Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Trip - Preparing for Part III

I'm sitting here looking out the window, watching the rain bounce off the roof next door. My plan was to leave this weekend to go back to my mom's house in Texas, but Somebody sent three back-to-back storms at Southern California.

I've put Rain-X on my windshield, my tires are almost new, and I've driven in rain before. This time, though, the wind advisory warnings for mountain passes gave me pause. I didn't know what elevations would freeze or get snow, and there are some passes to cross before I get out of California. So I decided to wait out the storms.

Yesterday morning, when I went outside, I rescued seven earthworms that were floundering on the driveway. They must have thought they'd drown if they stayed in the ground, but if they didn't leave the driveway (and didn't get run over), they'd either drown in a puddle or shrivel up and die on the cement. So I picked them up (yes, I touched them) and flung them back onto the grass. The rain had slowed to a heavy drizzle, so the grass seemed less of a threat than it was before.

My driveway was also littered with palm tree seeds that the wind must have blown off the roof--the palm trees in our neighborhood were taken down about two years ago, and I didn't know there were any seeds left. So when I get back from this loop of the trip in February, I'll have to check the flower bed and lawn to be sure I don't have new palm tree sprouts trying to establish themselves. The good thing about the sprouts is that they're easy to identify and to pull out.

The wind had littered the streets around town with the ends of tree branches, dead palm fronds, crushed tumbleweeds, knocked-over garbage cans, and soggy cardboard boxes. And even though I was out during a lull in the rain, the storms kept the lines short at the post office (putting my mail on vacation hold), at the Toyota dealer (oil change), and at the pharmacy. I love it when it rains.

Today I'm trying to finish wrapping up the last-minute tasks at home and then pack, but I keep getting distracted. I'll be working on one thing and then notice something else I need to take care of, and the first one gets set aside. I remember hearing a joke about old ladies with that kind of problem, but it's not very flattering if I say it reminds me of me, so I won't be telling it.

I need to finish up my break and get back to work. Things always take longer than expected, and I don't expect packing to be quick, but time will tell.


Malott said...


Rescuing earthworms? Very PETAesque... You might be up for a "faces in the crowd" kind of award.

In the movie "The Way WE Were" an old woman tells B Streisand that the palm trees were dying because they were brought to California... That they didn't really belong there... Had something to do with the Streisand character not belonging in Hollywood.

Is that true? They aren't included in the natural flora for the area?

Bekah said...

You are a good person to rescue earthworms. I mostly dodge them and shiver when I miss and step on one.

SkyePuppy said...


Faces in the Crowd Award? Are you sure you're not a secret PETA member? How else would you know things like that?

No idea about the palm trees. They were already here the first time I came to California (1959--I was too young to remember). What I know is that rats like to live in them, and palm branches frequently fall off and hit things and cause damage (the liability is why they yanked them all out around here).

Bekah (and Chris),

Rescuing earthworms is something I did when I was a kid. Earthworms are not bugs. I step on bugs, but earthworms are to be pitied. Their brains are too tiny to figure out how to get back to the dirt after it rains. So they need some help.

I haven't rescued any--or even seen any that needed it--in eons. This time, though, there were too many to ignore. The carnage would have been too great, so I had to act.

janice said...

You don't look like the PETAesque type.

WOW, yanking the palms is sorta like banning peanut butter in school. Never heard about rats living in the trees though. Do they live in dead trees or living ones?

janice said...

Also, you didn't mention where you're going next.

SkyePuppy said...


I've heard that rats hide out in the tops of palm trees (probably living trees) during the day then come out at night to do their rat-thing. Personally, I've never seen a rat. Just possums, which have that rat-like hairless tail. Eeeww!

One must be diligent with palm tree sprouts (like the baobab trees in The Little Prince). When I first moved in, the sellers had let a rogue sprout grow next to the house until it was about a foot in diameter and was threatening the siding. My first act as an owner was getting someone to dig the thing up. I won't let rogue palm trees happen on my watch.

SkyePuppy said...


Right now, I'm going back to my mom's house in Texas. We'll leave on our Southern Loop next weekend.

SkyePuppy said...


I looked up the palm trees. Only the California Washingtonia (fan palm) is native here. All the rest are imports.