Thursday, April 10, 2008

10:00 pm. Rebel Rivers Eve.

Should be packing, but had to sit down, wash a glass, and watch the storm come.

There is less talk of "northers" these days. People sit softly at ten fifteen in the evening and watch while a bacon vender points to highs and lows and fronts on a chart, and then they go to the wall to twirl their thermostats, and perhaps the windows rattle a little in the night, but that's about all. . . In the country, though, a front is a fact still. There it's a blue line along the horizon, and a waiting, sweaty hush, and a hit like a moving wall, and all of life scurrying for the southern lee of things. There it's a battening down, an opening of hydrant valves, a checking of young and valuable stock, a walking across the swept lots with a flashlight, a leaning against the hard-shoving cold, a shuddering and creaking of old, tall, frame houses. There it's a norther, and there someone always, inevitably, rightly, cracks the old one about there being nothing between West Texas and the Pole except a bob-wire fence.

Goodbye to a River, p. 99


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