Abby and I started our day dramatically when, just as I was about to step out the door, the dogs went nuts, including Hawken in the back yard. Abby looked out the front window to see a Pontotoc County Sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle in the driveway. She got to her .38 Special, and I grabbed one of my Rugers, because when the police are present, they’re usually chasing TUDs (a term I learned in the 1980s when I was working at The Shawnee News-Star; TUD = Totally UnDesirable), and we have no desire to be at the mercy of a TUD.
I stepped outside to see the vehicle was empty, but soon a deputy, out of breath, approached from the north pasture. “Hey,” he said, catching his breath.
“Do you have a suspect?” I asked. He told me it was a kid from juvie who was supposed to be in school, but had run off. Those who know Abby and me know know that we had some experience in that realm years ago.
To close the distance to his subject, the deputy drove a short distance across the “golf course,” a patch of green the size of a softball field that I keep mowed, leaving tire tracks. He apologized and even offered to fix it, but my message to him was that you never need to apologize for doing things in service of protecting our lives and property.
For the middle part of my day, I faced one of the hottest, most humid, least windy football media day gatherings. It’s not hard work either physically or intellectually, but my body seemed to understand immediately that the weather combination was rather suffocatios. In the 15 minutes it took to complete, I sweated more than in the last 10 days combined.
Later, at home, while walking Hawken the Irish Wolfhound, I noticed that the oldest mimosa in the back yard had partially broken in half, a result of the thunderstorms that rolled through this week, drenching everything. I grabbed the eclectic chain saw and cut it to pieces and threw them over the fence so I could later drag them to the brush pile to burn. The air was still and thick with humidity, and although it was sunset, I can’t remember an activity that made me sweat so much.
We live in a symbiont circle in our neighborhood. When I was mowing Saturday in anticipation of the forecast heavy rain, neighbor Stevie appeared with two water bottles, and waved one at me, which I gratefully accepted. We talked for a bit and he discussed power washing his house, though he didn’t have a power washer. I offered ours, and he gratefully accepted. Just a couple of hours later, I looked out the window to see other neighbor Mike brush-hogging our pasture. I was grateful.