This heat, and drought, is getting me down. My trees are stressed and other than the plants I rescued and put into pots in the shade, my veggie garden is dead and gone. The predictions are more of the same for this week---Wednesday, 105—Thursday, 105---Friday, 104---Saturday, 102 (ah, a cooling trend!).
I’ve been trying to make a decision on the paint color for my little writing nook, which is also the main entry to the house. I want something bright and cheerful that would stand up to the bright sun that streams into the old windows there, but also something out of the ordinary for me. Every time I look at the paint chips at the store, I’m attracted to the blues. My little sister says “But you NEVER do blue.” That is true; I don’t. I like blue, but don’t want to use it in such a huge way in my room since I do spend a lot of time in there. Still, when it comes down to a choice, I choose blue. The blue paints are different now...brighter, more cheerful. The one I like is more of a robin's egg blue, and it matches the old curtains that used to hang in the living room. I've re-purposed them for my room after washing them four times. They are a landscape print, with fluffy trees and a watermill.
After painting two of the walls, I start to feel like I’m immersed in deep, spa blue. This particular color, appropriately called Blue Bayou, makes me feel cool, even though it’s now 108-degrees outside. I wonder how much hotter it will get before we all spontaneously combust.
The flat farm and ranch lands in between Leander and Taylor are golden brown, crispy and dry. On the ride over, I notice that some of the short cotton plants that were fluffy with small bolls have been plowed under overnight, before harvest. Now they look like a light sprinkling of snow has fallen on top of the dark soil off in the distance. All of the farmers are hopeful for a tropical storm that will bring rain to the coast and maybe some farther northeast, too. “Just enough, not too much,” is their mantra.
I take a break from the painting for lunch. I sit and stare out the window at the old pecan tree that grows in the center of the yard. Someone years ago hung a giant thermometer on the tree and it reads 110-degrees. I’ve had enough! I go outside, the screen door slams behind me, and take it down. I go back inside, find my hammer, go back outside and remove the giant rusty nail that’s held it there for years. I apologize to the tree, go back inside and fling myself back into the chair in a heap of exhaustion. Much better.
After a while, I pull myself up, grab the paintbrush and slowly apply more deep blue paint to the walls. I visualize water, and lakes, and rain. And fields of white fluffy cotton, knee-high.