Saturday, July 07, 2012

Hot and Bothered

It's a tad warm in DC these days.  Bob and I got our power back on yesterday morning, but despite the best efforts of my air conditioner, the temperature in my apartment didn't drop below 78 today.  It was 105 outside, not including the adjustment for the heat index.  Given the tangible humidity, I suspect it was high.

I had planned to work, but instead I got so angry at myself for toddling along in minimum wage employment, sans benefits, that I determined to do what I'd been putting off for a year (I checked the file dates) and work on getting Two Motherlands into print.  Have been slogging along on chapter summaries for eight hours now, and I'm only halfway done.  I emailed both Irina and the author of the preface, a laureled Russian poet (who I looked up online and discovered to be very cute!  And three years younger than me ) about the effort, suggesting to Irina that she think about e-publishing the Russian version ( has a used print copy selling for $315) and asking the poet if I can get a copy of his CV (since he said such nice things about the book, I'd like to be able to speak knowledgibly about him in my cover letters). 

I also did all the linens laundry at Susan's house, where I'd been staying while the contents of my refrigerator rotted.  Bob had already washed up all the dishes.  Their brand-new clothes washer is making a horrible noise.  I have no idea what's the matter--I didn't overload it.  Not something I necessarily want to email them about while they're relaxing in CA, so it'll have to be Monday, when I pick her up at the airport: "Hello!  Hope you had a great trip!  Thanks so much for letting us crash at your place!  And guess what, there's something terribly off with a major appliance I used!"

Monday, July 02, 2012

From Cats To Azur

We went parasailing and treasure-oggling, and the others snorkeled while I strolled Duval Street and caught a glimpse of the Cat Man, whose felines perform nightly, to the delight of children and adults. We visited Truman’s Little White House and Hemingway’s dwelling, which is situated in a fantastic tropical jungle stalked by polydactyl pussycats (descendants of his Snowball).  We drank water and wine, ate Caribbean and Mediterranean, and forked up several varieties of the famous Key Lime Pie.  Altogether, it was a lovely vacation, and given the distress which arrived via stormwinds in the DC area this last Friday night, it was one from which I am deliberately slow returning.

Bob texted me early Saturday morning: “The power’s out and looks to be for some time (several transformers exploded during last night’s storm).”  I managed to make it from Key West to Grandmommy’s in middle GA by 10.30 PM, to hear that poor Bob was (like a million others in the northern VA/Southern MD area) effectively marooned, as not only was the power still out, with temperatures in the high 90s, only eight service stations in the entire metropolitan area were functional, and he was out of gas.  Susan and Steven hosted him, and Rachael and the NPV, in their new house Sunday night, since Sue/Steve had power and the others were still sweating in the dark.  Everything in my fridge is spoiled.  Dominion VA Power has announced, diplomatically, that power in most homes should be restored by tomorrow (Tuesday) night, but as Bob pointed out, my street is probably low priority.  The tree that had come down on the lines in the parking lot below my building was cleared away Sunday afternoon, but it was unclear when the wires would be back up on the poles and working.

It goes without saying that I found it easy to linger at Grandmommy’s.  She and I picked four gallons of blueberries, just from the bushes in her back yard, and played two games of Scrabble.  And, boy, was the food yummy.  I always think about the line from the old hymn which goes “'tis a haven sweet of rest” when I visit Grandmommy's house. It’s quiet and peaceful, and there’s Grandmommy, who is one of the Godliest, kindest people I’ve ever known. 

I returned to Augusta this afternoon, and Mums’ fiancĂ©, John, came over to have dinner with us.  I have known him for thirty years, but it was still a little weird to be fitting him and Mums for their wedding rings before supper and then ordering them online afterward.  John shared some great stories over our meal and then sat through my vacation pictures, bless him.  He and Mums are planning to vacation with friends of his in Michigan once they’re married sometime in the next six weeks.  I’ve expressed interest in being a witness at the ceremony, but we’ll see when his pastor is willing to do it and how my schedule works out.  My sister has said she'll be fine being informed about the event via text message.  Mums’ only curtsey to sentiment is that she wants to have a wedding cake—John says he’ll have a token slice and she can eat the rest of it.  If I’m here, I’ll do my best to assist!