JD Allinder

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Springtime in Ypsi

In Posts on May 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Spring started off unseasonably cold, which is perfectly fine with me and preferred by Jane, too. Her dark, short fur, which seems more like a hide than a coat, offers little protection from sun and heat. Indirect lighting, like we enjoy most of the year in perpetually overcast southeast Michigan, and below 50 or so temps suit both the shorthaired quadruped and redheaded primate alike. There are few things I enjoy more than wearing mittens in May, and Jane’s been digging running puppy laps in sopping wet, knee-deep grasses around town. There’s actually just about a two-week window in May when the ground is waterlogged, the wild grasses reach the tip of Jane’s nose, and the sun spares us its direct rays. It’s such a short-lived period that I forget about it every year, and its return always genuinely surprises and delights me. Alas, it’s bittersweet, though: its energizing properties are tempered by the reminder that it’s the final respite before the long, hot slog of summer.

The crazy rains started about three weeks ago. It felt kind of like Florida as the storms rolled in like clockwork every afternoon. The sky changed, too, from its usual grey shell to massive and dramatic roils of churning condensation. Eventually, the daily thunderstorms morphed into a continuous deluge. I seriously think it must have poured for seven straight days without a pause. Jane’s never been fond of walking in the rain, but she’s had a much healthier attitude about it this year (which is convenient as she doesn’t have an option). We’ve been up to our ears in mud, but we’ve been able to keep up nicely with our daily exercise routine. Occasionally, though, like during that seven-day torrent, the sheer volume of water pouring on our heads seriously limited our ability to function. We set out one afternoon last week when the steady drizzle turned into BUCKETS of rain. The pressure was so intense that we could barely remain upright. We dashed onto the front porch of an abandoned house, and I swear in the 15 or so minutes we huddled there at least a quarter of an inch came down. It was insane.

We’ve had our share of flooding in Ypsi, especially in low-lying areas like Riverside and Frog Island, though nothing, thankfully, like places to the south – Missouri, Mississippi, etc. A couple of nights I lay awake in bed listening to the rain and thunder. Our house sits on a hill, so I’ve always felt protected from flooding save a little moisture in the old Michigan basement. Our current monsoon sparked a new fear in me, though, that the saturated ground would give way and my little house would go sliding away with Jane and me in it.

The extreme heat finally creeped in yesterday and brought with it tornado sirens, lethargy, and the impetus to fetch the window unit air conditioner down from the attic. It’s now installed and cranking out cool – Jane’s lying on her back in front of it – and I’m trying to adjust my DNA to tolerate the next three months of oppression. I know I sound like such a summer Scrooge, but my reverse SAD is completely biological. My Viking ancestors should never have ventured south of the Baltic Sea.