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Showing posts from September, 2018

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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Chilly and wet this morning. My wife says we've got high water again in the lower part of the neighborhood. What else is new. Our little tuxie doesn't like wet weather. Wasn't sure she'd willingly come outside with me. However, she knew before I did that her rival, the orange tabby across the street, was attempting an incursion.

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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Got outside late this morning. Missed the mom walkers and morning joggers. But I did catch these guys staging a raid on the shrubs across the street.

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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Our little tuxie declined to join me. Too wet for her outside this morning. Big Dog Rodney agreed to come out, but I think he was just humoring me. He hemmed and hawed, but only for a moment. He wanted back indoors almost immediately.

Fall - Why This Ain't Necessarily It, Chief

The breeze that kicked up outside my front door Friday morning signaled the end of summer. I noticed the hint of a chill as the air washed over me when I took my coffee out to the stoop. While sipping from the mug in my hands, I noted leaves on the ground across the street. The breeze had worked some of them loose from a tree that's situated at the back corner of my neighbor's home. They are now splayed lifeless on the roof and have spilled onto the ground at the tree's foot.  Until now, I never really thought about how quickly leaves turn brown when they are cutoff from the source that kept them vibrantly green and alive through a long, hot summer. Soon, they will be so dry they will crumble at the touch. Those that don't disintegrate naturally will likely get chewed up by lawn mowers while the grass is still growing. The rest will eventually get bagged and carried off by city workers whose job is to help keep our neighborhoods tidy. The autumnal equinox i

Last Of The Summer Coffee On The Front Stoop

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The tree in front of our house felt the cool breeze a few seconds before I did. I noticed its branches sort of puff themselves up in unison. Then I got the hint of a chill. Today is the last day of summer. The autumnal equinox is tomorrow. Here is a helpful guide from Vox . As I noticed the breeze working the first leaves loose from the trees across the street, our little tuxie turned up out of nowhere. Perhaps the prospect of the change in seasons made her energetic. She scurried up our tree's trunk and showed off her flying skills.

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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Actually, no coffee for me. Worked the newsroom overnight. Just as well. It's wet. Thanks, Florence. As I pulled into the neighborhood, I caught the deer family staging an attack. Took a few pictures for evidence in case there is a criminal investigation. Click on the pic for a better view.

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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Still dark when I got out on the stoop this morning. Wasn't long before one of the neighborhood dog walkers passed by, with a headlamp lighting the way. Better to be seen by early morning commuters. Our little tuxie abandoned me. She went with my wife and our Big Dog Rodney on their morning walk. The orange tabby across the street - our tuxie's bitter rival - took the opportunity to come visit me. He ended  up wallowing at my feet. I rewarded his antics and fed him breakfast.

I Might Need A New Lawn Mower Before Florence Is Done

The high water problems we've been having in my neighborhood this week are nothing compared to what's happening in the Carolinas, where Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday morning. Hundreds of thousands are without power as winds howled this weekend, pushing the ocean into the streets of coastal communities. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper described Florence as an "uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave," when he spoke to my NPR newsroom colleagues. Both North and South Carolina are getting soaked. And forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami have been warning for days of "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding." Although the situation here in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle pales in comparison, high water has been a problem for much of the summer. It's been unusually wet. Just this week, one of my neighbors ended up with nearly four feet of water in his basement. We are almost certain to get more rain fr

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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The stoop remains wet, but it's not like I'm dealing with Hurricane Florence. The big storm was making landfall in the Carolinas when I stepped outside this morning to watch the neighborhood wake up. Initially, our little tuxie was nowhere to be found, so Big Dog Rodney kept me company. He was just home from his customary morning walk with my wife. When the cat finally turned up, she was not amused to find she'd been usurped.  

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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Another wet morning, but at least it's not raining. The neighborhood can't handle it.  Our local newspaper, The Journal, is reporting that nearly 19-and-a-half inches of rain have fallen in Martinsburg since the beginning of August and that the water table has reached its capacity - obvious for those who've been pumping water out of their basements. At least worries about Hurricane Florence are easing around here. Forecasters now expect the storm to stay south of us. Can't blame my neighbors for remaining on guard, though.  Our little tuxie doesn't like wet weather, but she doesn't like being cooped up inside even more. Here she is surveying her domain this morning. 

Google Helpfully Made a Video Of The High Water In My Neighborhood

Thanks, Google! This short clip you put together from the pictures and video I took this week of the high water in my neighborhood is just what I needed. You even set it to a catchy tune! I feel so much better now. Can't wait to show the neighbors, some of whom are still working to drain their basements ahead of even more rain from Hurricane Florence.

