It hadn’t rained all month and everything was dead and ravens squawked. Letting the “yard” go back to Nature wasn’t going to make another house show up, but I’d given it a good shot—now we had a fire hazard, and I couldn’t find the hose. At the same time, the weather was a little out of bounds for seven thousand feet: low nineties (33°C), single-digit humidity, gusty winds out of the west. It went on like this for quite a while. What with the temperature inside the old adobe never getting out of the sixties, even with the doors and windows open, I knew where to be, and the cutting and the raking took about ten days. My wife was gone the whole time visiting in Minneapolis. I’d do a little work and take a nap and every other cycle have a snack, but mostly sit here in the coolness by the screen door, listening to the birds and checking news on Twitter, wondering if we had a chance.