Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pink Snow & Giant Chrysanthemums

I spent some quality time walking in the rain on the 4th. It was lovely.

The skies clouded over late that morning, and it rained steadily for almost six hours - sometimes torrentially, but mostly in a quiet, regular drizzle. It soaked the ground, cleared some amount of the dust and pollen out of the air and did a great job of keeping the day much cooler than recent July 4ths.

The walking-in-the-rain came as a result of needing to do way too many loads of laundry. Still, the walks were lovely.

One of my favorite parts of summer rainstorms in New Orleans comes during the just-after snow on the streets and sidewalks and cars and rooftops. Pale pinks and fuschias and pinks so deep they're really purple. It's the gentle pink snow of the seemingly ever-blooming Crape Myrtles. (Of course, for car owners, the tiny colorful blooms from these prolific flowering trees can be more than just ornamental - they can be downright detrimental to a paint job if left on a car in the ensuing, post-shower bright sun.)

Lucky for us, the sun was denied the chance to come out for the rest of the day. The clouds parted just after the sun finished setting, making for a comfortable evening for fireworks.

About three-quarters of the way through the display up on the Mississippi River, the barges each shot up aerial shells that exploded white-gold, far bigger than any of the previous ones - with comet trails reaching almost back to the water. I've always been most fond of those shells. Tonight, for the first time in many years, the image of those explosions took me way back...

Mommy, that one looks like a giant Chrysanthemum!

That's right! But, do you know that word?

Oh, I think it's in one of Daddy's books in the kitchen. It's that flower with lots and lots of white petals called a Chrysanthemum, right?

Yes, that's right...(Mom shook her head, a bit stupefied.)

I was only 4 1/2 years old at the time. I could always be found with my nose in a book, even if I couldn't read it.

It didn't occur to me until many years later that everyone didn't read all the time, just for the hell of it. I consider myself fortunate to come from a family of readers - as the youngest of 5 kids, I saw my siblings reading all the time for school. Dad devoured Zane Grey novels while Mom's penchant was for biographies. National Geographic played a huge part in my upbringing, not in just the subscriptions of their signature periodical and World, we owned seemingly every hardback NG book known to humankind in the later 70's. Chrysanthemums...

While I still love to read very much, there never seems to be enough time. Any suggestions for some good summer reading - after I consume the last Harry Potter book next weekend? What are y'all reading?

8 comment(s):


I also love to read. I'm currently reading Jane Green Second Chances, major chik lit, don't think it's your sped. But, I highly reccomend Jodi Picoult 19 minutes. She normally writes chic lit but this one is about a school shooting. It's one of the best books I've ever read, but I hated the ending.

Jenn in Holland

This was great Ken! I love the desription of pink snow. And Chrysanthemum is such a great word. Do you know the children's book about her?
Speaking of reading, I will be keeping pace with you next weekend, as I eat up the forthcoming wizarding book. Can't wait.
I just finished one by Lionel Shriver called We need to talk about Kevin
Incredible prose. Absolutely chilling.
(We are working on a theme here with recommendations, as this one like Jodi's is also about a school shooting.)

soccer mom in denial

I have yet to read a single HP book (still love me?). I just missed the boat since the boys were still in the midst of Goodnight Moon when it came out.

I'm reading a book set where we vacationed last month. I'm on the fence if I'll be recommending it.

Flower Child

Just finished "The Spellman Files" given to me by my mother-in-law (she always gives me books about women looking for love - what does that mean?). Have started on "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Woman has crisis and goes to Italy for pleasure, India for devotion and Indonesia for both. Very funny writing - not as melodramatic as I expected, which I love! Planned to recommend it to SMID - consider it done!

Fourier Analyst

Found you via SMID, who I have so much in common with so I figure you must also be a good bet! Right now I'm re-reading HP5 to prepare for seeing the movie this week. Looking forward to HP7, but will have to read it aloud to my DDs. N'orlins is/was one of my favorite cities, and I told my best girlfriend long ago that if I ever ran away from home she could look for me in the French Quarter. That was some 25 years ago, so I am overdue for a visit. Hope it hasn't lost too much to Mother Nature's revenge. Have a bunch of inlaws of inlaws (outlaws?) in that neck of the woods. They say things are slowly improving but another big storm would be devastating, even if it isn't a strong hurricane.

Love your imagery. Gosh I miss crepe myrtles. And fireworks. Now I'm homesick (sniff). Be back soon.

soccer mom in denial

Need to tell Flower Child I already read Eat Pray Love. I'm ambivalent about it. While I loved the principle, the fact that she really got to live that life for a year has me insanely jealous. And I read how rich she is from the book.... etc.... wallow wallow wallow.

So you've got high speed and haven't posted in what like A DAY!

Jenn in Holland
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenn in Holland

uh, yeah, Ken? Where's your dang post from your dang hi-speed connection? dangit.

Eat, Pray, Love was lovely, but I understand Allison's green eyed jealousy over the expedition. What I don't understand is her delay in reading the HP books. While the pretense was that I was reading them TO my kids, the actuality is that they have been my favorite reads! I will have to be fighting off my daughter for a chance with #7. I may have to hide away in a closet or something. A Harry Potter closet, perhaps?


I gave you a little something, but you have to come over to my place to see what it is. :)

(that was me before. I removed the first comment so I could add the extra sass about SMID)

  © Blogger template 'Minimalist E' by 2008

Back to TOP