Latest On The High Water In My Neighborhood

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44 inches. Nearly four feet. That's a lot of water to pump out of a basement. While I was on a walkabout with our Big Dog Rodney today, I ran into my neighbor, Dave. He was sitting in a folding chair, watching water gush from a heavy duty hose. "44 inches," Dave said as Rodney and I approached him. "We had 44 inches total in our basement." Dave's house is just the latest in our Martinsburg, WV neighborhood unable to keep the water out. It's been so wet this summer, that hoses draining water from homes have become a regular feature of my walks with Rodney. The good news? Although Rodney and I got our feet wet because water is still ponding, the road through the lower part of our neighborhood is passable once again, even though the sign says it's still closed. My neighborhood is just one of the areas around town dealing with high water. Our local newspaper, The Journal , is quoting the Martinsburg Fire Department as saying the

Panoramic View Of The High Water In My Neighborhood

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Just got back from taking our Big Dog Rodney for a pee. While we were out, I took this panoramic shot of the high water in the lower part of the neighborhood. The deer usually meet just inside the treeline before fanning out to rummage through what's left of our gardens. It's still a drizzly day, but the floodwater has receded even more since this morning. Pretty soon, the people who live in this part of the neighborhood should be able to get to their homes without making a splash.

Morning Coffee On The Edge Of The Neighborhood Lake

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Left our little tuxie inside this morning. Instead, I poured myself some coffee and took our Big Dog Rodney down the street to check on the lake in the lower part of our neighborhood. Part of the road remains overwhelmed by floodwater. And, it's still raining. But the good news is the manhole that was doing a jig yesterday ( see previous post ) is taking a break, although water is still forcing its way to the surface. I suspect the road will soon be passable. If not later today, then certainly tomorrow. We won't have much time to dry out, though. Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic is shaping up to be a doozy. It's expected to make landfall later this week. The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang is warning of a " disastrous amount of rain " if Florence stalls in the Mid-Atlantic. Great. That's just what I needed hear.

The Story Of Our Neighborhood This Summer

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We've lived here in our corner of Martinsburg, WV for more than 13 years. And yes, the water rises from time to time in the lower part of the neighborhood. That's nothing new. This summer, however, has been different. I've lost track of the number of times the water has overwhelmed the road and poured into the well-kept lawns across the street from the low ground where the deer normally meet to plot their attacks on our shrubs.  Old-timers - by that I mean people who have lived in our Briarwood neighborhood for 20 years or more - say the water has never risen this often. Once reliably dry basements aren't so dry anymore. Too bad I don't have a canoe. If I did, I'd start offering tours for a small gratuity. After all, I've got a kid in college and one preparing to go next year. I could use the extra pocket change. To attract tourists, though, we'd have to change the sign at the head of the neighborhood.  I can see it now.  "W

Game Day Coffee On The Front Stoop

Too wet for the stoop. A steady rain this morning washed out that idea.  Instead, I elected to stay dry. I set up shop in the garage, where I unfolded a lawn chair to sit in to welcome the rain. It's bringing cooler temperatures to the neighborhood after enduring days under a blazing hot late summer sun. Trading a T-shirt and shorts for a sweatshirt and jeans seems to be a good idea. Opting for the garage may have kept me out of the rain for the moment, but I'll be getting wet soon enough. It's college football GAME DAY. And with rain remaining in the forecast through tonight, we're headed to Morgantown for West Virginia University's home opener.  For my wife and me, the game is an added bonus instead of the main attraction. We're really going to watch our son and his WVU marching band crew perform their halftime show. It's going to be a wet one. Think I'll add a poncho to my game day wardrobe. 

Burt Reynolds

To this day, there is a big part of me that could chuck everything to drive the big rigs.

Morning Coffee On The Front Stoop

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If you want to know what the weather has been like in my neighborhood this week, look no further than this pic. Our little tuxie insists on spending much of her time outside, but even she has her limits when it comes to heat and humidity.  In other words, you know it's bad if SHE wants inside. She was only out a short time this morning before I heard her wailing.  I was out on the stoop with her earlier, watching her keep tabs on a squirrel that eventually scampered up a tree. But I wimped out sooner that she did. It was already sticky, so I opted to retreat indoors where the AC made coffee drinking bearable. She wasn't far behind. After today we should get some relief. Tomorrow is expected to be some 10 degrees cooler and forecasters are predicting excellent stoop weather this weekend with highs only reaching the mid to upper 60s.  For now, though, the sun is still blazing. But at least I've had much of the week off from the Washington, D.C.,

Morning coffee on the front stoop

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Labor Day. Just checked my weather app. Highs are  expected to soar into the low 90s today. So much for the end of summer. At least, it's not yet humid. In fact, it's quite comfortable. Today may be a holiday, but instead of sleeping in, the morning walkers and joggers are sticking to their routines. Five have already passed by the stoop in the short time I've been out here. The hedge in front our house caught the attention of our little tuxie. It must smell nice to a cat's nose this morning. Either that, or she caught wind of some sort of critter under there and is waiting to pounce.