July? No, October!


I can’t help myself. I have to say something about the weather in SE Alaska. The first full week of October, statistically the rainiest month of the year, has been beautiful! And we still have a few days of sunny icons on the weather map before the rain comes back. I thought we had missed summer this year. But it turns out, we’ve been here for a nice piece of it. I know it’s only a matter of time, and likely, the end of this month will make up for the beginning. But when you live in a rainforest, you have to appreciate any week that has more than a day or two of sunshine. And when that week comes in October…well, that sunshine is all the sweeter for being unexpected. Happy fall, y’all!


My own little lake

Rain again this past weekend. When I say it rained, I don’t mean we had a shower. No, we had a deluge. AGAIN. For all those people in Texas who need rain…believe me, I would send you days of the stuff if I could.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have a small lake in my basement. This isn’t a new thing. The house was built in 1920 and has been remodeled over the years, so this problem has been addressed before, by others. But never fixed, apparently. When we have heavy rain, we get seeping ground water that comes up through fine cracks in the concrete floor. Not really a problem, doesn’t seem to do any harm. But I’m tired of sweeping out the lake on a regular basis, and I keep wondering what would happen if we had a potential buyer checking us out on a day that the basement floor is liquid. Not an easy thing, I’m thinking, to reassure someone that the water only rises to a certain point and then recedes.
Saturday we had a contractor come over to give us ideas about effective treatment. Install a sump pump, redirect one of the downspouts behind the house, put a drain in the basement floor with a collection box…oh, all can be done for the small sum of about $2,000. And it is a small sum, as these types of repairs go. But you never know WHAT you may run into when you begin these things, so we are to understand that $2,000 is the least we’re looking at. Could be higher. Much higher.
I’m thinking these days of how I can turn anything and everything to income. Maybe I can write about the perils of owning a house that’s almost 100 years old. Maybe I can give advice to other basement/lake owners. Maybe I can become an expert on sump pumps. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m coming to a cliff in a few months, one that I’m willingly walking toward, and I’m jumping off without reliable income. AND I have this little basement issue. What to do, what to do!
Fortunately Rob will pay for the basement. In our universe, he usually covers these types of things. The bigger bills don’t typically come my way. But it does make me think a bit.
Really, I expect to be ok. I’m having fun learning about portable and alternative income sources. I’ve already committed to relief work at the hospital, and I’m thinking about entrepreneurial options, everything from baking to editing to whatever else I stumble on. I’m excited to try my wings, and if I grow them on the way down, as the saying goes, that just makes it all the more fun.
So this week, I’m going to become an expert on basement drainage. I think the contractor’s coming over tomorrow to get started, and if you see a post or two about the intricacies of pipes, collection boxes and drains, you’ll know why. At least my lake should soon be gone.

Summer? Did I miss it?

Well, well, August 19th, and another cool rainy weekend in the forecast. I’ve definitely had the “summer was on a Tuesday” experience this year. I remember one of the summers we lived in Michigan was like that. You kept telling yourself, believing, that any day now, the full force of sun and warmth would arrive and the glorious summer weather would bring all things good…outdoor cookouts, trips to the park, bike riding, ball games. But no, nothing, it just fizzled before it ever got off the ground. Like this one.

Oh sure, you try to keep up appearances. Can’t tell you how many days in the past few months I’ve worn something more suited to Arizona, complete with a sweater or windbreaker or jean jacket…whatever COAT was best paired with my summer garb. I couldn’t face going through the summer months wearing turtlenecks. But with only a few exceptions, I could have done it and been very comfortable during June, July, and now August. I’m hoping for a bit of an Indian summer season in September. But who am I kidding? I might as well be unpacking my corduroys and wool right now.

20110819-062943.jpg With the exception of a few days spent in California and Arizona (alright, that was a bit warm, even for me), we’ve sailed right past spring and into October. Honestly, some of the rains we’ve had have been wicked! Thank goodness my leak in the bathroom appears to be fixed. (You know the repair has been successful when you forget to check each time it rains.) Many days the temps hover in the 50s. Twice in the next week we’re supposed to hit 60! And this is August!

Raspberries have been impacted by all the wet, or cool, or something. All I know is that the other summers we’ve lived here we’ve had lots of berries on the vines behind the house. This year, there was a dismal, one-cup crop. Yesterday I noticed a few leaves already turning.

Ok, I know for anyone outside Alaska reading this, it sounds petty. I’ve seen the news about the heat wave and the dry spell much of the lower 48 has been living through, and I know my frustration must seem un-imaginable to many. But trust me, if you heard your heat kick on in August, or decided to put your electric blanket back on the bed before Labor Day, you’d be complaining too.

Most days this cruise season, I’ve felt sorry for the poor tourists, trying to have a good time in a downpour. I’ve hardly had a chance to run the AC in my car. I have brats in the fridge. But I need the right atmosphere. I can’t enjoy grilling out when all I want to do is go inside to warm up.

So that’s my lament for late August. What happened to summer? If you find it, please send it my way. It’s not too late.