May 22nd, 2010



The day was a long, slow flickering as the clouds hid and then revealed the sun. An hour of dusk arrived in late afternoon, brought by a brief thunderstorm that sent hail to tatter spring's soft leaves and flowers. It's passing brought the day's brightest light, and the trees and grass were sparkling with drops of water. When real dusk arrived, crickets resumed the songs that had been interrupted by the storm.

But May is passing and still more rain and chill lie ahead. Better rain and chill than summer heat, I say— as long as there are no thunderstorms of the sort that lit the mountains on fire two springs ago. I no longer have old people to wrangle in the event of evacuation, but it would still be a huge hassle.

Speaking of old people, the last couple of days mom hasn't been doing well. She has been getting heavier drugs for her back pain, and hardly knows anyone is there when we visit. Her condition overall is deteriorating rapidly. I recognize the signs. At least she is a lot calmer than my dad was in his last weeks. The people at the care home say she's been no trouble at all during the ever-shorter periods that she's awake. I had though she might make it to her 95th birthday, but that's still almost two months away and she's declining so quickly I now doubt she'll be around for it. At least she's survived long enough to enjoy the spring flowers from her garden that we've been taking her. She's always liked those flowers.

May Marches On

Through the window this afternoon there appeared to be a sun shower, but when I went outside to inspect it there was no rain, only mist. By standing in the right spot and looking sunward with eyes shaded I could see that the air was still full of glinting droplets, but there were few to feel. There have been times when I have felt the occasional drop of rain on what seemed a dry day, but this is the first time I've ever seen how thick the drops appear to be when observed from the correct angle. What else, I wonder, have I failed to observe in all my decades of life?

The small female feral cat has returned after an absence of two days, and is no longer fat. She must have had her kittens, but I have no idea what has become of them. If they have survived, she isn't staying near them constantly, which is very un-catlike behavior. Her mother has also returned a few times lately, but she stays briefly. If her most recent litter is alive they are probably about the age she'd be bringing them around, if she feels the place is still safe. But maybe with two cats from her earlier litter still hanging about, maybe she doesn't think it would be safe for the new litter. So I might not have a fresh passel of kittens here after all. That's kind of a relief. i wish I knew what had become of the young cat's kittens, though.