I dreamt I was on a cooking show. I couldn’t find a spoon or a bowl or eggs and I had to make Yorkshire Pudding. Time kept sliding past. I had nothing to show. I can’t get an F, I thought. I’ll make a sandwich!
One of THoSe dreams.
Maybe the dream was informed by a stretch of intense editing. I deleted two more chapters. I’m back to tracking word count. Recently, sliced out nearly 1,000 words.
Time keeps sliding past.
Some pretty snowflakes are falling right now, but yesterday was rain, rain, rain. There’s been a lot of rain falling this “winter.”
I found out that The Sketchbook Project’s library is closing its doors in Brooklyn. There’s a narrow window in which one could sign in, pay a fee, and request the return of your booklet. I submitted two, years back.
I couldn’t even sign in. Had the right everything. I know it. When I can’t sign in somewhere I usually don’t have that confidence.
I may try again but if I can’t get in, eh. I gave them up once, it shouldn’t be that hard to let the status quo reassert itself.
When I tried to type “drought” in the title just now, it auto-corrected to “fright.” Exactly!
We are finally getting some rain, but it’s been bad, really bad — super hot and dry. Even that hardiest of perennials, the hosta, has struggled. I’ve dug up four shrubs and will likely have to dig up two more. Ferns have crisped and collapsed. Astilbe try valiantly, but barely make it despite daily watering. I’ve even been watering well-established trees for fear of losing them (NB: our reservoir, the Quabbin, has high levels right now).
It’s been a close-to-home wake up call for an area relatively immune to the drastic effects of climate change. Hurricanes are rare here. Tornados happen now again, but usually out by Worcester or Springfield. We don’t get flooding or wildfires and until now, drought was something that happened out West.
A “flash drought” is nothing like the nearly decade-long drought in California, say, but it brings immediate consequences.
I read that a temperature change of 1.5 degrees would be catastrophic for forests in the Northeast.
No wonder some nights I feel the acid bloom of fear just as I’m dropping off to sleep.
On other trips to Los Angeles, it seemed I could not take a bad picture. On this recent trip, however, the landscapes look dusty, uninspired, and ill-composed. I think it was me.
Here on the east coast, it continues to be dry and hot. We missed the scorching heat while visiting my brother, but our plants did not. Through the use of timers and soaker hoses, we were able to preserve a lot, but some astilbe dried to a crisp and several newer shrubs gave up the ghost. I just dug up two of them. I don’t plan to replace them.
I cooked for us all at my brother’s and that was nice but the real contribution of the week was to blow up the solar-powered beach-ball lights that had been sitting in their boxes since Christmas.
It was strange while away to check the daily temps at home and find the Boston area hotter, by five, six, seven degrees sometimes.
It took longer than usual to “arrive” home but here we are. The AC blowing. The dog sighing. Greenery bouncing in a light, hot wind.
Before I sign off, look what Nancy sent me. How nice it was to come home to!
Boston is headed toward another summer of record-breaking heat.
Four of the five hottest summers [in the US] have now occurred since 2011. The summers of 2021 and 1936 hold the first- and second-place rankings, followed by 2012, 2011 and 2020, respectively. Fox29Philadelphia
One of the most on-point novels about the climate crisis that I’ve read is The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. Okay, I haven’t read all that many novels on the topic, but here’s why this one is so good. It plausibly and with a lot of detail imagines how rising temperatures will impact us and it plausibly and with a lot of detail posits the solutions.
Of course the solutions are only plausible if climate deniers are removed from power and an extraordinary and unprecedented cooperation occurs across the globe. Maybe far-fetched then?
It’s long and not every reader will want to invest the time. Luckily there are two articles in The New Yorker that might appeal to you instead. The shorter article offers a 19 minute audio and the longer article is accompanied by a 55-minute audio.
The shorter article beginsby describing the book’s opening scene: a lethal heat wave descends on India, with vast, horrifying consequences.
I laughed when my brother’s partner suggested we plan an upcoming visit to Los Angeles in September instead of July because it’s so hot there then. It’s pretty hot here too, I told her.
When we moved into this house in 1993, for the first many summers there were only a couple of weeks, maybe ten days, that were unbearably hot. You could get by with a window unit easily.
When the boys were little and we had one window AC, we’d all sleep in one bedroom like refugees during those dog days. Afternoons, when we weren’t swimming at Crystal Lake, we’d go to the movies or the mall just for the chilled air. The heat spells were relatively brief and manageable.
And then it changed. The heat started earlier in the season and lasted longer. Much longer. I had to campaign for central air because it’s expensive. We have a supply of window fans to cool us on the borderline days, but it’d be really hard to get through a Boston summer without central air anymore.
I’m planning to write upstairs with AWA friends this morning (via zoom of course) then spend as much time outside as I can stand later. I have a beautiful fresh bundle of dill so maybe a cold cucumber soup is in order!
From prognostications of doom to menu planning? Yeah, that’s me all the way.
Friends in writing sessions this week spoke to a person about missing winter and no surprise, for warmer temperatures are both alarming and disorienting. According to a recent study cited byThe Boston Globe, “New England is warming significantly faster than global average temperatures, and that rate is expected to accelerate …” Also, Massachusetts is warming faster than the other Northeastern states.
So it’s not just a matter of mood, memory, or habit. Missing the cocooning beauty of snow is the least of it but there is also that.
We headed out in advance of the plows. To protect my socks and new (warm! comfie!) ankle boots, I made impromptu gaitors. They worked!
Next up: a fleece wrap for Finn. I’m going to cut up a cape I made for the boys back in their Hogwarts years, which is to say: their childhood.