June, and the rains of May keep revisiting...
You remember all that yard work I was talking about last month? Well,
it has rained almost every day since I wrote those words. Instead of
planting a garden, I'm starting to believe that I should have been
building a boat! Well, maybe it isn't as bad as I make it sound, but we
have had a flood watch in effect for several weeks now. The ground is
so saturated that new rain can't soak into it--water just pools until
it gets deep enough to find a path to race downhill. When it does, it
takes every loose grain of dirt with it, carving new channels into the
soft, wet ground. It also piles debris up against anything that gets in
its way. One storm last week tried the bury the chain-link fence in the
back yard. Seemed like every pine cone and twig from one neighbor's
woods next door got washed up against our fence. And in Georgia, that
means an awful lot of pine cones.
But there is some good news. To wit: My wife and I have
managed to whip the yard into shape, plant a few tomatoes, a couple of
peppers, and we have several new flowers and shrubs and herbs
to plant near the patio. My wife has been spending all her spare time
while I'm away at work making the yard look beautiful. She doesn't seem
to be willing to allow the lawnmower to cool off--and any sprig of
kudzu she sees is well aware that she will uproot it as soon as it
dares to show itself. I'm in the middle of building a little shelter
for our anti-social outdoor cat. I've got most of the frame up, and I'm
just about ready to put the roof on and get the interior shelving put
up. While I'm working I'm reminded of some of the stories I've read
where the character spends a lot of time building things or gardening
before the next plot twist shows up. Waiting on the proverbial "next
shoe" to drop, as it were.
We're also gearing up for LibertyCon, in Chattanooga, later this month.
If you haven't already got a membership and a room reservation, it's
too late to plan to go this year. The con is sold out, the hotel is
full, and all you can do now is plan to go next year. It's a fun
convention, basically a relaxi-con. Memberships are limited to 700-odd
people by design. The ConCom has no intention of allowing it to grow so
huge that it becomes a rival for Dragon*Con--it's meant to be, and
functions as, an event for writers and fans to get together and have a
good time. When you get there, it feels like a family runion--hugs all
around, parties everywhere, discussion panels and meet & greet
sessions, publishers and writers and fans and artists just kicking back
and having a good time. If you've ever been to anhy convention in
Chattanooga, chances are you've already met most of the folks who run
LibertyCon or are regular attendees. Good people, all of 'em. I highly
Other events this Summer will be a family reunion in mid-July up North
of Knoxville, BBQs here at Casa Vila (weather permitting), spoiling
grandchildren, gardening, and just generally having a good time.
All right, it's about time I shut up and let y'all get to reading the
fifth issue of Aphelion of 2018! Enjoy!
Title:Glowing stellar nurseries
Photo Credit: ESO/APEX/DSS2/ SuperCosmos/ Deharveng(LAM)/ Zavagno(LAM)