Pennies from heaven

I had fallen asleep in the comfy chair, watching the tape of the day's tennis in Paris – with the sound off because that screaming Belarussian woman was playing. When I awoke with a start and looked out the window, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was raining a little.

The weather thingy on my phone wasn't predicting that, the last time I had looked. It hadn't rained here in a month, and as far as I knew, there was no preciptation anywhere in sight. We had a wet spring, and now an early, prolonged dry spell. New York City may be choking on wildfire smoke at the moment, but our time for that will come before summer's over. To paraphrase the philosopher Arthur Brown, it's gonna burn. And so on this June night, the sweet smell of the rain was a welcome surprise. 

Now, what came down during this brief sprinkle, and apparently it may continue on and off through the day, isn't enough to make much of a difference in anything, except maybe to dirty the cars. At best, it will give some of us a day or two off from watering the yard. Several things out there are looking like mid-July, not late spring, especially the grass.

I'm hoping the drizzle will clean some of the grass pollen out of the air. It's been really thick for a week or so, and I've grown allergic to it over the years. I swear, it's the genetically modified grass that's making us all sneeze. Frankengrass, being grown all up and down the Willamette Valley, to supply the golf courses of the world. Then in the fall the grass farmers burn their fields and we get smoke, too.

But I shouldn't complain. Allergy season in Portland can't hold a candle to allergy season in Eugene. I used to go down there for a day or two on business every June or July. Man, did I ever sneeze. Kleenex City.

After staring at the wet street for a while, I looked back in on the tennis, where Screaming Mimi was swooning in an epic collapse. She lost to the unseeded Czech player Karolina Muchova, much to my delight. Muchova will now play Iga Swiatek of Poland for the championship. It seems like a daunting task, but when competing against stars ranked in the top 3, Muchova has now chalked up five wins and suffered zero losses. It should be a good final. And I can even have the sound on.

But then it's back to watering.


  1. I get wicked allergies from spring to fall. This year.......nothing. Except that my skin is so dry that even moisturizer doesn’t help for long. It has to be this dry weather, and I don’t know which is worse. At least with allergies I am not “shedding” all around the house. I am starting to feel like a walking freakshow.

  2. It is Rose Festival weekend…can’t have Rose Festival without rain!

  3. In 1953 I was asked to be on a Rose Parade float. I considered it to be an honor.

    Of course it rained.

  4. I am the god of hellfire!

  5. Something's wrong if you are still getting grass seed field burning smoke in Portland. The great majority of field burning (except for grass seed fescue on steep slopes) has been banned for years. Permits are only issued now when the wind and weather forecast favors smoke that will avoid heavily populated areas (having worked in Eugene for 43 years, Portland denizens don't know what real field burning smoke is like!). Obviously, sometimes the weather guessers get it wrong, but compared to the "good old days, of multi-car pile ups on I-5, and 4-J students sitting out practices, field burning is the least of our current worries.

    1. It's not as bad as it used to be, but we still get the grass smoke a few times a year. It's always in the fall, when there's rain in the forecast. In the hours before it rains, the grass dudes get busy. The weather predictions and judgment calls are made by the ag department, not the DEQ, and they're determined to let a certain amount of burning go on no matter which way the wind is blowing. Hundreds of thousands of people inhale smoke to benefit a dozen families. The farmers swore the world would end when the current restrictions were put in place, but that was a lie. The practice of field burning should be outlawed entirely.


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