Posted tagged ‘summer rain’

“Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul.”

May 14, 2019

Last night it poured so hard that Henry, who loves rain, went two steps on to the deck then turned around and came back inside. The noise on the roof was constant and loud, but I did wish for the metal roof I had in Ghana. I loved the sound of rain when it hit that roof. I could feel it all around me. Sitting in my house listening to any rainstorm was the most amazing experience. When I have gone back to Ghana, it has been during the rainy season so I get to hear again the sounds of rain on the tin roof. I cherish the experience.

When I was a kid, I loved summer rain. I’d go outside and run and play and get soaked. I’d splash through puddles and send waves of water around me. I’d slide on the grass. I’d stay outside all afternoon and let the sun dry my clothes.

I talk out loud. Many times I talk to Henry. He is kind enough to look at me and listen. I talk to the TV. I scoff at silly plot details like going upstairs when the stairs are covered in blood. I go crazy when drivers have their eyes off the road while they chat. I correct grammar. That may seem silly, but I think modeling good grammar is important. I’ve been told it doesn’t matter as long as you’re understood. I liken using bad grammar to singing or playing off tune. Neither one is good for the ears.

Yesterday I felt accomplished. I finished two loads of wash and did errands. I cleaned around the house a bit, mostly clumps of Henry hair. I uploaded pictures from my camera. The oldest set was from Easter.

Today I get to vote in the local election. The turnout in these elections is always small. I think back to turning twenty-one. I was so excited at being able, finally, to vote. Since then, I have always exercised my franchised, the privilege of voting.

“It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it’s how you spend the time.”

July 13, 2017

The weather is crazy. It is sunny then cloudy then sunny again. The humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife (my father loved that old saw. The wording is repetitive, I know,  but what the heck). It is supposed to rain later today and again tomorrow. I have nowhere to go so I’m just fine with rain.

When I was a kid, I loved summer rains. We used to stay outside and get wet, even soaked. The stronger the rain, the more the fun. We’d splash at each other with the rainwater running down the gutters in the street. Sometimes the water ran so strongly it resembled a river with white rapids, or at least it seemed that way to us. Paper boats never had much of a chance. I think my love of the rain came from the joy we felt during summer storms.

We didn’t always go on vacation when I was a kid. Mostly we stayed home and did day trips, what they call a staycation now. I think my family invented that. We kids didn’t care. My mother and father planned great excursions. We did beach days. I remember swimming in water left by low tide and surrounded by sand bars. The sandwiches always had a bit of grit. We’d walk the beach and collect shells. By the end of the summer, I’d have quite a collection.

I remember the museums. They weren’t air conditioned in those days, but they always felt cool, the way my hometown library and post office did. I have two vivid memories of stuff at museums. At the Museum of Fine Arts, I remember the sarcophagi. They were in one giant room and they looked enormous to me. I was impressed and amazed they once all held mummies. At the Peabody Museum at Harvard I remember the outrigger hanging from the ceiling and the ape heads in jars. For some reason those heads fascinated me. They were in rows, jar after jar.

We went to the drive-in often as my grandfather had a pass so our car got in free. Bringing bug juice and popped corn from home and candy from the store made it a fairly inexpensive evening. There were always two movies and an intermission. The first movie was for kids and the second for adults as kids were expected to have fallen asleep by then or why the pajamas?

We’d go out to dinner one night during our stay at home vacation which was such a treat as we seldom went out to dinner. We’d go to Kitty’s in the next town over. It was always busy and cheap enough. I remember the waitresses carrying huge trays with several plates of foods on them. I watched kind of hoping to see plates hit the floor. They didn’t.

It never occurred to me we stayed home because we didn’t have the money for an away vacation. All the wonderful day trips are what I remember the most. I love museums thanks to those trips. I have seashells on display in the kitchen. Our Saturday outside movie nights are like the drive-in without the car but not without the candy.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than watching trees getting dressed up for Spring and Summer”

May 20, 2017

Today is much cooler than yesterday. Last night or rather this morning when I took Gracie out around 1:30 I was chilly, taken by surprise by how cold it had gotten. Today will be 57˚ and tonight will go down to 48˚. Yesterday afternoon I had my air conditioner on.

It rained yesterday for about fifteen minutes. The drops started out huge. They fell almost one at a time before they became smaller and more persistent. After the storm, the air smelled of summer rain.

Today is quiet. There are no kids playing or dogs barking. I don’t even hear a lawn mower. Even my house is quiet. Maddie and Gracie are sleeping.

I’ve seen three rabbits this week. One was a bit burly, and the other two were small. Gracie noticed the burly one in my front yard and scratched the door and barked hoping to get out. She didn’t. That we have rabbits tells me the coyotes are elsewhere. That also means the skunks are probably around.

I have one errand today and nothing else on my to-do list.

I hope to open my deck this week. It would have been the spot to be on those two hot days. The furniture needs to be uncovered and scrubbed. The decorations and candles need to be hung on the branches though finding enough spots might be trouble as some of the branches were cut down. The rug needs to be brought out. I have to buy my flowers for the window boxes and the herbs for the side garden. I have to buy gas for the grill as the first movie night means grilling for dinner. The list is long before I can welcome summer.

