Here are some things that are on my mind on this last Friday in April.
1. Remember that old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times"? Well, we certainly do live in interesting times, but this week I'm particularly thinking about interesting weather.
We are no strangers to extreme weather here along the Gulf Coast and Mother Nature has delivered that in spades recently. Since April 17, we've had a total of 12.77 inches of rain and the forecasters tell us that more is on the way this weekend.
The last storm that came through, early Wednesday morning, was especially destructive in our community. One woman was killed when a tree fell on her house; others were injured and some areas were flooded again before they had even recovered from the floods of a week before.
The storm knocked us off the electricity grid from 4:30 in the morning until 9:30 that same morning. Even so, we were a lot luckier than many of our neighbors whose power was out all day. We heard the sound of generators and chain saws throughout the day Wednesday. It was enough to make one think that hurricane season had come early this year.
2. As you can imagine, the rain has played havoc with my gardening. Fortunately, our house and yard are on a bit higher ground than many in our neighborhood, but our soil was completely saturated by all that water and many areas are still spongy to walk on. At least we've had a few days to dry out before the next deluge comes.
I've spent the week doing clean-up, pruning, trying to stay ahead of the weeds, and setting out some of the plants I had started under my grow-lights. On the bright side, I didn't have to water those seedlings when I planted them!
3. So, this was the week that Game of Thrones returned to HBO and Jon Snow is still dead, but I think they are just messing with us and he'll wake up like Sleeping Beauty at some point.
Maybe most importantly we learned that the Red Woman is actually the Gray Woman. What's up with that??? Speaking for Gray Women everywhere, I think this may be the most revolutionary GOT story line of all.
4. April, of course, is the month that major league baseball returns. As a lifelong baseball fan and a long time Houston Astros fan, it's a time I always look forward to.
Last year was an excellent one for the Astros and their fans. They had a really good season and made it all the way to the playoffs. Individual players swept many of the year-end awards, and several prognosticators predicted they would win the pennant and possibly the World Series this season. On paper, their chances looked really good, but they don't play the games on paper.
April has proved to be the cruelest of months for the Astros and their fans. They are off to a 7 - 15 start, a win rate of .318. We are disappointed and frustrated, but we have to remind ourselves that it is a long season. October is still five months away and there is plenty of time to recover from this bad start.
Interestingly, in spite of their team record, for the first three weeks of the season, individual Astros won the Player of the Week award in each week! Tyler White, Jose Altuve, and Colby Rasmus are on their game. Now the rest of the team just needs to pick theirs up.
5. I am a constant reader and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I'm currently reading Helen Simonson's latest, The Summer Before the War. The war in the title is World War I, so the time period is 1914 and the setting is Sussex, England.
I thoroughly enjoyed Simonson's last book, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. It was a very gentle and uplifting story, a relief from some of the more bloodthirsty fare that I sometimes read. So far this book is in much the same vein and yet, knowing the horror that will soon be visited on these people, one is moved by a sense of foreboding.
Reading such stories gives us a clearer awareness and understanding of a historical period and gives us some reason to hope that such history may not repeat itself.
What is going on in your world on this last Friday in April?