There is , allegedly, an ancient Chinese curse, which says, “May you live in ‘interesting’ times”.
Last week was really interesting.
First off…. I have been waiting for and keeping an eye on the paw paws on the finally-mature paw paw bush on the east side of the house. There are only two bushes and only one of them had fruit on it, but there was only one of them that had fruit, a dozen, maybe a dozen-and-a-half smallish green fruits, sort of like elongated green plums. All summer long I watched them growing, usually three at a time in sort of mini-sprays, all over the bush, top to bottom. And I’m waiting for them to get ripe so that I can actually taste a paw paw, America’s largest edible( The Lewis and Clark expedition ate them, so did George Washington and Thomas Jefferson) native fruit (Asimina triloba—Common paw paw). I’m watching and watching—a local expert had informed me that they were really only ready to eat after having experienced frost—waiting for a taste of the “Indiana Banana” or “Custard Apple”. You seldom see them in stores or even farmers’ markets because they’re easily bruised and do not ship well…but I’m going to have my very own, right here. Right?
Wrong! I looked out the window after the rain the other day—Thursday?—and didn’t see any fruit on the branches. What’s this? Did they get knocked off by the wind and rain? Got to look. No fruit. Not on the bush, not on the ground, nowhere. There were, after I looked around a little, seeds on the ground, naked seeds, no half-consumed fruit, just flat, brown, sort-of-coffee-bean-looking seeds. What’s up here?
According to Wikipedia, people, raccoons, foxes, opossums, squirrels, and black bears are the usual culprits when it come to the consumption of paw paws. I’m thinking that I’m not likely to sit on the back porch with a load of birdshot waiting for a black bear to come back for a second helping, so this year is a total wash-out. No paw paws to tell you about until next year when I get a guard dog.
And then there was the arrival, at long last, of the rain. This was, for the most part, a good thing, seeing as how the football game escaped the downpour But the downpour had passed through, as evidenced by the standing water, however, later at night I discovered that something had caused some mischief on my roof, because there was a leak of some sort making an appearance on the ceiling of my bedroom. This is not a good thing; the attic should have taken the brunt of this (Though who wants water in the attic either?) but there was the dampness right before my very eyes. That got a phone call, you bet.
Then there was the storm that passed through on Sunday morning. The rumbles didn’t sound too bad, then the rain didn’t sound too bad, then the lightning and thunder struck simultaneously, lighting up the room and raising me about six inches off the mattress. Wowzah! I checked to see if all of my body parts were still attached, and, finding that they were, went looking to see if anything had fallen on the house. Nothing had but the clock radio by the bed had jumped by an hour—that’s all, no smoke coming out or flashing lights or anything—and all of the baseboard outlets in the addition in the back had been fried ( some poor surge protector had laid down its life for my laptop) and the carriage lamp by the back terrace was shot. I checked the electrical box and nothing seemed damaged. Put in a call to my go-to electrical angel at Scotchman Electric who will come to check it out. Then, of course, I remembered the auxiliary box in the basement and when I looked at that, I discovered a breaker had been tripped and all I had to do was flip that over and Voila!…there was light! John, next door, lost phone and TV service. All I have to do is reset the clock. I guess I’m ahead.
Then for a few days I’m noticing a funny chirping noise of indeterminate origin. Couldn’t spot anything wrong but it persisted and bugged me. Then I looked up around 9:00 p.m and spotted a blinking light in the smoke alarm in the ceiling. Low Battery! Must change! Haul the stepladder up from the basement. Find the batteries. Luckily, I actually HAD the right ones (9v) and was able to get the thing open and make the switch. No more blinking. Was not able to stuff the thing back up into the ceiling properly but Scotchman will be able to handle that.
Then there was the funeral luncheon on Saturday afternoon. Solemn occasion, of course, but Carlson does a class act and there was an ancient, shiny, black Riddle hearse (Riddle Coach and Hearse Co., Ravenna Ohio. Presidents McKinley and Harding and Roy Rogers were all honored passengers in Riddle hearses) from the last century waiting to take the gentleman off to his final resting place.
Then there was the band show in Hudson on Saturday evening (“Loud Is Good”). No rain for that one, though it sprinkled as we were heading that way.
And the last of the three sister cats died. They all had movie personalities; the first to go was the Welcome Wagon/Sally Fields friendly one, the next was the Betty Davis/ Joan Crawford superior one, this last one was the Greta Garbo/“I vant to be alone” reclusive feline. Like her sisters, she apparently decided that it was time to go to that “Big Lap in the Sky” and just left sometime in the night. There’s a stone out back now for the lot of them. Only three cats left in the house…practically empty, compared to when they first arrived.
Then, of course, while I was putting this together, the computer suffered at least two episodes of FTT—Failure to Thrive—and shut down without warning. This gizmo has got my number. We used to have assign on the copier at work that said something like, “Act confident when copying. The machine can sense fear.” I’m no match for electronic and the critters all know it.
Interesting times, indeed. Never a dull moment.