Posted tagged ‘maybe rain’

“Nothing reminds us of an awakening more than rain.”

May 16, 2015

The forecast says maybe rain today. I love it. You can’t be wrong when you say maybe. Right now, though, the clouds are few, and they don’t look like rain clouds. The sun keeps appearing and disappearing. It’s a chilly morning with a cool breeze.

Gracie and I were on the deck. The red spawn has started eating flowers from the clay pots. It had the nerve to grab a flower, scurry up a branch then sit and dine al fresco right in front of me. Now, though, I have the nozzle on the hose set to jet and I’m just waiting for the spawn.

When I was a kid, a rainy Saturday was the worst. If the rain was heavy, it meant staying inside all day, the most important day of the week for any self-respecting kid. On Saturday we had no obligations. We had no homework to finish, no church and no family dinner demanding our attendance. It was our day to do whatever we wanted except when it rained. A summer rain, though, was sometimes gentle, and we went out anyway. We figured the sun would appear and dry us. A winter rain made us chilled to the bones, and we didn’t whine about having to stay inside. On those Saturdays my dad would sometimes drive us to the matinee, more for his sake than ours. He wanted us out of the house. We were glad to oblige.

Even as a kid, I loved the sound of rain. On one vacation, in Maine, on a rainy day, I went to the car with my book, settled down in the back seat and read. The sound of the rain on the car roof was like music. The stronger the rain, the louder the music.

During the rainy season in Ghana, everywhere was music. The roof of my classroom was tin, and the sound of the rain hitting the roof was all we could hear. Teaching was impossible. My students would read, but each in turn seemed to stop, look above and listen. It didn’t matter how familiar we were with the sound; it still drew us.

The rain on thatch had a different sort of music, a crisper sound. My back courtyard was concrete, and the rain hit it with a pounding beat. The open sewers ran when it rained, and it was the sound a stream makes, a rippling sound, a burble.

On many a rainy day, I would sit on my front porch under the small tin overhang and listen. Even now I still remember the music.

“Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. “

May 11, 2015

The sun is gone and clouds have taken over. Maybe rain they said in the paper. I’d be fine with that. It hasn’t rained in a long while.

My neighbor and I get together every Monday. She is Brazilian and wants to learn to speak English better so we just chat. First, though, I had to explain that you don’t need a computer to chat. Face to face works even better. She said that was good to know. Today was a strange word day. We talked about jimmies and sprinkles and frappes and milk shakes and rotaries and roundabouts. We also talked about singular verbs sometimes needing an S as she is prone to leave it off. Good to know she told me. Nicee, my neighbor, and I share a love for coconut ice cream. Her favorite in Brazil is corn ice cream. I was dubious but she swore it tasted the best of all. Her son is graduating from high school this year, and she showed me his new suit and wanted to know where the bottom of the pant leg should be: above the shoe, at the top of the shoe or covering the shoe. I told her I’d check on-line.

I graduated from high school in the days when girls wore dresses and boys wore suits and ties under their gowns. The girls wore white gowns while the boys wore green, our school colors. We sat on one side while the boys sat on the other. Our graduation was outside in front of the school. Some of us were on chairs while those in the back sat on a small bleacher. The Class of 1965 sign was hung above the top-tier of the bleacher on the front of the school. It fell during the ceremony and a few guys were knocked off the bleacher and one guy was knocked out for a bit after he hit the ground. The news traveled fast among us whispered one to another. It was the highlight of the ceremony. I remember the speaker was from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and he was quite boring. We chatted a bit while he spoke and were careful not to be too loud. Scholarships were given out, and I remember reading my dad’s lips after getting mine and he was asking me how much. After what seemed hours came the awarding of our diplomas. My parents gave me a party, and I remember my mother made chicken and eggplant parmesan. My gift was a typewriter to take to college. I was thrilled. I still have it stored in the cellar. I last used it during my teaching years before the computer made it a relic.

“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

May 5, 2015

The morning is warm but cloudy. Rain is a possibility, but I won’t mind because we haven’t had much rain lately. A while back we had days of rain then it stopped, plugged by an unseen hand. Gracie and I have a couple of errands later including our first stop at the garden center. I have a list of flowers I hope to add to the front garden, and I know what herbs and veggies I want.

When I was a kid, I never thought flowers would become important to me. My father and his pansies were all I knew. Few of the yards around us had gardens either because my neighborhood was filled with lawn people. A green, lush, beautiful lawn was a status symbol. It had to be mowed just right and frequently watered. On hot days we’d run through the sprinkler which sort of annoyed my dad. It wasn’t good for his lawn to have us tamp it down as we ran. The neighbor behind us was a radical lawn lady. Even though we shared a hill, she never wanted us walking on the grass. She’d yell from her kitchen window if we dared pass the line of demarcation between her part of the hill and ours. It wasn’t a real line, but it was the visual boundary between her yard and ours, between a lush lawn and just grass. My father didn’t care about that hill. It was his front lawn which he tended lovingly.

When my parents came to visit, my dad brought all his lawn tools including his mower. My mother and I would go shopping, and my dad would tend my yard. He’d mow and rake the grass then trim the bushes. He’d even venture into my wild backyard and mow the tall grass, reminiscent more of a field than a lawn. I think my neighbors were probably cheering as I never mowed until I figured the grass was high enough to make it worth my while. When my mother and I would get home, my dad would give us the grand tour of all he’d done. The difference was amazing. He always made my front yard looked cared for and loved. That was his gift to me, one he enjoyed giving. I loved him even more for it.