I lived for two years (minus the summers) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and before leaving my apartment to walk to campus each morning, I made a phone call to an automated service that delivered that day’s weather predictions. If the day would be turning cold before my walk home in late afternoon, the forecast warned me, without saying so explicitly, to take a warm jacket. However clear the sky at sunrise, when rain was in the forecast I carried an umbrella. Cincinnati’s hilly terrain and European architecture make for fascinating walks, but all walks are best enjoyed when the walker is prepared for the weather.
Weather. As people say, we talk about it but do nothing about it. I can't help thinking that's part of our love for weather talk, forecasts, predictions, and after-the-fact reports. In general, we are not called upon to do much about it, and not being called to action for a change can be quite a relief.
As much as I enjoyed slowing down a while (and I’m still “on vacation” from watering, even in Northport, where the rain has done that job for me while the awnings are down for cleaning), it’s time to pick up the pace once again, because this week is our last Thursday Evening Author event of the 25th-year anniversary season. Please join us at 7 p.m. for geology, poetry, and live music from Thomas Hooker of Texas and Cherry Home, Northport. (If there is such a thing as a part-time local, that’s what Tom is.) This is our last TEA! And Labor Day is right around the corner!