Radiogurl a la Carte

Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2004
Tree_Envy

Amazing and mystifying... Can it be that I can actually post? I'd begun to wonder for a while there.

Survived work yesterday and survived this morning's meeting without toppling out of my chair or snoring loud enough to prompt any elbows to my ribs. I consider that an achievement, particularly this morning. There were three items on the agenda - THREE - and the meeting lasted two hours, most of which involved hot-shot wannabe's patting each other on the back over all they've accomplished, since two of the three board members are retiring at the end of this session.

Hell-LO? The things they passed today were the pre-planning stages. They haven't actually accomplished diddly in their collective bazillion years in office.

Then again, they're politicians. Not a group known for its expeditious workings, nor for efficiency.

The cold/flu still lingers, though it's in a blessed state of retreat. In reality I'm in the stage now that I loath - the lingering, never-goes-away cough that typically hangs around for a couple of months after I finally start feeling better. I'm going to invest in a new vaporizor though - the old one died right off the bat, and I think that's one of the reasons I was as miserable as I was. At least I have learned how much of a difference they can make when they work.

Youngest kid has already managed to piss me off several times over. So glad she's leaving at the end of the week. Much as I love her, if she stays here I'll kill her, no doubt about it. We wear the same sizes in some things and in her eyes, that gives her the right to help herself. I already don't have enough things to make it from washday to washday, so her sense of entitlement isn't going to work.

Don't you just love kids?

I hear everyone else talking about the gorgeous weather they're experiencing - including rain - and I am supremely jealous. I miss being in a place with normal trees - maple, elm, oak, and so on. Not to mention, I miss going outdoors in summer.

On a cool day here we're in the high 90's and not a cloud in sight. The norm is in the 100's. And the monsoon season is still a few weeks away. The muggy stuff hasn't moved in yet. When it first comes in, you have the sense of wanting to reach out and wring the moisture out of the air like it was a clammy, hot, wet cloth. The humidity doesn't go away with the arrival of the rains, but at least the temperature drops considerably, moving into liveable ranges.

Here's hoping that the rains this year don't result in more flooding. We've had enough of that, thank you very much, though we do desperately need the water. We're working on a ten-year drought.

Arizona is smack in the middle of the world's wettest desert. We actually do receive rain here, but because it's seasonal, falling in relentless sheets every afternoon over the course of a few weeks a year, we have a very brittle climate. Our rivers are intermittent, dry most of the year, filling only when the rains run off of the mountains. River and creek channels can change drastically in a single rain event, if it's heavy enough.

We do have natural waterways that flow year around, and we've got several lakes, particularly atop the Mogollon Rim.

Quick geography lesson - the Mogollon Rim is plateau that cuts a line through Central Arizona. Traveling north from Phoenix toward Payson, you can see the rim as a continuous cliff, a ribbon of iron-red-stained stone and earth that rises from the desert floor and spans the forward horizon for what seems an unlimited line in both directions. At its top are Ponderosa Pines, aspens, high meadows, elk, bear, and mountain lion. It's stunning country, still mostly wild, preserved by the US Forest Service.

Unfortunately it has been particularly hard-hit by the ongoing drought, which has also encouraged an epidemic of bark beetles. Thousands of acres of those trees have turned the color of corrogated cardboard. Remember all the fire warnings about not letting your christmas tree get too dry? That pales in comparison. Some of our trees are literally drier than the kiln-dried wood you buy in a lumber store.

And some of the dead trees encroach on inhabited areas. I don't know about you, but I would prefer not to have my home abutting a hillside full of tinder, one match or one lightning-strike away from disaster.

But I have to admit, it's still gorgeous in that part of the state. I think I have another meeting up there next month - I'll try to get some photos to prove my point, if it hasn't gone up in smoke by then.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )