I realize that I did not post a lot this summer, and it is true that we have not been as active as we were last summer when the grandchild was staying with us, but neither have we been completely inert, either. Here are some random examples of what has happened since the snows finally melted last spring:
CVH has gotten into composting our kitchen waste, big time. We purchased a 55-gallon compost tumbler, filled it up, and bought another so that she could start a new pile while we waited on the first to complete its composting journey.
- One Saturday afternoon, a squall line came in from the west. I went out into the carport to watch the storm come in (I’m not the only guy on our street who likes to do this, I found out later). Suddenly, more suddenly than I ever would have thought possible, the storm blew in with a tremendous roar. I can only describe it as a “wall of wind”. It smashed into the neighborhood and I was immediately pelted with debris, even though I was standing well inside my carport. I covered my face and ran the twelve feet to the back door of the house as the next door neighbor’s tree lifted up out of the ground. The storm was over in only about ten minutes, and we were very lucky that we did not lose power. Limbs were down all over the street, and my neighbors’ tree was stuck right into the side of their house. I knew they were out of town for the weekend, so I called them up with the bad news. They took it very well; they told me how to get into the house and check on their cat. I made sure that the cat was OK and that the roof was not leaking and called them back. They said fine, and they would be home the next evening as scheduled. After they got back, several of the neighbors and I got together and helped cut the tree off the top of the house. A chipper was rented, pickup trucks filled with mulch, and most of the mess cleaned up. Except for the huge stump, which is still in their back yard. My neighbor says he’d like to turn it into a piece of furniture.
- We went to a Men’s Health Fair and Car Show one Saturday. The organizers said that it was difficult to get men to come to a health fair, so they combined it with a car show. This seemed to work much better than I would have suspected. And it was a good car show. Plus I discovered I had a medical condition that I was unaware of, the details of which I will spare you in case you are reading this near mealtime.
- We also attended the Master Gardener’s Herb and Garden Festival in Indiana. I bought a rhubarb plant, which died just like my last rhubarb plant. I don’t know why I have such poor luck with rhubarb.
- One day we went around in the world in (much) less than eighty miles. CVH and I started out with lunch at an Indian restaurant, then shopped for spices at the Indian grocery next door, went to the other end of the strip mall and bought sweets at the Mexican grocery, and finally stopped for chocolate at the Russian grocery, all without leaving our neighborhood. And this doesn’t even include our Asian grocery or the African grocery. Our corner of Louisville is quite diverse, more so than we expected to find here in Kentucky.
- When locals admit that there are drawbacks to living in Louisville just like anywhere else, they often will volunteer the “hot, humid summers”. True, we do get about two weeks of hot, humid weather here in the summer, and this year there was one particularly humid day, one that made you feel like you were in New Orleans. Turns out that we were having a typical humid day caused by Gulf air settling into the Ohio River Valley that was exacerbated by “corn sweat” from Iowa. According to the weatherperson on TV, once a year the corn crop throws off a tremendous amount of moisture and the winds just happened to bring it over our fair city at the same time it was already rather humid. But I didn’t have to shovel it.
- One Saturday we visited the National Jug Band Jubilee. I’ll bet you did not know that Jug Band music was supposedly invented in Louisville. I didn’t either. Once a year, famous Jug Band names come together on the Louisville waterfront for a day of music, and it’s pretty cool. The big names all use real instruments, if you count a washboard and a jug as real instruments, but there were also groups there adhering, perhaps, to a more orthodox tradition – it was the first time I ever saw a musician playing the suitcase that he brought his other instruments in.
- That same Saturday we made the acquaintance of an African spurred tortoise who was out for a walk on the riverfront with its owner.
- I attended the inaugural DerbyCon – a computer hacker conference here in Louisville. If you were not there, you will just have to take my word for it that it was truly awesome. And I learned a lot of new tricks.
- CVH has started a new volunteer gig with Raptor Rehab, the friendly folks who tend to injured birds of prey. She helps clean their cages, pick up their castings, etc. She even disembowels and butchers rats for them to feed on; I never dreamed that I would see that day arrive.
- I converted three of our Windows computers here at home to Linux because it’s just too easy these days.