Dark clouds moved swiftly across the late summer sky. From deep within the darkness the rumbling sounds of thunder echoed across the land ahead of the approaching storm. It was the kind of thunder you could feel clear down into your bones as its rumbling increased within the racing clouds overhead. Lillian Bovey stepped down from the front porch in her bare feet onto the dry, red clay soil. She knew the rains were coming and she loved to stand and feel each drop as it descended from the dark clouds. She loved the heavy rains during the hot, dog days of southern Georgia. Her pulse quickened as she stood waiting by the old cistern in the front yard. But her pulse not only quickened for the rains to fall, but for Willie-Boy to come in from the fields as the storm approached the old farm house. Without warning the first heavy drops of rain began to fall as she turned her face towards the darkness. She took her hands and pulled back her wet dark hair as now she watched coyly as Willie-Boy slowly came toward her in the falling rain. He smiled as he took her into his strong arms. Neither said a word as Willie-Boy leaned over to give her a
Now that I have your attention, let's talk about our Summer of Rain. Most likely Tennessee Williams would have completed the above line with a romantic kiss in the pouring rain. Or maybe Stephen King would have completed it with both lovers being struck by lightning that turned their lives into some unworldly event with pouring rain. But, for me I will think about this summer and the days of rain in the Ohio Valley and how it affects each of us. I know you're still wondering about Willie-Boy and Lillian, well maybe I'll tell you what happens a little later.
The summer of 2013 will go down in the weather books as the summer that the rains came to the Ohio Valley. A short time ago, we went for almost three weeks with rain falling every day. Some days were filled with drenching downpours. Other days it rained just enough to dampen outdoor activities we have planned.
It does not seem so long ago when last summer; we endured hot temperatures and the dry skies that dominated our summer weather. We all remember the terrible quick passing summer storm that blew down trees and power lines that kept us without electricity for days. No electric and terrible heat made the days long and uncomfortable for us all. Most likely many offered prayers for cooling rain and better temperatures last summer.
But this year, we have all the rain we could ever want. The good thing about this summer's rain is they have not contributed to major flooding of local streams for the most part. Well, there was a heavy local rain about a month ago when my garden disappeared below muddy waters and the bridge to my house was covered. My bridge survived, my garden did not. The once neatly kept garden with my hopes of good crops of beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers became a lost cause. The once pristine garden now looks like a jungle scene for a Tarzan movie. The ground beneath the growth of weeds is still deep with dampness and mud. The almost daily rains have kept the movie set green and growing with giant weeds.
I had hoped my fruit trees would have the best season ever. My bees have done a good job pollinating the early spring blooms and for the first time in many years they showed signs of a good harvest this season. Now, the damp conditions have begun to take a toll on the fruit while it still hangs on the trees. The fruit that my wife and I watched over are now shriveling and splitting before ripening. My dreams of peach pies and peach crisp have withered as much as the peaches have this rainy season.
Those who have potatoes still in the ground wonder if the wet soil will cause the spuds to rot before they can be harvested and made into mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. Anyone whose garden is prone to being harmed by too much rain has most likely lost much of these seasons' crops.
By August, yards are often dry and slow growing in the late season hot sun. The weekly job of cutting the grass could go a little longer in the late days of summer. But this year the rain has kept the grass growing, causing us to mow our yards more often. That is unless you want to rake your grass cuttings by delaying the mowing job.
Around the country we see on the nightly news, flooding in the middle of the country. In the south-west dry windy conditions are helping to create massive wild fires that destroy life and homes. Some say it is the result of global weather changing and man is the cause. Others say, Mother Nature is having a bad decade. Either way the weather is something we cannot control or even forecast acutely. I know, the weather men have radar, satellites, and computers. With all these things it still comes down to looking outside and seeing what is happening above the far hills to the west.
In a few weeks the summer of 2013 will be only a page in weather books. Little will be remembered about this rainy season by the time we slice our Thanksgiving turkey. But as we put away our umbrellas, remember this type of summer weather helps to keep our ground water supplies high. The rains keep our creeks and rivers flowing during Dogs Days. The fresh supply of water prevents stagnant warm water that is low in oxygen from damaging fish. Rain helps the next generation of fish to grow stronger and benefit the local sportsman.
Mother Nature is a little smarter than all of us. She has managed for a great long time to vary the weather patterns and each benefits a different part of our world. It is just too bad she could not have helped my fruit trees this year. I will have to accept that I cannot change the weather or save my peaches, so I will buy peaches for my pies and hope the weather men get it right most of the time.
Neither said a word as Willie-Boy leaned close and gentle kissed Lillian as the warm summer rain fell. Just my luck, Willie gets the girl and a kiss. She probably had a bushel of Georgia peaches waiting for him too. Enjoy the summer of 2013, even if the Summer of Rains sometimes spoiled our fun times outside. And take a moment to remember back to a time when you and someone special may have stood in the rain and felt the warmth of someone's kiss as we look back Thru the Lens.