Chewandswallow and billow, too

Envious of my inept, yet refreshed preschoolers. I am teaching them to fill watering cans from the big yellow bucket without getting completely soaked.  This is way more complicated than we remember.  You have to turn the bucket on its side and hold it under the water, then watch the bubbles. When the bubbles stop, the can is full.  Do not, I repeat, do not try to water your tongue.  

Walk, don't run. Use at least two hands to carry your watering can toward the garden.   Don't forget to check for the toad that frequents the subterranean space by the faucet.  Please don't intentionally water your own shoes or anybody else's.  Try to point the watering can spout toward the dirt near an actual plant!  Don't worry, your clothes will dry very soon in this heat.  Look.  Orville Redenbacher popcorn clouds are billowing in the glaring blue sky.

Billowing   A great swell, surge, or undulating mass, as of smoke or sound.[From Old Norse bylgja, a wave; see bhelgh ]

So next time I say bhelgh, I will try visualize billowing sails filling with wind, purpose, and imagination on sailing ships of long ago. We need to get out of the doldrums.

Sitting in the traffic jam caused by a signal light outage at Coit Road and The George Bush, I listened to a story on NPR about protecting my internet transactions from hacking.  Yes, it is possible to enable a secure sockets layer or SSL on Facebook.  No, some drivers could not keep their vehicles from overheating in the 106 degree heat index as we limped along at three mph.  What a weird place to be stalled and sweltering at an impasse!  Our 190 tollroad is named for Bush The First, but I still blame Dubya for the economy.  That Obama has been unable to steer the plane out of the dive he inherited is unfortunate, as is his inability to extricate us from wars where our soldiers are always over 106 degrees.  I am sick, sick, sick of politicians seeking reelection and of the complete lack of inspired leaders, statesmen, concensus-builders.  

It is so hot here the windshield sponge-O-squeegee at the gas station dried out before I could clean the front window of the Buick.  It's so hot here that I'm instantly coated with sticky, itchy cedar mulch while lifting handfuls out of the bag to pack around the bean, pepper, and tomato plants. During the mulch operation we realize we've got camouflaged  hornworms on our tomato plants. Hornworms are big, disgusting and reliable.  We can count on them to provide class lessons.  Hornworms chew and swallow and leave a trail of frass.

Chewandswallow is the land in the book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Dad is not in that land.  He still chews ... and chews ... and chews ... but he's forgotten how to swallow.  And it does not rain maple syrup.  It does not rain at all.

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kim said...

It's a cruel summer, no doubt about it. Hang in there. Wind in the sails!


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