The weather has been unsettled lately. Bands of warm and cold fronts move through, sun and cloud. There was very nearly a tornado on Saturday. It was stifling and hot when we went to pick out mulch for the flowerbeds at the local home superstore. A cool breeze showed up by the time we got home, but the sticky heat reappeared minutes later. We checked the radar, decided to get as much done as we could. As I carted heavy bags of mulch around the corner—from underneath balanced on my forearms, like you would a calf, mindful of my back—a tiny rabbit darted from the lawn into a downspout.
Unsure of what I’d seen, I separated the pipe from the rest of gutter. Soon, I was face to face with a baby rabbit. I wasn’t entirely sure if he’d bite my nose or come up to sniff me. But no, he squirmed back into the pipe, safely beyond my reach. I took a couple of pictures with different cameras. My wife came and shook him loose. He bounded off across the lawn and through a hole he and his relatives have bent in the neighbor’s fence. We were able to get the mulch spread, a few plants in the ground, even stop down at the Dairy Queen around the corner for dinner, before the skies exploded, briefly. The storms come quickly and depart the same way these days. Usually, it’s a sharp blast of wind—some times sharper than others—and a few minutes of rain. That’s all.
Yesterday we kept the boy home from school to apply for a passport. First, the important stuff: pancakes, an egg sandwich, bacon, a donut, two cups of coffee yes please and a large chocolate milk. Connie’s Diner is a throwback place, barely room to pass between the counter and the booths with tables that cut into your belly. The only seats left for us were by the window, so we watched a couple of old men getting wet as they shuffled across the street. One waved to us as he sat down on his scooter just the other side of the window.
The sun came out, steaming the rain off the streets. We walked between the Civil War monument in the square and the office supply store to the courthouse. Up to the second floor and the glassed-in counter outside the courtrooms. At one window, you apply for a passport. At another, you ask for a restraining order. (“Domestic or harassment?” the clerk says.)
I forgot my son’s Social Security number, have to run home to get the card. He’s bored and whiny. School can’t end fast enough for him. He is so tired, and the only thing that cheers him up is the thought of sailing camp in three weeks or Canada later in the summer. He has plans to bring a friend with him, and to fill his new passport book with visa stamps. He intends to go to Australia as a foreign exchange student.+ + +