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Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

April showers came in May

Thursday, May 21, 2009

0Several friends were standing at the door of the church on Sunday discussing the rain that came abundantly many days in a row. One commented that her mother-in-law had the saying that if it rains on Easter Sunday it will rain the next seven Sundays also. Of course it did rain on Easter Sunday and at the time of that conversation it had already rained for five more Sundays. (I am writing this column a week early so I don't know at this point what the sixth Sunday brought to us. But I would wager that there was at least a sprinkle.)

As we moaned about that possibility I couldn't help but think back to the years in the 30s and in the 50s where it did not only not rain on Easter Sunday, it didn't rain on any Sundays, or Mondays, or -- I remember one night when our oldest children were 3 and 1 year old. We had another couple over to play cards and they had children of similar ages. A little rain shower came up in the evening after we had put all four children to sleep. It didn't last but about 10 minutes, but our guest dad woke up his two children and carried them outside because he didn't think they had ever experienced rain. I'm not sure the sleepy children understood what was happening, but it sure gave me a lasting memory of the length of some of our dry spells.

That was the same year that our well went dry. We had bought a 40 acre farm in Cedar County that had a well that had never, ever, run dry. But it did that year. We had a wonderful modern bathroom we couldn't use, and a washer that couldn't seem to get our clothes clean without some water. Laundromats were not available in Stockton at that time, and with one child in diapers (disposable diapers were also not available then) and another in training pants we seemed to need to do laundry occasionally.

Lester was working in Stockton at the courthouse as the county extension agent and they had a place where people could fill containers with water to haul to their homes. He would go to work with milk cans in the trunk of our car and bring home enough water to fill the laundry tub, and the two rinse tubs and a little in the diaper pail. By the time I was through with the laundry, you could almost plant potatoes in the water, but we saved it anyway to flush the stool, mop the floor and water my few surviving flowers and bushes.

We finally drilled another well and finally did strike water. We were as excited as if we had struck oil. It still didn't rain for several months but we weren't suffering quite as much.

That year I swore that I would never complain about getting too much rain, and I have kept my word. Even though sometimes I feel that I have had enough to be thankful for already, thank you.

As we drove around the area recently I realized that things were greener than I ever remembered them, except of course where the fields got washed out with the new corn. But the wheat looks good except in the places where it got underwater and was drowned out. My flowers look good except the bunch I put by the front door that got flooded from rain overflowing the eaves troughs. The geese are enjoying the abundant water except for the pair whose nest got flooded and washed away with their eggs.

You can see that I learned my lesson and am not complaining about the amount of rain. But next year I hope Easter stays dry.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus