# the summer storm and a wine disaster    


There’s a delicious darkening that creeps in, up ahead of a summer thunderstorm… a heaviness, slightly warm, that has the comfort of a blanket tossed over shoulders. Last time I felt something like it it I was tuning a beautiful old Bechstein grand piano one late spring morning on the west coast of Denmark, and watching fish dry on the clothesline of the neighbor’s back yard. The rain came about fifteen minutes later: heavy, straight down, soaking, thick.

The summer has been holding back. There’s been a storm hanging over the Red Meadow  hideaway for days. We see it an early morning or late afternoon, but then it gives way to cheerful sunshine, or slacks off with a cursory sprinkle. Last night there were Breezes of a stormy nature, and even some heat lightning, sullen/sulky flashes after dark low in the sky while we stewed in the pool. 

Swimming in warm water, outdoors, after dark, is a little like being an astronaut in space (I imagine), only without the cold and death, and also without the swimsuit (spacesuit). I drifted and treaded my way to and fro while the fireflies threaded their paths around us, close, and the stars hid behind the cloud cover, above. That long past day, when you can’t really see the water anymore, the borders between air and water, light and dark, get dissolved, and soon you’ve ceased to know whether you’re swimming in the night sky or the night sea.

Anyways, today I went out to the garden to fetch some oregano and some basil, because of pizza, and I discovered that the lettuce that the woodchuckerfuckers decimated is growing back(!) and that there are blossoms on a few tomato plants. The watermelon vine (that STILL needs planting) was droopy, so I watered it, and decided that we have to fortify the fences /tonight/ because I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose another round of green things to the woodchuckerfuckers. I haven’t seen the WCF’s for a few days. I’ve been wondering if the foxes ate them. (Wishful thinking perhaps?)

Inside I decided it was time for some Naked Baby (Olive) wine, and went to the closet where the giant carboys are stored with a couple glasses. “Let’s see if I can do this,” I said, “or if I’m going to make a disaster.” (I was deprecating: I firmly believed I’d figure it out. I went to two years of technician school, after all.)

I fiddled with the siphon a little while until I got a couple tablespoons of wine to come through into a glass. All right, I thought, a little slow, but no sweat: we’ve got a working system. Then without warning it was a whole lot more than a couple tablespoons, and wine splattered the walls and my feet, until I jammed a thumb into the siphon and yelled for help. I made a disaster after all. (Although I’d rather think of it as an appeasement to the gods.)

This afternoon I saw very dark and stormy clouds. Hours later, it’s early evening, and the darkness has backed off a little but the storminess has not. I think maybe tonight will be the night.