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Austin, United States

I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...

Summer Heat and the Lottery

We have entered the heat of Summer here in Texas, and there just hasn’t been rain in my part of the city. As a result the critters are suffering. How do I know this? Several unusual events. First, when I went out to creek the other day, I surprised a large turtle sitting in the grass. I’ve never seen him there before. I believe he was moulting, growing a new shell, having outgrown the previous one. But I figured he was getting some relief from water that has not been refreshed in some long time.

Then later in the same day, I was waiting for the bus and munched some Fritos. I put the remainder back in the bag and tucked them away. A few minutes later, a Western Kingbird CAME RIGHT UP TO ME, hovering, flapping his wings and looking at me as though to ask for a Frito. Or maybe he wanted water. But before I could reach for the bag again, he flew to a tree on the other side of the parking lot. I threw a few Fritos out, but he never came back for them. The Grackles got the Fritos. If you don’t know what a Western Kingbird looks like, they have a bright yellow breast and underbelly, contrasted by their gray wings and back. I have some photos from I think last year. If I get a chance, I’ll look it up and post a link here later. The Kingbirds had nested in my neighborhood that year, but did not come back to it this year. To be honest, to have a Kingbird come up to me so beautifully and hover there was a great thrill. These are beautiful birds. But I worried that they were not getting enough food or water.

It’s also getting to be that time when on most days, by afternoon, I want to hurry away and scuttle under some rock…i.e. air conditioning. But I do have to say that today wasn’t quite as bad as yesterday. There is some fluctuation, and there is a chance of rain next week. These long, hot dry spells are not particularly fun.

But on a positive note, one of my bus friends, a young man who takes classes at the junior college, was telling me he’s taking an acting class. The details he gave sounded quite fun. Quite a switch for him. Last semester he took a philosophy class. I should have signed up for something this summer, but it’s probably fortuitous that I did not.

I’ve been contemplating playing the Lottery. I have a friend who does. I never do. I just contemplate it. I can never part with that one or two dollars. But you never know. Maybe one day this Summer, out of sheer boredom and poverty, I will buy a Powerball ticket, hoping to win big. Like 100 million other people. Gee, when I say that, it doesn’t sound like a good investment. I think I’ll keep my money in my pocket….Meanwhile, my friend has helped fund the winnings of many other people. Haha. But he does sometimes win, and he wins his money back. I don’t know how he does that either. Even if it’s $4 in winnings, that pays for the $2 lottery ticket. Sometimes he wins $20. He said one Texan won $2 million by just getting SOME of the numbers right. Wow. I have to think about that. It’ll be hard to hand over those two bucks, though…. I mean, I could spend the $2 on a great cup of coffee, or a very nice burrito. It could buy one of my fav summer hats, a baseball cap. It could almost buy a 12-pack of sodas. It could buy a ball of cotton yarn. It could buy a box of corndogs. Gee, I don’t know about this. Handing over $2 to the Lottery is scary. What if I don’t win anything? Then I have potentially lost a great cup of coffee, a very nice burrito, a baseball cap, a 12-pack of sodas, a ball of yarn, or a box of corndogs! Dang! How do people decide to blow money on a Lottery ticket? I have to contemplate it….

Well, I did take some photos today, but I haven’t looked at them yet. I will post something before the night is over…probably. But the fields of flowers are gone. The heat has zapped them. I think I have to find something else to photograph…or just start doing something with the photos I’ve already taken. It’s about time. This doesn’t mean nothing is blooming. It means that one must be up early to capture them before they wilt. It means that there are only a few things blooming in a few places. It means that the park flowers are going fast. And now I never see the bunnies. Life is changing, and I still can feel the void. What I need is a change, a new adventure. A vacation. A lottery winning. (The only thing is, you can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket. This causes me some anguish. :)))

But it’s so hot, and I’m so bored, I might actually BUY one!

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