Friday, August 31, 2012

31 August 2012

Today is the last day of August. Today I noticed the sky was a deep blue with wispy white clouds. The smoke from the California (Chips) fire has moved through. But then this afternoon, the sky was a lighter blue and there were more clouds, and the forecast for tomorrow is a cooler temp and partly cloudy.

I sat out in the shade today, sitting with the dog while I read a book. It was a nice temperature then. August is such a strange month, school has started, but it's still summer. We have weeks left, but already the signs are here that summer is leaving us. No two months ever seem as separated to me as August and October, but last week I saw Halloween displays of candy going in at the local grocery store.

In Reno, there are things happening at the end of summer. The Rib Cook-off is happening this week, and then there will be the balloon festival, the air races, street vibrations, all in September. All of July is Artown and there is the Independence Day holiday to boot. July always feels very busy. August always feels very lazy, as if we've given up trying to get anything done, and we are just holding onto the days of vacation that we have left. But some schools are starting back up in August, and next year my children's schools will begin in mid-August.

Last weekend the older girl and I went to San Francisco where we saw Les Miserables. It was chilly there, overcast the whole time, we had to wear jackets. On Saturday morning, we had breakfast at a little place with a patio and a heater there, which was needed because of the cold. I want to visit San Francisco more frequently or at least one good sightseeing visit, but I don't want to live there.

The past couple of years, we've ended up in Sacramento in mid to late August, and we visit the old town area. It's near the American River, and we see all the trains there, but it's empty. Everything feels empty there on a late afternoon in August. I don't know where the people are, but there is something so lovely about it all in the late afternoon.

Since it is Labor Day weekend, the husband is home early, and we are all sitting comfortably in our house with the beautiful day around us. I can see it out the window, but I'm not in the 90˚ temperatures.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

18 August 2012

It's been gray, overcast, smoky and humid for awhile now, it seems; at least two weeks, which isn't particularly long, but then it starts to feel like this is the normal way of things. About a month ago, we went to visit friends who live in a wooded area near the Steamboat Ditch trail. The kids played in the water, but I didn't realize they could actually go swimming, so they didn't take suits. They had fun in the ditch nonetheless, getting completely soaked and just air drying outside. Then we had dinner.

It was somewhat overcast and humid then too, with thunderstorms moving in. Sitting in her house I could smell smoke at one point, but it wasn't until we opened the door that we realized there must be a fire somewhere. My friend's house backs up to tall hills, and I looked up the little valley to the peaks to see if I could see flames, but all I could see were whitish drifting clouds from the rain. It did rain at her house, but it's always such a small amount by the time it crosses over the Carson Range, so I fire could be burning somewhere.

We decided to go and drive up in the neighborhoods on the hills above. I'd never actually driven up there, and there were lovely night views of the city. We drove for awhile until we hit a new subdivision that said it was part of Caughlin Ranch. I decided I had gone far enough without seeing anything so I turned around there. I passed a firetruck heading the way I had just come, and figured if there had been a fire, someone already knew about it. We continued to wind our way around when I saw a frog right in the middle of the dark street. I asked if the kids had seen it, and neither had. I was worried that it might get hit by a car, so I made a U-turn and went back. No one was coming, so I stopped with the blinkers on to get out and examine it. A car did come while we were trying to scare the frog across the road, and they waited for us, but then honked for a long time as they drove by.

We ended up finding a place to park, and then I took a photo of the frog. After I got home, I walked the dog and thought I saw something in the distance, like flickering lights. So when the walk was done, I got in the car and drove up the hill, just to make sure things were fine, that there weren't any errant fires in the nearby hills. It seemed like an odd night at the time, but since then there have been more thunderstorms, sudden downpours and unending smoke from the California fires.