Another week of ruddy, red sunrises and temperatures “doing the ton,” with the additional benefit of haze and smoke intensifying. Last night the temps never got below 70-degrees and the air quality from the fires is pretty poor. We had thought of escaping to a resort (Kirkwood) in the higher elevations, but by reports their air quality isn’t much better. Years (decades) of poor forest management policies and a Forest Service beset and infested with hippies and eco-warriors have lead us to this sad state. But it is recoverable.
Towards the end of July is the time where we see the heat not tapering off, sudden wildfires, and nighttime temperatures never getting much below the upper 60’s. It’s been a week of 100’s, and there are thunder-bumpers massed along the spine of the high Sierras, providing “interesting” weather for hikers and campers in the High Country, and easily visible from our upland elevation – and then there’s August, which is often warmer.
I follow weather patterns much more now that we live the Rural Life, close to the mountains where weather has a real effect on day-to-day activities. It’s something I never optioned much as a resident BayAryan flatlander with my nose embedded in my own singularity and just a small circle of sky overhead. But now there was an impending “atmospheric river” about to hit in just days, the so-called “Pineapple Express” from Hawaii was aimed right at us, and with that there was an urgency and a brief dry window of work to-do before another deluge.
Between the events taking place at the Ancestral Homestead there were some things falling between the cracks. Glaziers had come and gone, refreshing the bathroom. The old roof was coming off and a new one going on – but in a hurry because rain was coming.
Furniture is weird and can be difficult, being so specific to “taste” and style. Some furniture had found a new home, but not all. We were trying to find homes for our parents’ stuff, but some of it was teetering on the precipice. Dad’s rather large sideboard had found a home in a modern neighbor’s house across the street, but the table and chairs were now adrift. We had to rescue the dining table and chairs from the junk-wagon.
So we loaded the truck with extra tarps and shipping blankets and a fat roll of duct-tape and grabbed clothes and a cooler with some food and made ready to travel.
The trip down was marked with a few choke-points where commuter traffic slowed to a crawl. Being two-up we could use the HOV lanes, but there were still spots where the freeway split off and recombined and things just came to a sea of stopped red taillights. Once outside the city and free of the traveling-masses, I was able to spool-up the truck and bomb along through the countryside.
We made it to the woodworker’s shop where the table was before lunch. The legs would be a problem so we removed them, and underneath #4 leg was a penciled notation my dad had left: “New York leading Brooklyn, 2 games to 1 in the Series. 1953.” Wow. We got it into the back of the truck and headed for The House and loaded the chairs. My brother was there on another mission of mercy to grab a bookcase, so we visited. Done and done we went to the hotel, and with a bit of help had the table-top wrapped in a big blue tarp and duct-taped over to keep it dry. We dragged it inside out of the dark clouds and stacked the chairs too. It rained that night and all the next day, while we stayed dry and had lunch with some old friends who we might never see again…
Yesterday we awoke early and the rain had stopped, so we got the wet truck loaded with tarps and layers of shipping blankets, and hit the road again. Up to speed outside the sprawl I managed to avoid a ticket while making quite good time. Getting home safely with our cargo dry and intact, we deposited the old Dinner Table at the Low Granite Outcropping. Mid-Century Modern goes together.
UPDATE: Two inches at 5:00 o’clock. 1.54 inches of rain since midnight, over two and a half since yesterday – the dam has been breached and my cup runneth over, and more is coming down as we speak (1:00PM).
SUNDAY UPDATE: After just .23-inches rain in February, so-far we’re at 9.65-inches just for March – and with more snow in the High Country we’re catching up to “normal.”
The arrival of Daylight-Saving Time reminds us that Winter is not much longer here abouts, and with brilliant days like yesterday and today, surrounded by slatting storms – that the March lion is roaring.
So, given yesterday’s warm weather, we set-to in the yard. Cutting back the overgrown roses, weeding, cleaning up the daffodils, and de-limbing a few low-hanging head-knockers on the big pine tree that argued with its symmetry. You don’t miss them when they are gone. The little chainsaw-on-a-stick works marvelously, but I don’t like to use it alone.
The Family Meeting down among the BayAryans at the old ancestral abode was a success, with a lot of work accomplished and various family objects taken away by the remaining survivors. We finished boxing up all the old financial documents, donated clothing and canned goods (that were not expired!), and had partial success with the Bank because we had Documents(!) – just not all of them, yet.
The drive back was incident free and fast, missing the usual choke-points and sailing along at a good clip under warm fair skies with a few spotty-fluffy clouds – until this morning. Rain and cold. I assembled the family Christmas tree today, it’s something that Dad made back around 1950-ish, either while at City College getting his degree or overseas as a project while as Principal at the Technical School, because in that hot tropical country Christmas Trees were not to be found. Plus is disassembles and packs easily with just twelve screws.
It’s rather Alexander Calder modern and Mechano too, based on a series of triangles affixed to other triangles, suspended by a string spaced with knots, with a rather Sputnik star at the top.
The garden urns that had been handed down from Dad’s Mom went up on the front steps to help mark the entry-point better and make it more obvious.
We were warned that it would rain finally, and a good one, so I got over to my local plant-nursery and picked up three bags of pre-emergent and in the afternoon got it spread down on a large section of the field. Around 1:30AM I awoke to a drumming on the roof and the sound of wind outside, and it was pouring down. The morning dawned clear and cold with some clouds, and the pre-emergent had gotten rained-in, so we hope the savage weeds will be somewhat suppressed.
Meanwhile the ball is only slowly rolling, I had hoped to hear more and sooner from the Mortuary already. We need to get a pile of mail and there are bills to pay, boxes to fill with again. a couple of file-cabinets to empty…
Back at the ranch before all this started, I had just managed to get an appropriate shellplate into Big Red (shellplate #9) and practice some .44-40 de-capping and sizing, shoulder set-back and case-mouth belling (as it pushes up into the powder-drop).
The 200-grain Oregon Trail “laser-cast” lead bullets squished a few case necks before I had the belling right, and I had to fiddle a bunch with the seating-die to get the correct bullet depth – and then had to back-up and get the crimp right….but I finally think I have it down.
Just need to load and adjust the powder measure to drop some Trail Boss, and the primer-feed to seat primers.
But tragedy struck and now I’m busy with other things, but this will provide a nice distraction once I start producing cartridges. Thank-you all for your consideration and kind words.