21. March 2005 · Comments Off on The Flowers That Bloom In the Spring, Tra-La! · Categories: Domestic, General

I have spotted the first blue-bonnet in bloom in my neighborhood, a single lonely specimen in a patch of assorted wildflowers where the little streamlet meanders from top to bottom of the development. There is a largish patch of them coming up amidst the grass in an empty tract of land along Stahl road, unmistakable harbingers of spring. Very soon there will be acres of them in bloom up in the Hill Country, followed by herds of photographers, and a couple of double-page features of them in the local newspaper. It’s a Texas thing, going ga-ga over the bluebonnets and other wildflowers every year, but it’s a much healthier obsession in the long run than high school football. I may even encourage bluebonnets in that part of my garden given over to native plants and flowers, assuming there the two Arizona trash-trees allow enough sunshine underneath.

I’ve been much too busy the last two weekends cleaning up after the hail-storm two weeks ago; so has everyone else. The curb is piled high with bundles and bags for trash pickup: the hail came down the size of marbles and golf balls, knocking down sticks and leaves by the pile. Some of the trees are now looking very lop-sided, with all the leaves stripped off their outer branches. The concrete sidewalks and driveways are freckled with pale little blotches, where the hail-stones struck, and all the local auto-repair places have suddenly sprouted extra signs touting hail-damage repair. Signs from different roofing contractors are also sprouting in the yards through-out the neighborhood. A friend from church said she had counted no less than seven different companies and contactors’ pickup-trucks with ladders hanging out of the truck-bed cruising the side streets as thick as fleas. It seems to have been a very tightly-focused storm; outside the immediate impact area, it was just another ordinary thunderstorm. My neighbors who were caught at home by it all said it was quite terrifying. The noise of it was incredible, and it went on for ten or fifteen minutes.

I did not think there had been much more than superficial damage to the garden; I thought my roof had escaped serious damage. Many of the other houses in the neighborhood looked like they had great dark smears or shadows on the weather side of their asphalt-shingled roofs. There were also a number of broken windows, and vent-covers, and supposedly someone’s patio roof gave way. I didn’t have any broken windows, and I couldn’t see any new damage to the screens that couldn’t be accounted for by the cats, and astonishingly enough, the fiber-glass over the back porch was un-perforated. But this weekend, and last weekend I talked to all my neighbors, and the up-shot is that we are all going to get new roofs. The insurance adjuster just told me that she is doing up the damage estimate for my house, and yes, I need one also… so, that is what I am working on this week! One of the neighbors, whose house is next to Judy’s is a roofing contractors, and it looks like he is doing bids for all of us, up and down the street. It would be great if he could just stage all the materials at once, and just go from house to house, all at once, and give us a bulk discount. My insurance adjuster says it might be a very good idea to hire him anyway; after all, if he does a bad job, I know where he lives….

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