So, yesterday, Steve and I drove down to Old Orchard Beach, and took a walk through the shallows before the ozone levels (seen as a pink haze prowling in from beyond Wood Island Light, eating the shoreline as it came) got too high. The beach was super crowded with people having a good time, which was nice to see. Also, I got sunburned, so it was all good.
In the way of such things, once we were out of the house, we had very little inclination to speed back to the house, so we turned left instead of right, taking Routes 9 and 1 down to Wells, which was likewise crowded, and eventually turned right on a road wending northward. We did stop at Borealis Breads in Wells to take on, well -- bread; and at the Bull and Claw to partake of really excellent fish 'n chips, before getting serious about the trip back home.
While we were at the ocean, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch came across the phones (we live in Maine; we have Weather here, not climate, so you've gotta kind of keep an eye on it). We debated staying down ocean-side a few hours longer to watch the storm in, but eventually decided against, and continued the northward journey.
One of the things that struck me forcibly downcoast was the number of businesses advertising for help. Not just seasonal businesses -- though there were plenty of them needing help -- but grocery stores, and pharmacies, hardware stores, year-round bakeries, and such. It's tempting to move south, just for the work. Mind you, none of those jobs would cover the rent in-or-near a resort town, and you'd spend more in gas than the job's worth, if you came in from any distance.
Ah, well. Guess I'll stay right here.
We arrived home, alert to the need to leap up at any moment to Batten the Hatches -- the Waterville-Winslow megapolis also being on the watch for Severe Thunderstorms, and possible tornadoes (!) We heard thunder; we saw (a lot) of lightning; the wind came up in a satisfactory manner, but --
The storm passed us by. A glance at the interactive weather map showed that it had dumped rain half-a-mile away, but our house had, like, a little weather-repellent dome over it, and we were dry.
Half-an-hour later another cell passed over, announcing its presence by striking and exploding a tree somewhere in the Very Near Vicinity of the Cat Farm. The wind screamed, rain came down in sheets. . .
Five minutes later, it was all done, gone, and on its way to Skowhegan, where it apparently did wreak some mischief. And, yes, there was at least one tornado briefly on the ground, in Caribou, 'way up in The County.
Today, it is much cooler, and the air is clean. We're enjoying it while we can. Tomorrow, they same, Summer's Back.
# # #
To the Very Best of My Knowledge, Sleeping with the Enemy, Adventures in the Liaden Universe Number 22, has now been published to all of the usual subjects, including BN, Kobo, the iStore, and Amazon.
No, I am afraid we will not be producing a paper chapbook, like in the "old days." These days are demonstrably, and perhaps sadly, not the "old days;" postage rates have gone crazy, our very reliable printer of many years has retired, and his son has merged the business with another out of Portland, and closed the shop up here. Also, Steve is not able anymore to do the physical lifting and schlepping and whatnot, and I never could. So -- no paper edition. Possibly, the stories in Sleeping will be collected in a Liaden Constellation sometime in the next couple years.
Thank you for your understanding.
# # #
As I type, Alliance of Equals rejoices in 90! reader reviews on Amazon. That's. . .terrific. Only 110 more to reach our 200-review milestone. You guys rock.
# # #
I don't know if I reported here that, earlier in the season, the Cat Garden was the victim of an error produced by one of our lawn guy's guys. The error took out one whole corner of flowers, with the exception of some coneflowers, which have valiantly bloomed over the killing field in memory of better days. I was out inspecting just a little while ago and, honestly? It looks like next year -- or the year after, at most -- the whole garden will be taken over by the dragon flowers (snapdragons to you folks down south).
Which is good. Hummingbirds and butterflies both like the dragon flowers, though they bloom late in the season, rather than early. So, if the garden is not now According to Plan, at least it is staying true to its raison de'etre.
Though I do kinda miss the yarrow and (most of) the coneflowers.
Well. I think that catches us all up.
Everybody stay cool.
Today's blog title is courtesy of John Masefield, "Sea Fever," known to children everywhere as, "I must go down to the sea again." Here's your link.