Summerʼs End

My summer job is finally, fully over. Yesterday The Lovely One and I drove to Des Moines to return the GOV to its real home at USDA APHIS PPQ.* The entire trapping staff was there — seasonal workers (like me), fulltime office staff, seasonalsʼ spouses… everyone.

Each of us received his or her annual work review (mine was quite flattering), reminded ourselves of some governmental policies, and turned in our official documentation and GOV keys. The staff treated us all to a picnic of brats and hamburgers before sending us all home for the chillier months. If funding permits the emerald ash borer (and gypsy moth) survey(s) to continue, I have more short-term work ahead for next spring and summer. Our office head, Rob, also awarded certificates and gifts to memorialize this yearʼs service (and a plaque for one trapper retiring after 21 years and a quarter-million miles in the field). The time spent yesterday in the middle of the state was pleasant and fun.

Rain set in, heavy and ominous amidst the speeding semis on Interstate 80,** as I drove Janetʼs car back eastward — although blue skies popped out, at first just off to our left, north, as we drove in downpour less than a mile from the sunshine, and later, briefly, overhead in Jackson County. We might have missed some of the precipitation if we hadnʼt had to leave Polk County in order to return as early as we could for Janetʼs job, from which she had taken a day off just to drive me home. Once snugly in our house for an evening, we reveled in the novelty of that domestic experience.

Celebration on the Ward — the men joyously imagine a home run, assisting McMurphy to undermine Nurse Ratchedʼs fatal authority.

We hadnʼt had an evening at home since early August, with play practice for One Flew over the Cuckooʼs Nest every weeknight until now. And I spent just about all of September, once the EAB traps had been all taken down, working onstage for former Grand technical director (and general genius) Keith through most of the day.*** With about four or five brief but important exceptions, I was his only volunteer, unhelpfully unskilled as I am. Even with my fumblefingered carpentry, Keith put up an amazing set for opening night last Friday.**** He also crafted outstanding sound effects that really fulfill the wonderful performances of the hugely talented (and hardworking) cast — not to mention Melissaʼs delicate lighting and Dougʼs startlingly perfect special effect.

The wonderfulness of this production is almost enough to keep me thinking about future theatrical endeavors.

My sister Margaret came for the opening weekend, and I hope she enjoyed the show, even with her inefficient hosts being utterly preoccupied and too busy for a proper visit (our conversations mostly stranded during the hours around midnight). We all really should just get together to visit without special events, glad or sad.

However, as the dire gales of autumn wail grayly around the house, thrashing treetops and bushes into barely constrained gyrations and scattering batches of freshly torn-away leaves everywhere, summer things are definitely drawing toward an end…

(Maybe Iʼll find/take the time to write something, finally, now.)

* We both had to go, of course, so that I had a way home once the vehicle I had driven out there was no longer mine to drive. Also, the office staff likes to meet the spouses of the seasonal workers.

** (I-80 really should be three to five lanes each direction all across the county, I sometimes, even often, think)

*** (with rehearsals continuing until sometimes nearly the next day, thus suggesting a reason for the lack of posts to the blog lately)

**** The performances continue and then conclude this coming weekend — Thursday through Sunday.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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