Friday, August 12, 2011

Breaking News: H2O Discovery

I opened the front door. Looked out and yes!
And finally it rained! This was the kind of news that even Van Winkle had to pay attention to...

At 3 o'clock I took the dog out for a walk. There was something odd about the sky. It wasn't all bunsen burner flame-blue.

I saw some gray bellies of clouds.

I was noticing something else. Maybe I was crazy, but the air felt a little less fierce than its usual 105 degrees. That's when some drops of water began to splat on the street.

Bullwinkle shied away. Crazy dog. He has webbed toes, yet he hates water. He has to run reconnaissance missions on his own dog dish before he finally, reluctantly goes forward and laps himself a drink. This time there was nowhere to hide.

"Mr. Bull, those are real raindrops falling out of the sky..."

A blue pickup truck pulled up beside us and the window rolled down. A father shouted at me across his son who was seated on the passenger side.

"I've got to call 9-1-1," he said breathlessly. "I don't know what to do!" Then I saw he was grinning. He pointed at his windshield and the drops of rain on it.

It has been a long time since the rain has made itself known in this massive real-life Easy-Bake oven we live in. From what I've overhead, the experts have classified our entire region as being in a state of "exceptional drought." Our lack of rain in the midst of this historic heat is something I documented on a chart on a previous post.

At the moment the rain was barely falling, tap...tap, as if it were still making up its mind as to whether to stay or go. There was lots of blue sky between those clouds, but I hurried Bullwinkle inside with high hopes. I had heard a strange, foreign sound that had not reached my ears for seemingly eons.

Rumbles of thunder.

I went out on the patio and watched. The show lasted five minutes.

The workers who are extending our patio and adding new flowerbeds
had to take shelter for the first time since the project began.

I squinted and peered closely to make sure.
Yes, those were real raindrops coming down...

Then the sun came out.

So the rain ended before we could even marvel sufficiently, but I'm not going to complain. It's really true that when you don't have something, even if you formerly took it for granted, suddenly it becomes the most valuable and appreciated thing. Besides, the rain left a bonus beyond its trace amount (see below), a gift for us that lasted into the evening when we went for our family walk.

The temperature dropped down to 88 F. It was such a contrast that we joked about digging out our sweaters. Which just goes to prove something psychologists perhaps haven't yet noted. It only takes five minutes of rain and one major drought for the human mind to start to turn delusional. - V.W.


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