Thursday, April 18, 2013

April showers

I like listening to rain falling on a tent when I’m cuddled up with my dogs, snug and warm and dry inside the tent, with no particular reason to get up any time soon.

I like listening to rain falling against the house windows before dawn, knowing I can roll over and burrow back into the blankets and not have to get up yet.

I like watching the rain falling in silver veils across the fields, blurring the outline of the stone church in the distance, while I sit in  my recliner with a mug of cocoa, Phoenix and my laptop.

But for the love of God, it has rained over 8 inches in the last 9 days at our house. We’ve just experienced nearly 24 straight hours of thunderstorms. (Thank goodness Jamie has lost his hearing entirely because he was happily oblivious amidst the thunder and lightning for the first time in his life.) With all due respect to the devastating drought we experienced last summer and fall, this can stop any time now!

Two people didn’t come to work today because their basements were flooding. One person didn’t come to work because water was dripping through her kitchen ceiling. One person didn’t come to work because flash flooding had closed her road and she couldn’t get to the highway.

The rain is welcome. Don’t get me wrong. I just hope we’re not receiving the entire summer’s allotment in the space of a few weeks. The weather dude on TV this morning said we’re very close to having received triple April’s normal rainfall total and the month is barely half over. The town where I teach classes got 8 inches of rainfall IN ONE DAY.

At class last night, a friend commented, “Remember the drought we had last summer?”

Oddly enough, when our country roads are a quagmire, ditches are full, creeks are running out of their banks, the river is slowly climbing the levee, my kitchen floor is a study in muddy pawprints and the laundry room is piled with wet clothes, no, I don’t remember it at all.

I am really having a hard time relating to last summer when there were huge cracks in the ground (you could see them because the grass was all dead and brown), had a rainfall deficit of nearly 12 inches and our rural water service kept sending out letters requesting customers use water conservation practices because wells were failing.

Mother Nature is at her whack-a-doodle best this spring. Rain remains in the forecast for 3 out of the next 5 days. Snow is in the forecast for one of the days when it’s not raining. I’m starting to feel like we skipped spring and summer and went directly to late November. The Farmer is gnashing his teeth because spring fieldwork is at a standstill.

Our grass is a lovely green, but without warmth it’s not growing. Which is a good thing because it never quits raining long enough to mow it.


Thanks, everyone, for your condolences and expressions of sympathy and understanding at the Farmer’s dad’s death.

The Farmer-In-Law was definitely not a dog person and like several of you mentioned, some people just never “get it” when it comes to interacting with dogs. That’s just who he was. It makes me appreciate the deepness of my relationships with my dogs and the beauty of having them in my life even more.

One of my favorite memories of him was the day he pulled up in front of our house and got out of the pickup. He was eating a sandwich, held in his left hand. Jamie immediately ran over to see if he would share (as if). The Farmer-In-Law raised his sandwich-holding arm high up, Jamie leaped into the air, executed a mid-air pivot I would have LOVED to get in the ring, dropped down into heel position and accompanied the Farmer-In-Law toward the machine shed, heeling perfectly and with total engagement, until I managed to quit laughing long enough to call him back to me. The Farmer-In-Law never had a clue that my dog was WORKING for him.

Silly man. Beautiful dog. Wonderful life.


  1. What a beautiful remembrance of the Farmer-in-Law and Jamie. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. It is such a reminder at the differences in our own species when you watch someone never 'get it' with a dog (or dogs), when it seems crystal clear to you. That was a lovely remembrance of your father-in-law.

    Many hugs to the whole family. It's so hard when someone leaves us, no matter what the reason or when it happens.

  3. That's climate change for ya. Sure wish you could send a bit of rain out here to CA, since we've had hardly any since December, and it probably won't rain again until fall.
    I'm pretty sure that Jaime was executing a schutzhund maneuver with the Farmer-in-Law and that sandwich. I'm sure I've seen something like that on video, only without the sandwich, and the person being escorted is wearing a bite suit.