Sunday, April 29, 2012

Raindrops on Roses

I'm no Julie Andrews, so this post concerning my favorite things won't include bright copper kettles, or whiskers on kittens, and certainly not snowflakes on my nose and eyelashes, though I could be tempted by crisp apple strudel.

It's a reprise of many spring evenings past.  An afternoon departure in a chilly wind under a cloudy sky.  Arrival at the destination around cocktail hour....or beer thirty in the parlance of the guys helping us unload the flowers.  Fill the truck with diesel, use the restroom, change drivers.  I pull out of the quick stop, merge onto the highway and point the truck north.  Blake unfolds the magazine he's had stuck in the back pocket of his overalls.  We tune in Bret Baier and Special Report. This is what passes for down time.  The remainder of the drive is our own.

This is one of my favorite things. Chilled and dirty, our dining options are curtailed even in St. Joe.  But the lot behind Panda Express is plenty spacious for a big black pickup and long green trailer; its a quick hike across to the Target after a salty steaming bowl of beef and fried rice.  The Panda may lack ambiance, but speaks the truth about speed.

While I pick up essentials for crunch time at Target, Blake is rousted by North Pointe security..really.  No, we aren't squatters; we are card carrying consumers, but we must look suspicious.  I bring back bags of trail mix, granola, Oreo snack packs, antacids and a cube of diet Dew.  On the run.  A grande and a tall Starbucks for the rest of the trip home. Team trucking.

Time for the ball game.  We tune in first on the station formerly known as KKJO even though we know it won't come in much north of the Nodaway river bottom.  Tonight the clouds have gathered and there is lightning to the north.  The static is thick so we hear about half of the play by play.  No mind; this is part of the ritual. We stick with the broadcast until any vestige of a human voice is obliterated by Mother Nature.  Tonight the Cards are pounding on the Brewers; good news for us, we can catch the last couple of innings when we get home.

The two of us listening to the game on the radio makes the drive less a matter of work and more like being in our living room.  The rain comes down, enough to run the wipers and clean off the accumulated insect matter but not so much to affect visibility.  Tractor lights in the field and the incense of moist earth wafting through the cab are bellwethers for the season.  This is respite; forward movement without haste.

Time enough for tomorrow's itinerary.  Too late to change today. Just rain, baseball, and Blake turning the pages of a yellowed paperback in the passenger seat.

I could almost break into song.

...'Raindrops on roses and...'

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