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New Saturday Night

Audio Cassettes
Audio Cassettes

Music filled the Saturday afternoon gap left by Garrison Keillor’s retirement.

Not radio, but music recorded on audio cassette tapes.

It is amazing there is even a player in the house. (There are two that work). The sound quality of this outdated technology was surprisingly good.

While processing vegetables into meals and storage items, I listened to Shaka Zulu and Journey of Dreams by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon. I hit the pause button when I left the room so the tape wouldn’t run out without hearing it.

When Jacque returned home from work we had our first sweet corn meal of the season: steamed green beans and corn on the cob. As they ripen, tomatoes will replace green beans. There is nothing like seasonal Iowa sweet corn. I made a cucumber-tomato salad as accompaniment using a recipe found by googling on-hand ingredients.

The Saturday kitchen produced a gallon of vegetable soup, refried bean dip, daikon radish refrigerator pickles and sweet pickles made with turmeric. Outside was hot and humid although nowhere near as oppressive as the summer of 2012 when we had record drought.

On Friday Donnelle Eller posted an article about corn sweat at the Des Moines Register. Corn and soybean plants, which cover Iowa farmland, transpire moisture. During pollination and ear formation as much as 4,000 gallons of water per acre of corn is released into the atmosphere daily, making it feel humid. There were a number of articles about corn sweat in the media last week.

What makes this year different is not corn sweat. The first half of 2016 was Earth’s hottest year on record. This impacts the hydrology cycle, change in which is a primary manifestation of climate change. With global warming the atmosphere can hold more moisture until a precipitating event makes a rainstorm. It is more often a gully-washer.

The high winds and heavy, short-duration rain have become more frequent in recent years. This week a storm caused significant damage to the garden. In addition to losing the Golden Delicious apple tree, the cucumber towers blew over uprooting about half of the pickling cucumber plants. The Serrano pepper plants blew over, breaking the stalk of one near the ground. The high deer fence blew down and deer got into the kale and pepper patch by jumping the low fence. The cherry tomato plants blew over, however I was able to upright and re-stake them without damage.

Climate change is real, it is happening now. It is time to act to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Political Event with Tim Kaine at Bob and Sue Dvorsky's home in Coralville, Iowa on Aug. 17, 2010
Tim Kaine at Bob and Sue Dvorsky’s home in Coralville, Iowa on Aug. 17, 2010

Hillary Clinton announced Senator Tim Kaine would be her running mate this weekend. Friends were posting photos all weekend from the August 2010 event he attended in Coralville. If he wasn’t the center of attention then, as the photo suggests, he will be now.

I’m torn about viewing the Democratic National Convention this week. Hopefully key speeches will be available for viewing afterward and I can avoid social media enough to think clearly about what Hillary Clinton says.

As Sunday begins, I’m not sure listening to recorded music will adequately replace Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. It’s here. It’s what I can do to sustain our lives in a turbulent world.

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