This past Sunday, July 1, 2012, was hot and muggy. If you ventured outside, the mosquitoes landed on you like a living shawl covering your entire body. At one point I went to the cat station in the woods to carry fresh water and to refill the feeders, and a mosquito like no other I had ever seen landed on my arm. It had an enormous body, and the span of its legs were the size of a half-dollar (if anyone out there can remember what a half-dollar looks like). OK, maybe it was only the size of a quarter, but still. It was huge. It had a dark body, almost black, right before I smacked it into oblivion.
Later in the evening, I had the brilliant idea that I would wash the RV. I had gotten a new attachment for the water hose, a long wand-like device that has a removable reservoir for detergent or bleach or whatever, so it made a mini power-washing setup. I also had the privilege of owning a new 100′ long water hose, so there was no reason why I couldn’t climb on top of the RV to hose off the top. (I used the ladder, because, really people, I’m not a monkey, although imagining me climbing monkey-like to the top of the RV *is* pret-ty funny.) It was really hot outside, and getting wet from the water hose sounded like a good way to cool off. There was no bad weather in the forecast, so I decided to have at it.
I had not cleaned the RV in a few years, and the top of the RV looked like an experiment in composting gone wrong. I started with the sides, working my way from bottom to top, sometimes stopping to refill the reservoir with bleach. On the top of the RV, I found there were layers of several seasons of leaves, parked as I am among the trees. I cleared that off slowly, with the help of the waterhose, moving slowly myself because, after all, there are no handicap grab-bars on top of the RV, and it’s a long way down. The dogs made sure to stay out of the way of the plops of wet leaves dropping from what must have seemed to them the very heavens. To be sure, they went inside to the air-conditioning. The heat, the humidity, and the mosquitoes made for an uncomfortable experience.
Later that evening, I sat inside the RV, knitting a bit and scanning the internet, when loud noises were suddenly heard on top of the RV. Slow rat-a-tats, like from a malfunctioning machine gun. The wind had picked up, and branches and nuts were landing on top of my clean RV.
But this was no ordinary wind. I could see the trees swaying madly, like drunken ladies swishing their skirts and hair about. The rains came, the wind blew, and I waited for the RV to blow over. The dogs hid their heads under the furniture. The storm passed.
Later that evening, the BabyBoy came by to check on things. He asked if I knew that there was a tree down. Well, I didn’t but I hadn’t heard anything out of the ordinary except, of course, the raging storm. We headed outside where we were joined by a neighbor further out Resurrection who had already driven into town to alert the fire department. (The power company wouldn’t come because the tree wasn’t on a power line.) The neighbor said that there were several large trees down in town, one in particular right in front of the post office.
I took some photos of my tree, which was a large dead tree outside the fence. That tree leaned away from the fence, and I had never taken it down because it was a home for nesting pileated woodpeckers and a source of food for them. Those birds will have to find a new food source.
Later I learned about the powerful storm that had moved through the east coast, still leaving many without power.
I also took a few photos of the tree that went down in front of the post office. And I promise to never wash the RV again.