Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tornadoes and kitchen cabinets

Both arrived yesterday. It must have been 95 degrees with 98 percent humidity yesterday afternoon, with 0 mph winds, when the two fellows arrived from Spahn & Rose lumber in Dubuque. All I could think when they unloaded box after box of huge, heavy kitchen cabinets was, "What were we thinking." You'd think I'd be more excited by their arrival since I've been looking forward to this day for month. But now I know it'll be at least another week before we can even get them out of their huge boxes and start the installing. Then several weeks after that before we get countertops and applicances.
I just can't imagine how all this stuff is going to fit into the kitchen. Sure, right now lots of it is cardboard now. But 96 inches to the top of the cabinets? Ridiculous.
Anyway, there we are. Hopefully this is just a case of buyer's remorse.
So after the lumber store fellows left, it got hotter and wetter and stiller. We walked out the back door about 50 feet to sit on the bench overlooking the river. The water, the sky, and the hills were all the same blue-black color. Lightning went from a few spikey slashes across the river to a steady wall-cloud strobe. When we started noticing cloud rotation kicking in we headed back to the upper porch and watched the sky start to turn green-black, that tornadic color I remember so well from days gone by. A few seconds later, sure enough, the tornado siren blew. We came inside and headed to the basement until the siren stopped. Then we watched the TV report of a tornado warning in our area, really between Bellevue and LaMott. It rained all night and some again this morning. Some flooding around the area but no one hurt, that I've learned of. Boy, I'm glad those cabinets arrived today!

Monday, July 18, 2011

We Are Official

You know you really belong in Bellevue, Iowa, when you own a boat. So, for our one-month anniversary, we bought the boat our neighbor John Hoff was offering for sale. It is a King Fisher, 17' fiberglass fishing boat with 3 seats and a 55 hp motor (see photo). Best, it was built the year I graduated from high school. John took us out a few times. First, to show us how the boat ran when were still in the shopping phase. Second, when we took it out for the first time as owners and his insurance-man instincts told him we probably still needed help. He popped up at the boat ramp just as the Bonnie Marie was marooning herself onto the rocks. (NOTE: Hey Bellevue - put in a damn dock, ok?). Since then we've been out twice. Our first solo trip was a bit of a comedy of errors, trying to get her completely off the trailer so we can pull the vehicle out but not so far off that I can barely keep her from being caught up in the Mighty Mo's current (NOTE: Hey Bellevue - oh wait, I already said that). We got better at it when we went out early Sunday morning. After our excursion I was standing thigh deep in the current holding the Bonnie Marie close in while Ron went to retrieve the truck. We were feeling pretty smug that we hadn't bent the trailer frame pulling her out (like we had the last time). Then up came an older fellow (in the truck - dad?) and a younger fellow in the boat (son?). Dad backed the trailer down the ramp; Son stayed in the boat and with a little squeeze of the throttle eased his boat into the trailer stopping the keel right at the place where it gets hooked in to the trailer. They reminded me of a steer-roping team, I must say. A few expert cranks of the wheel and hooking of hooks and they were off. I stood there waterlogged in the river waiting for Ron to come back with our vehicle (Archie had to stop to pee in the poison ivy several times along the route). I said to the expert sailor - you made that look easy. He just smiled and waved. I was glad to hide behind our Wyoming licence plates as an excuse.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sugar Creek, Iowa church social

Last evening we went to a church social on the lawn of the St. Joseph-St Mary Catholic church at Sugar Creek, outside of Preston, Iowa. If that sounds hard to find, it was, rather. It wasn't actually in Preston, and since Sugar Creek isn't on our Iowa map we had to rely on some nice young guys at the gas station to ponder the possibilities and direct us on the right path.
Fantastic beef and pork, wonderful entertainment by the Iowa Corn Fed Girls. The highlight was the actual church. Small, with traditional altar and statuary. The most beautiful station of the cross you can imagine. Marble relief, it appeared. I hope to be allowed to take pictures there. The main point is the emotional wallop seeing the place packed. Before we even opened the door I caught a faint sniff of the incense that took me back to childhood. I could almost feel the bobby pin holding my twice-folded holy veil down to my hair. It was so disappointing many years ago when my childhood church went "modern" and got rid of all but the most subtle artifacts of Catholicism. This place in Sugar Creek - now that's what I call a Catholic church. I brought home a bulletin and will plan to attend a mass there soon. Lots of small Catholic churches in these parts are closing down. How very sad for the communities.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Baby robin on train track

Robin drama - little nearly-flightless fellow on the train track that runs parallel with Second St. here in Bellevue. We were munching ham salad sandwiches while the mom went off in search of worms to regurgitate. Little robin went from curbing along track to down into the rail bed. No perils of Pauline moment really, but we figured if cars along the road weren't an imminent threat anymore, oncoming trains surely would be. Ron the Bird Master plucked little fellow up and with much squawking and flapping (on the part of the robin) got him safely into the yard. More struggling and a bummed out Schipperke later, we all went inside to allow mom to calm back down and inspect her prodigy. All's well for now I think.