Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flash Flood Watch

What do you do when it's not just raining, but hard driven pelting slanting rain drenches an already rain soaked area? You sit on the garage floor peering out the half open overhead door. It rains. It pours. Every two days. This is nothing new. You jump on a rocking chair, but first you test the old mattress pad covering the seat with your paw. You're not sure what this white fuzzy felt thing is all about. Then, you jump on the workbench and peruse a scattered collection of left-over junk. An old belt buckle, two air pillows from a FedEx shipment, junk and more junk. Finally, out of total boredom, you jump on the dog house roof. Mist from the driving rain covers the rear portion of the roof. Rain runs down the house siding. You get as close as you can to the edge of the roof. That way, you can monitor the dog inside the carpeted dog house without getting wet. It works well for several minutes. Then the rain increases. The roof isn't dry and safe anymore.

The dog walks out to the gravel road, shaking her head as the rain pummels her ears. Not a thing is stirring. No robins hunt for worms. Convinced that any further exploration will lead to a thorough drenching, she retreats to her house. Head placed upon curled paws, she waits for that "ride". She heard the word, she's sure. Her man said "ride". The word later doesn't register.

The man is walking back and forth between garage and house. Yesterday's four bean salad canning frenzy in which he ran out of solution: hot vinegar,water, sugar and spices late after midnight in his sleep, is now a dozen pint jars labeled 7/10. They're put on the bottom of the wood shelves in the kitchen area separated from last year's bean salad by a large, open space. Two stainless steel pots, a water bath canner, several plastic bowls and a stainless steel strainer are returned to their final resting place in the summer kitchen. The five gallon plastic bucket of sugar, a smidgen of cider vinegar and the bag of mustard seed are returned to their proper places. The stainless steel pots are nestled upside down so that earwigs don't have a dark hiding place to call home. A dozen glass pints jars capture his attention. It's a good day for mindless activity.

The pint jars have wax in the bottom. At least he thinks it's wax. Placing a half dozen jars in the microwave, he hits the auto cook function for one minute. The wax remains opaque and off- white on the floor of the jar. Then he hits "two" on auto cook. Reaching for an oven glove because the jars are too hot to touch with a bare hand, the wax has melted partially. "Hmm. Must be soap or some wax /soap combination."

More button punching and melting followed by a quick grab of a glass jar with the oven glove. Turned upside down on a kraft paper bag, the wax or soap immediately turns hard. The next step is to soak the jars in hot soapy water. But what else is there to do?

There's a flash flood watch because of the heavy rain. A quick check of river levels and the map overlay of villages and towns along the river shows no immediate danger. River levels are far below flood stage. All that will change in just a few hours.

Stepping outside to monitor the progress of the thunderstorm, the air smells like caraway. Dog and cat scurry to the back door anxious to get out of the rain.

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