“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”

March 5, 2016

I want to yell out my window, “I’m mad as hell, and I won’t take it anymore,” but I’d probably freeze myself and the house in the process. March winds blow cold. The sun is a background ornament, bright but useless. Warm weather is supposed to be arriving next week. I hope so as I truly need one deck day to rid myself of winter malaise.

When I was a kid, I never minded winter weather except when it rained. I hated winter rain. I swear my wet clothes used to freeze on the walk home. My jacket stiffened from the ice. My wool mittens got wet and useless. My fingers were red from the cold. Water bubbled from my shoes when I walked. My hair hung down on my face and sometimes dripped onto my neck and down the back of my jacket. Winter rain is relentless.

Summer rain was a gift. It cooled a hot day. Steam would rise from the sidewalks. We’d stay outside and get soaked knowing when the sun reappeared, it would dry our clothes. I’d splash puddles and watch the water fan. We floated paper boats down the rivers streaming in the gutters next to the sidewalks. I’d ride my bike and head for every puddle. I remember taking my feet off the pedals and letting my bike glide through the water. I don’t remember my mother dragging us in when there was thunder and lightning, but I guess she must have. Either that or we were just plain lucky.

Today is chore day. My laundry bag is spilling over. The clean sheets have sat on the chest at the foot of my bed for three days. It’s about time I got to them. The plants need watering. The kitchen needs to be swept. I know as I do one chore two more will pop up. Just now I noticed the wire connecting the computer to electricity was dirty at the top, close to the computer. I stopped writing, went to the kitchen, got a Clorox sheet and cleaned the wire. It is going to be one of those days. I blame it all on winter. Ennui is the perfect description for my mood today.

“Be peaceful like a mountain. Be loving like a flower. Be wonderous like thunder.”

August 4, 2015

The doors and windows are open. The day isn’t cool but isn’t overwhelmingly hot either. We had a tremendous thunderstorm. It woke me up when the thunder cracked above my house which shook just a bit. I then heard the rain drops falling and beating against the window pane. They were my lullaby as I fell back to sleep. I woke to a sunny day. Everything is still wet but the sun will see to that.

When the breeze blows, I can hear drops of water falling off the leaves and hitting the ground as if in mimicry of a gentle summer rain. Earlier, the sun went away for just a bit and the thunder rolled but that was the storm’s last hurrah.

I have always loved summer rain. When I was kid, we ran in the rain and our clothes got soaking wet. We’d stop at every puddle and use our feet to whack the water. It spewed in wide circles. Along the curbside a river sometimes flowed. We’d walk through the river splashing as we went. The water ran fast to the sewer crate.

When the storm ended, we’d stay outside and let the sun dry us. It never took long. The sun always seems to make a speedy recovery after the rain.

Here in New England we have four distinct seasons, and it rains during all four of them; of course, in winter, if it’s cold enough snow falls instead of rain. I like to watch the snow fall, and I love the beauty of the untouched snow covering roads and yards.

We never went outside during a snow storm. It just didn’t have the siren call the summer rain had. It was, I think, because the snow stayed around a while, but the puddles and rivers from the summer rain disappeared quickly under the onslaught of the sun so we had to hurry.

“Each day has a color, a smell.”

September 12, 2013

Yesterday was summer with all its heat and humidity. We were cooler than most places, but that didn’t matter. I still took refuge in the house and the air-conditioning. This morning is cool and today will be hot but not like yesterday. I can already feel the difference in the humidity. The windows are open and the half-deflated Happy Birthday balloon from last month’s festivities is slightly swaying in the  breeze. Gracie is taking advantage of the open door and staying outside.

On the back of the door going down the cellar is my spice rack. When I open the door, I am assailed with the best smells, smells which give me pause. Curry seems to be the strongest, but there is also another smell, a combination of all the herbs and spices in the rack, a smell which makes me think of Marrakech and the spice market.

Years ago I went to Santa Fe, once with my sisters then again with my mother. I saw chimineas on that first trip and especially loved the clay ones with the primitive designs. My mother surprised me the next Christmas as she had bought me one. That was before anyone knew what they were, before they became a backyard standard. I use to sit on the deck and burn the piñon wood I had bought on-line. It had the sweetest smell.

My garden has a variety of herbs. Window boxes sit on the deck rail, and I have also herbs growing in each of them. Rosemary fills one box. I love rubbing my hand up the stalk of rosemary then smelling the herb on my hand. When I cook with the rosemary, the kitchen fills with its scent.

The smell of a summer rain has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. The smell of the rain comes before the storm, but once the rain begins, the smell is of wet earth and wet pavement. They have a singular smell, not sweet, maybe even a bit pungent, but they give the summer storm a bit of character, a depth the winter rainstorm never has.

 

I have my favorite Ghanaian smells-wood charcoal burning being the best one of all.

Fall is coming quickly and it will usher in the smells of the seasons, of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those smells conjure memories of childhood and of my mother’s kitchen. They are really the best of any smells.