Summer is similar to a lot of things that sneak up on you slowly — crow’s feet, spare tires, weeds, credit card debt …
Each day it gets just a little bit hotter. Then one day you wake up and spring is gone.
Some of us spend most of our time in isolated air-conditioned units — home, car, work, car, grocery store, car, home, a friend’s pool. If we park carefully we need only experience the summer sauna in three-minute bursts.
When the weekend rolls around you realize half the potted plants are dead.
A while back we bought a shade sail to protect tender plants. I was reminded the hard way that the sun shifts just a few degrees each day. By the time I noticed the shift in sunlight, those plants were ready for the compost pile.
This 100-degree weather comes right on schedule for our new household water budgets. The past year of spritz-suds-and-rinse showers was apparently just training for the summer of 2015.
During a recent pizza night with friends, we shared our water gripes or gloats.
Its hard for people with kids, because children really do like to run around on the lawn. In my childhood we literally ran around in the middle of the street, and I understand why that’s no longer wise parenting.
If they want to meet their water budget, something else may need to go.
Other friends have resigned themselves to higher water bills. That’s a bummer. I don’t know about you, but I like to spend some summer coins on air conditioned movie theaters, ice cream at Shuberts and a trip to the Mendocino Coast in mid-July.
One way to save an enormous amount of water is to stop cleaning your house. Rinsing away Ajax uses a lot of water.
The bathroom, for example, isn’t really worth the cost of Mr. Clean. If you’ve been doing this drought thing right, you seldom flush and the room will always smell like water conservation.
I’ve been really curious to see how CalWater would calculate my water budget.
I moved last year to my tiny house, which means I don’t have a water history from 2013.
Cal Water apparently determined my new water budget based on a typical residence of a similar type, i.e. a normal-sized single-family home with a normal-sized family.
They weren’t counting on a dirty, small house with potted plants and a dead lawn.
My water use for April was 3 CCF, and 2 for May.
Yet, my water budget is about a million.
I’m only joking about hooking up a nozzle to a water truck and selling water to people who need it more — herb gardeners in the foothills who have fat wallets.
Nope. I’ll still flush my toilet with shower water.
If I don’t do my part, I can’t expect those people in Santa Fe Irrigation District to stop watering their 40,000 square-feet of lawns.
A few dear friends have died over the past few months.
These were folks who had once been a daily part of my life. Yet, life shifts and we started running in different circles.
In some ways you would think the distance would make the loss less, but it merely makes the loss different. One regret is that we did not have that (one last) lunch like we had planned.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve had fragrant night blooms from the cactus that was a gift from Suzi Draper. The flowers smell unbelievably beautiful and last for only one day.
Suzi died last summer and I met her in 2013 when she could not contain her enthusiasm for night-blooming cacti.
(See fabulous pictures here: http://goo.gl/aMWxf).
While I did not know here well, it was easy to know Suzi was a sweet, much-loved person. Each time the cactus blooms, I think of her.
For some reason, I decided to post a cactus bloom photo on Suzi’s still-active Facebook page. When I scrolled down I saw a link to her obituary.
How strange to read that she died of aggressive uterine cancer, the same cancer which I was recently blessed to detect early.
All these things are now mixed together in my mind — loss of friends, my gift of life and the fleeting beauty of night-blooming cactus.
Of note: if there’s a friend who you keep intending to call for lunch, just call them today.
For more inane prattle, check out my blog at www.norcalblogs.com/sowthere. Other contacts, @HeatherHacking on Twitter and Facebook.