Friday, June 17, 2011


And then finally, it rained!
According to my notes, we did get a little rain on the evening of June 9th, but the last major downpour was May 27th.

Seems like it's been a century.

Last night, the sky just opened up and dumped wet. It was a spectacular performance with waves of light flashes and thundering crescendo followed by periods of quiet pitter patter. I was up for most of it, comforting my poor dog. We sat in the window seat together. She panted herself into a dither, while I tried to wrestle her into some sort of calm. It was of no use.

Sweet irony, as Samuel L. Jackson's read of a new book, Go the F**k to Sleep, has gone viral on the web, that the mother of grown daughters (who, by the way, were out clubbing last night) should have to sit up nights now with her middle-age dog. Admittedly, I have greater patience in my own middle-age years for sleepless creatures. So, there while I sat in the window seat, wishing my dog would go the fuck to sleep, I was reveling in the sweet joy of water returning to our gardens.

I say gardens because now that I hang out in the Fenton Street Community Garden as the happy owner of plot number 24, I now feel anxiety by many orders of degree as worry courses through the blood stream of dozens of gardeners. The lack of rain, I am sure, has contributed to the level of discord as a conversation about what to do over the County's plan to use Round Up at the fence perimeters has escalated into a battle royale on the garden listserv. We are organic inside the fence, but we are Round Up outside. Is it bad? Is it benign? Is Monsanto a devil in green giant garb? The Putterer is on the fence (literally, my plot is right next to it). And I use the evil compound, with great care and caution, in my own garden from time to time to take out poison ivy.

So since we had our last meaningful rain, the Putterer's world has turned many revolutions. Here's a list of my greatest hits.

  • The goSmithsonian Visitors Guide went to press. Yay! I thought I could slow my work day down a bit and collect my thoughts and file my papers, but boy was I wrong. I took the day off today, so I could take seven or eight deep breaths. It just never stops. I love opportunity, but I'm choking on it.  
  • Claire came home from Columbus, a graduate of Ohio State. And then she left again with the car to go get some of her stuff and then she came back again. And then she got her hair cut real short. And the house has just been full of her friends (there's somebody sleeping down in the basement right now). And not only full of friends, but full of Claire. I often say that when she is home, she literally just explodes out of her suitcase. There is the detritus and essence of Claire everywhere you look. I both love it and hate it. But Claire is home and that's all that counts.
  • I had my first colonoscopy. What every 50-year-old must get for their birthday. I won't fully disclose, but the test confirmed my hyperbolic tendency. I am definitely full of shit.
  • Patsy turned 18. And as such declared that she was going to occasionally enjoy a glass of wine at dinner time. I had little say in the matter. When Patsy makes a decision, she does it while pouring the glass.
  • Patsy graduated from high school. And so the biggest high school in the county with some 600-plus graduates and their families squeezed themselves cheek-by-jowl into the rows of seats at DAR Constitution Hall (the very same that denied Marian Anderson the right to sing to its audience in 1939). The crowd represented probably every nationality in the world and this amazing group of kids--who had together received some $9 million in college scholarships and distinguished themselves with dozens of prizes in math, science and community service--while they march across the stage to pick up their diplomas rendered me into a blubbering, nose blowing, snot-swallowing Putterer. When it was all over, we spilled out onto D Street and shut traffic down while we took pictures en masse of our wonderful kids.
And that's pretty much all that has happened since the last time it rained. The Putterer

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