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We have one tomato growing on our vines at the back of the garden. A little green pumpkin-shaped thing that seems to be surviving only because of the purple umbrellas we’ve hung over the top of the lattice. The sun is too hot. Most of the flowers were drying out before they even finished opening. In the evening, geckoes crawl through their leaves as we water the roots, trying to give them a little life after sustaining another 100F day. I’m dreaming of right-off-the-vine Caprese salad. Fresh tomato pasta sauce. Nothing but salt and balsamic vinegar from Modena. The heat is stealing it away from us. I just pray for thunderstorms. Bring on the hail. Let the rivers flood a bit and bring back some life into this smoldering city. The air has stopped moving. It feels like sandpaper on your skin. I wonder if the figs will be ok this year. Those are my thoughts. Not of what I’m going to bring to the 4th of July barbeque tomorrow, but if there will be a good fig season this summer. I hope it’s a good fig season.

The air conditioner drones above my head and the floor fan hisses near the door to the bedroom. Tomorrow we’re heading out into Chianti. I wonder if the vineyards are ok, how well the harvest will go this year with all this scorching. I cross my fingers that the hills are still as rolling green as they were when I walked through the vines in April and watched their first leaves appear. If they’re golden, we’re in terrible trouble. We’re heading back out to Panzano for hamburgers with friends who are in town. So in that sense, I’ll still have the regular meal that I’ve had for most of my life on July 4th, but this year it’s in Chianti with a jug of Chianti instead of a Budweiser beer, and I’m absolutely ok with that. And if a thunderstorm happens to pass through, it’d only brighten the day.

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