What the Rain Brings

It’s Spring and I’m ready for rain. I am not a farmer, nor am I married to one, so the amount of rainfall we get does not necessarily have an impact on my livlihood…unlike most of my neighbors…but it certainly has an impact on my strawberries, my flowers, my well.

I like rain. Growing up in Washington and Oregon, it’s a good thing I do. When it does rain around here, I feel like I’m back in the Pacific Northwest. I find myself thinking about ferry boats. About arks and Noah. About the immeasurable (and unlauded) patience of his wife.

When it REALLY rains around here – 5 inches in a few hours kind of rain – I find myself looking out the window every 20 minutes, unable to tear myself away from the spectacle taking place in the back yard, that of the stream creeping across the grass, devouring the asparagus with muddy, cold fingers, forcing the beavers from their dam and the children from their playhouse . The normally passive, unimpressive stream becomes a multi-dimensional river, rushing into Iowa, taking corn stalks and precious dirt along with it.

Our flooded back yard...last time we got some serious rain.

I wear my pink, polka-dotted rain boots in the wet season and I measure the rain in our clear plastic rain gauge. (Bizarrely, none of my family in WA own rain gauges. Well, at least not that I ever saw. Maybe it a farm-land thing?) We bought a rain gauge within a month of moving to the country, because we learned quickly that, “How much rain did you get?” was a question as important as, “How ‘bout them Vikings?” (Which, by the way, is a question I have no opinion on…but if you ask me about the Oregon Ducks, I’ll have a few thoughts to share!) So, in order to fit in, we bought the gauge and entered the competitive world of “Rainfall Measurement” which, though it does not qualify as an Olympic sport, really ought to for the sheer excitement of it all.

My famous rain gauge.

For example, did you know that someone half a mile away can get, say, half an inch more than you? (Ahhh, the agony of defeat!) Or that water left in a gauge when it’s below freezing will crack the plastic? (I thought it would expand UPWARDS if it froze. It doesn’t. It expands OUTWARDS. I am not scientist nor the daughter of a scientist.) When I went back to the hardware store to buy a new one, I bought the “Giant-Number, Extra-tall, Super-Neon, Number-one-Winner Rain Gauge”. It was what my trainer said I should get.

I live for rainfall now.

I even have a CD called “Summer Storm”…for the off-season. But the truth of the matter is, rain makes me feel like I’m back on Orcas Island, in Washington State. Which, while it hasn’t been home for 26 years, still stirs those comfort-endorphins in my body at the very thought of it. Yes, rain makes me feel cozy.

Except when it just makes me feel wet.

And in those times, when rain is nothing more than an annoyance, and all my Olympic Rain Gauge training is for naught; when I can’t see pictures in the clouds because there’s just too darn many of them…those are the days when my daughter and I find pictures BETWEEN the clouds. Pictures in the blue.

Maybe, if we’re lucky, it will become an Olympic Sport.

6 thoughts on “What the Rain Brings

  1. You are quite right on that competitiveness in reporting rainfall amounts. You are a quick study. I remember how my dad, a farmer, always complained that Echo to the north got more rain than Vesta, where we lived. We definitely need rain. That’s for sure.

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