musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser

December 9, 2007


We got quite a bit of much-needed rain last weekend. This week’s storm didn’t bring as much where I live. I think the storm dumped most of its moisture on Oregon long before its tail end reached us. But yesterday afternoon, clouds moved in from the west again.

Clouds Sat pm

I was sure this one meant business. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:58 pm PST, 12/09/07

January 24, 2007

Dance of the palm fronds

I’ve had this image in my mind for the past two weeks. It was a Friday, and the wind gusted harder as the day progressed, which tends to make us all nervous, especially the dog. The dry weather alone was good for a little shock now and then, with the static buildup that makes a spark jump between one’s finger and any metal object, or even the cat’s tail. These twisting gusts stirred things up in occasional egg-beater bursts. At one point we heard something fall on the roof with a swoosh, and seconds later something else, so we went outside, and found a few dead palm fronds on the driveway. Presumably there were two more on the roof.

The uphill neighbor has a palm tree that stands 75 to 100 feet tall and hadn’t been trimmed, maybe ever, or at least not since it reached a height beyond what could be managed with the average household ladder. Its trunk was a shaggy column of dead fronds, attractive to nesting birds every spring. On the downhill side, a new owner has been renovating. He’s had people working every day for the past three months. That morning they’d poured a new driveway.

We didn’t think much of the fallen fronds, just that the wind was unusual, tearing at things that had hung around undisturbed for so long. It didn’t appear to be a great day to finish new concrete, with debris blowing everywhere, so we sympathized with the workmen. Back inside the house, we heard more sounds, and the gusts grew more frequent. Minutes later we heard a different sounding crash and returned outside. Even more palm fronds littered the driveway, one on the hood of the car, which must have made the new sound, another hanging from a power line that leads from the street to the house. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 10:38 am PST, 01/24/07

July 11, 2006

Order and chaos

The cat’s litter box is clean. That mundane detail isn’t your favorite sentence I’ve ever written, I’m sure. Mine either. But my day often seems to revolve around whether that task has been accomplished, and what comes after it. I go through a list of chores, on the days I think to make one, eventually reaching the line that has to do with writing, after checking off a lot of other stuff. Today writing comes after important things like the cat’s box, which is of utmost importance to her, though slightly less to us except through our affection for her, since we don’t use it and it’s out in the garage, easy for us to forget. Vacuuming comes next, mostly pet hair this time of year. That task must be accomplished while the day is still cool enough to have windows open, or not at all. A late-in-the-day shower will be in order, after all the creepy stuff on the list is done. (Bear with me, I do have a point here, this isn’t merely a run-through of my chores.) (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 10:57 am PST, 07/11/06

September 20, 2005

Thunder, lightning and blazing palm trees

Late yesterday afternoon, I read a severe weather alert about possible thunderstorms. I looked out the window, and wondered what the weather people were seeing that I wasn’t. The sky was nearly clear. Maybe half an hour to an hour later, a bright flash outside the window over my writing desk signaled the beginning of the day’s first thunderstorm. I reached up to open the blinds, and the crash came—close and deafening. That storm lasted several minutes. Then it was over. That was exciting, I thought. I relaxed back into writing.

Later in the evening the lightning and thunder started up again, rumbling in the distance for a few hours, and every now and then moving closer. First it was west of us, then east of us. Now it was on the other side again. There was very little rain, and I knew that wasn’t good. It was the same weather pattern that had ignited palm trees down the hill from us about five years ago.

After midnight, we were still awake, not because of the storm but because those are the hours we keep. We’d just turned off the television and were starting to wind down when the lightning moved in close again. Then came a blinding, deafening flash and crash, so close I let out an involuntary yelp and the dog jumped to his feet.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:18 pm PST, 09/20/05

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