It’s been brutally hot and humid these last couple of days – two weeks now, and in order to provide at least a bit of shade on the deck for the plants (and the window), I have started to open the umbrella in the morning, leave it open, unless it’s too windy.
Of course, it is always windy here. Breezy at least. A few days ago in the early afternoon, while I was in the studio, I heard a thud which sounded like perhaps the umbrella had tumbled over. Indeed, it had. And, since it is anchored through a hole in the table, taken the table halfway with it, throwing a potted plant on the deck in the process. Wasn’t too hard to right it though.
This morning, since it wasn’t too breezy, I opened the umbrella again and went downstairs to teach. After the lessons, shortly before noon, when I went upstairs, I immediately noticed that something looked different on the deck. The umbrella was gone. Not tilted, not tumbled. Gone. Not there. Gone.
I went out on the deck and looked around: shouldn’t be too hard to spot a big brown opened umbrella lying somewhere.
Our builder, Lon Swift, is at the moment working on two other houses on our block. I saw him weed-whack around one of the houses and went over to ask if he had by any chance seen a big brown umbrella fly through the air and/or land somewhere. He had not but went with me to look around the other houses. Nothing. He went over to the little house under construction, stuck his head in one of the open windows and asked the guys inside if they had seen anything. Nothing.
He went back to weed-whacking and I took another stroll around our block. Walking back up our street, I saw it: the wind had carried the umbrella over our roof and wedged it in a corner by the roof over the entrance. Looked just like Mary Poppins had dropped by and left the umbrella on the roof.
My concern was that the wind would pick it up again and carry it away. It might actually do some damage if it were to land somewhere or slam into something. Not a good idea.
So, back to Lon. I asked if one of his construction crew might have a ladder to get on the roof to retrieve the umbrella. Lon cautioned that the asphalt gets soft in the heat and stepping on the roof might actually leave foot prints – perhaps wait until tomorrow morning when the roof would have cooled down. But after looking at it he saw that where he’d have to step was actually in the shade, so he borrowed a tall ladder from the low house (since our ladder wouldn’t be tall enough), went up on the roof, folded the umbrella up, handed it to me and climbed back down.
The umbrella is now in the garage. Time-out. Put away. Until – at least – maybe, tonight.