Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Watch Where You Are Going!

While Hurricane (Tropical Storm)  Harvey has been pummeling Houston and the Texas-Louisianna Gulf Coast, we here in the central valley of California have been having our own little weather drama.

A fountain sprouts into the air within a paved area. Around the paved area are tall trees and bushes. Some buildings can also be seen in the trees.
Fountains at Fresno City College

Normally here the temperatures are falling slowly from the upper 90's towards the mid 90's. We all usually breathe a sigh of relief at the chance to breathe some of the air again without feeling our lungs shrivel and dry at each breath. Not this year as the last week of August has come, temperatures have soared into the 109 degree Fahrenheit realm.

IRecently I enrolled at Fresno City College,  I am taking a Creative Writing class, just two mornings a week but this means that I am out from before seven in the morning until past noon.

The heat of the middle of the day is  a major problem for Leif my Guide Dog (Follow him on Facebook)

Temperatures over 90 degrees mean a sidewalk can be over 120 degrees. So to prevent burned paws, I have been leaving Leif at home, cool and safe in the air conditioning.

For me it is back to the cane for at least the next week. High temperatures are still in the forecast for the first week of September.

It is amazing how many people  notice that Leif is not by my side. My English teacher for instance  has hardly had time to be able to put a name to most of the class members, but on my arrival in class with a cane wanted to know where Leif was, was he ok? Then was much relieved that it was only as a precaution, to save Leif from injury from hot sidewalks that he was missing.

On the other hand I also got to meet the "I am busy texting as I walk kid".  White canes are like a magnet for this person. Head down, usually male but that is not always so, he marches around. Blind to the world around him until he suddenly finds himself astride my cane, nose heading towards the sidewalk. Most times just a quick stumble on his part. He will then turn and spout the immortal line

"Look the F@#$ where you are ..."

His voice may trail off but you get the idea. I the blind guy should look where I am going, sorry chum, that is why I use a cane, or dog, to look where I am going and to tell YOU that I cannot see where I am going.

I actually love them. In my head I tick a little box, call it ten points. One hundred points or whatever for satisfaction before moving on.

I must say though, I miss taking my dog along. A cane is ok, but you cannot talk to your cane.

Well you can, but I don't advise it. People think you are crazy.


The ten day weather forecast gives little respite from the heat, so I could be leaving Leif at home for a couple of weeks. No fun for either of us really.