The one thing we have not lacked this summer is water! Each week it rains easily five out of seven days and sometimes seven out of seven. We’ve had everything from refreshingly brief showers to torrential downpours, to severe thunderstorms. State-wide rainfall for June was at 213 percent of normal, causing crop damage 0f over 480-million dollars. Everywhere you look the landscape is a lush verdant jungle. The zucchini and cucumber plants are running wild, sending shoots out of the garden to colonize the yard and if not picked quickly the squash reaches monster size! All in all that probably sounds nice to some, especially to our friends in California where brown is the color of the day, dried, cracked, parched brown.
And I do appreciate having water in the cistern, being able to do laundry at home (at an average of 46 gallons per load we can put a dent in our 1,000 gallon cistern with just a few loads), and to shower when we want. But the ground is super saturated, every step out of doors is like walking on a huge sponge – your feet sink down and water pools around them soaking your shoes. The clayey mud gloms on to everything and the driveway is a swamp – seriously there are small creatures – frogs or crayfish? – swimming in the tire tracks! The pasture is overrun with apparently unpalatable weeds and goat worms are flourishing. All the goats are looking a little run down – in addition to a higher worm load, they don’t like the rain and they aren’t getting in enough good grazing time. It’s hard to get all the outside chores done – I’m behind on building the new chicken coop and it’s looking like constructing a porch just won’t get done this summer.
It’s hot naturally, it is summer after all, and the combination of heat and wet are producing a bumper crop of mold, mildew, (which only exacerbate my son’s allergies), and bugs! The house is overrun with flies, fruit flies and ants washed out of their underground homes and the outdoors teems with gnats, mosquitos and lightning bugs (okay – I’m not complaining about the latter).
It’s too hot and wet to enjoy the outdoors and the kids are bored and uncomfortable. While I’ve enjoyed a couple brief breaks away from home at professional development workshops the kids have been stuck here for the most part, escaping only to go to work (and since my daughter works in a bakery that’s not much of an escape) or to visit friends. I never thought I’d say it but we are all looking forward to returning to school both for the engaging routines, social interactions and the air conditioning!
My son has a potential (surprise) opportunity to attend Camp Invention next week if I can raise part of the camp fee. We were told there were no scholarship funds available in June but on Friday I got an email saying there would be funds if we were interested (and could pay $150 of the $220 fee). If I can swing it he’ll have a week of fun building and inventing in an air conditioned building which should give him a break from his allergies as well. Thanks to several supporters we are more than half way there!