“It rained wildly, desperately, as though the sky had something to prove.”

At least it is not raining right now, but the day is still dark and damp. The wind is on and off again. My set of outside lights along the front fence is programmed to turn on at night, but it has been on the last few days triggered by the darkness.

When I was a kid, rainy Saturdays were the worst. I couldn’t ride my bike or go to the woods and the swamp. In the winter I had the matinee, but this time of year I filled my Saturdays with roaming all over town and window shopping in the square. Rain ruined all my plans.

In the field below my house I used to try to fly a kite. I’d run fast and far holding on to the frame hoping the wind would take it. Sometimes I’d get my kite airborne only to have it down-nose into the field. Seldom did it soar. I used to buy my kites and string at Woolworth’s. The kite had a thin wood frame and a paper body with colors or designs. It was easily torn. I learn that the hard way: when my kite would get caught on a tree limb. I’d try to tape it but that never worked. The torn kite was forever earthbound.

I loved playing jacks, but I could never beat my mother. She was the one who taught me the game. I’d bounce the red rubber ball and hope to pick up the right number of jacks. The throw was the key. Too wide a throw meant I’d have to scoop jacks from everywhere. Too narrow a throw meant I couldn’t pick up the right number from the pack of jacks. I was good at the lower numbers, but with higher numbers I usually moved a jack which ended my turn. I knew that every Christmas I’d found a new set of jacks in my stocking. It was traditional.

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8 Comments on ““It rained wildly, desperately, as though the sky had something to prove.””

  1. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    When I was a kid we would save the sticks from the store bought kites, which the paper always tore first, and create a new one out of the brown paper that came from the laundry. My father would have his dress work shirts laundered and they would come back folded and wrapped in heavy brown paper that made excellent kite material. All of our kites were diamond shaped because my parents wouldn’t spend the extra money to buy a box kite.

    This is the one of the two best weather times to live in North Texas. The high temperature today will be in the low 70s, the sky is clear and it would be a perfect day to go to the State Fair of Texas. Of course, today is the big football rivalry in the Cotton Bowl between the University of Texas and The University of Oklahoma. It’s “Hookum’ Horns” or “Boomer Sooner” all day long at the fair. We haven’t gone to the State Fair in at least 20 or more years because it’s the same thing every year. I don’t like the Midway or the rides and the exhibits are either farm animals or hucksters trying to sell you stuff. Texas is still a big agriculture state and I don’t have much interest in champion steer or sheep judging. πŸ™‚

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I never thought about making a new one-great idea. My father also had brown paper from the Chinaman’s laundry, but it just got tossed. I never knew anyone who had a box kite.

      There is a fair in Topsfield, north of Boston. My mother, sister and I went a few times. The first section had antiques, and I bought, at different times, a rug and a commode which fits perfectly in my hall. We always had fair food for lunch and even a snack or two.

      The Barnstable County Fair is in the summer. It has everything you described. I haven’t been there in many years. I haven’t any interest.

      • Bob Cohen Says:

        Obviously, the State Fair of Texas is the largest state fair in the country because it’s in Texas. The fair grounds here in Dallas is the remnants of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exibition and the permanent buildings are considered excellent examples of Art Decco architecture.

      • katry Says:

        Barnstable County has fair grounds where it is always held, but it is small compared to most let alone the biggest in the country.

  2. Rick Oztown Says:

    When they built a new football stadium in San Angelo, I looked gleefully at the empty parking lots during the day. In the middle of winter, I managed to save enough to buy 5-6 rolls of string. I chose a pretty windy day. I let out the string, tied on the next, and continued. Eventually, the weight of the string and wind friction caused the kite to fly very low, with the string almost parallel to the ground. The second time I did this, I figured out a way to more easily rewinding the string. Rewinding that much string onto the original cardboard tubes that were about 1″ in diameter was a losing proposition! It took forever.

    • katry Says:

      Rick,
      Your kite endeavors are familiar to me. I tried different ways to get the kite in the air. I had a friend run behind me holding the kite. That didn’t work either. The beach would have been perfect except I didn’t live on the cape in my kiting days.

  3. olof1 Says:

    We actually had quite a lot of sunshine today, despite the predictions of the two big weather sites which said rain all day. Rather windy as well so it would have been a good day for a kite (the swedish name for a kite is dragon πŸ™‚ ).

    I usually made my own kites with very different results. Usually they became too heavy, at least until I realized how strong wrapping tiussue actually is if not torn. The best kite I ever had however was a bought one. It was just two sticks with see through plastic between them and a picture of Donald Duck pressed on it πŸ™‚ I think one still can buy those and they are even better than box kites. I once tried to build one of those chinese dragon kites but failed utterly πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Sunshine? What is that?

      Th rain has stopped but the sky is still cloudy. The weatherman says sun tomorrow. That has to be seen to be believed.

      I like the Swedish name dragon.

      I remember plastic kites now that you have reminded me. For whatever the reason most were white plastic with a figure or two on it. Of course, you would have a Donald Duck kite given his popularity in Sweden.

      Have a wonderful day!


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