Friday, July 27, 2007

A stretch of river XLI: Dog Days

For more than a few days now, I've been looking about the river and the park on my twice-daily walks with the Scruffmeister, an eye out for something, anything, that might work itself into another post in this series. It is the summer, after all: the afternoons and evenings have seen lots of families, some with their dogs; the mornings have their share as well of people mowing and picking up trash, and some picking through the trash. And, of course, the geese and ducks have been doing duck and geese things. The small "Kansas Wildlife" exhibit has added a bobcat and two mink. So, it's not as though there's been nothing to see.

But this morning, as I was watching Scruffy, as he always does, preparing to poop in a manner that is a strange combination of a circling vulture and a golfer settling himself before putting, I thought, Well, it has been pretty hot of late--too hot for people or animals to be terribly interesting.

Allowing for the fact that I hadn't had my coffee when that thought occurred to me, it seemed to make sense.

We've had a couple of weeks now with temperatures in the 90s, no rain, and--rather odd for this part of the world--little breeze to speak of. So, the heat bears down on you, flattening out the will. To be interesting--that is, to behave interestingly--requires energy, and it's been too hot and dry for anyone or anything to be all that interesting. Even the river has been boring: One day back in May, when the Little Arkansas was a couple of feet higher than usual, I saw what looked like a dishwasher floating down it. Of late, though, it's been its usual well-behaved self. So, Wichita, my little bit of it, is rather dull right now. Hence, no Stretch of River posts. Except for this one, of course.

* * *

When I moved here in August of 2000, Wichita was in the middle of a month-long stretch during which the temperature was over 100 degrees each day. My first day here, there was that heat and a steady (not gusting, steady) 30-mph wind. No shade, of course. What sort of demonstration model of Hell have I moved into? I wondered. The wind would not stop. No wonder some pioneer women went mad out here.

This summer, by comparison, has been mild. Officially, at least, it has yet to break 100 (though that will probably happen next month--August and September are the hot months here), and after a very wet and stormy spring we've had no rain in about a month. The heat builds up then tears down what few thunderheads we get each afternoon. Weirdness, interestingness, is going to suffer in such weather.

I apologize for posting a rather uninteresting post on the subject of how things around here have been rather uninteresting. But we go to the blog with the topics we have, not with the ones that we'd like to have.

* * *

The next couple of weeks will be eventful, and maybe even interesting, for me and the Mrs. On Friday I begin a week-and-a-half-long road trip, first up to Topeka to see the Mrs., then to Austin to see my mother and meet my daughters there (they've been visiting relatives in Dallas and El Paso), and thence to Mobile, with an overnight stop in Houston to see my uncle. Then it's back up to Wichita. While all that's going on, Mrs. M. will begin moving her things down from Topeka into our new-to-us apartment. Yes: We'll be together under one roof. That pleases us not a little, as you can imagine.

Anyway, all this is a long way of saying that Blog Meridian will be "dark" for the next couple of weeks. While I'm away, I encourage you to have a look at old posts I've linked to under "Assemblages" and visit the many fine blogs I've linked to over in the right gutter. You could do worse than start with the blogs mentioned in this post.

As always, thank you for visiting and reading.


debra said...

I thought your post on uninteresting things was, in a word, interesting.

Have a great time on your trip(s) and congratulations on your new "roomie"! :)

Winston said...

Have an interesting trip and a safe return. Does this mean Mrs. M has graduated? Or just a break before the next term?

Our weather has been like yours for about 6 or 8 weeks now. We have all become mindless cave critters. A normally bustling beehive of activity, our neighborhood would appear to be evacuated. People arrive home, drive into the garage, put the door down, and that is that. Dead grass does not need to be mowed. But soon, we'll be raking leaves...

John B. said...

Thanks to both of you for dropping by, and for the kind wishes.

Winston, it's a long story, but the Mrs. has decided that law school wasn't for her. It's a positive decision, and the future beckons brightly.

Ariel said...

So, the heat bears down on you, flattening out the will.

Isn't that the truth. Have a great trip.

dd said...

I'll bet you'll find a lot of colorful willfulness on your journey. I'll look forward to reading more about it. My friends who've moved to Texas say that the locals don't really believe in traffic patterns. They prefer to drive their SUVs like they are riding horses... Whoa!

Winston said...

OK, John, it has been long enough now. You can come out of hiding anytime you're ready...

debra said...

Yoohoo! We miss you!