Friday, September 9, 2016

Sick Of This Hot-and-Dry Summer

Drooping leaves of my Shasta viburnum.
See those leaves up there? They look more like clothes drying on the line. They look how I feel: defeated. August came and went with barely an inch of rain and a whole lot of 90-degree days. We're now well into September and rarely have we seen even a cloud in the sky.

The average high for this day in Chattanooga? Mid-80s. I could handle mid-80s. Hell, I'd have a bonfire to celebrate mid-80s. But today? Back up to 91 -- again. Wait, hold on: The digital thermometer just hit 92. And that's up here on the mountain; Chattanooga runs about 5-8 degrees warmer. Poor Mom, down in the valley -- with her TWO air conditioners!

I have about a half-acre of landscaping that I must water by hand. In a normal year, Chattanooga's annual rainfall of 54 inches makes it all wet pretty easy. But not this year. I've only lost one thing so far, unless you count my sanity. Every morning and night, I must water two of the yard's six sections. Drag hose, turn on generator to top up well, turn off generator when the tank is full. About 6 minutes later, I'm out of water and back at the generator. In the winter, a tankful of water will last us 24 hours. In this drought, we must fill that tank maybe seven or eight times a day. At least it keeps on filling; we've heard some folks' wells are drying up.

The routine gets old. I'm getting old. Good god, when will we get rain? The forecast says maybe next Wednesday. Or maybe not.

The grass crunches under my feet. Like I'm back in Minnesota, except it's not the ice crunching. It's just the grass, dying off into dormacy. I don't water the grass; this ain't no suburb.

A few days ago Mason and I worked all day digging ditches on the side of our road for water drainage management. So if it does ever rain again, we'll hopefully watch rivers of runoff on either side of the drive, rather than right down the middle, which tore up our road last winter.

Yesterday I worked again all day in the heat, dethatching the lawn to get ready for overseeding. I'm paying for it today. I'm listless. As listless as those viburnum leaves up there.