Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Rain, rain, and more rain.

My niece huggy bear is making it very hard for me to type. I watch her a few days a week when her parents work. Right now she really needs nap and is expressing that by throwing everything she can get her little paws on. I can't be irritated though because she is the cutest thing. A very petite one year old with thick dark hair and huge green/brown eyes. Now that she has calmed down and is hugging me and falling asleep on my chest I can't imagine anything sweeter.

I spent a good part of my childhood in the northwest. The grey skies giving up nice gentle rains that I probably love now more in memory than I actually did then are exactly what I see when I look out my window today. It has been like this for the last four days and I'm loving it. My son, Jason loves this weather. He always says he likes days like this better than sunny days. He is living in the wrong spot. Here in the Midwest we never complain about rain, we just don't get enough to afford ourselves that luxury. Most days can be described as hot, dry, and windy. Our rain usually comes as explosive storms full of thunder, lightening, and tornado warnings. Usually. Last Tuesday we woke to cloud cover. Then the rain started. A nice gentle rain. Around noon I decided I had better do some grocery shopping before we starve. I dropped the kids off at my sisters. Snuck home to finish one last cup of tea and a couple of chapters in a book. When I did leave town it was really raining. I started to speed up to highway speed then remembered my back tires weren't looking so good. I slowed down a bit. Then I noticed I was slowly sliding towards the ditch. The ditch had a few feet of water already collecting in it. I turned my wheel back towards the road, no good I was hydroplaining. Right here I should have straightened my wheel back out, didn't think of that. Then my wheels caught some dry ground. I shot across the middle line. "stay in front of your rear end." I said to myself. I notice a truck coming towards me, he was still a little way off. I swerved back and forth between the lanes trying to get control. The truck was getting closer. I had slowed down quite a bit by now. I headed for the shoulder. When my tires hit the muddy ground I started sliding towards the ditch again. I turned back towards the road and stopped perpendicular with it. After catching my breath and stopping the shakes I pulled out, in low because I was stuck, and headed back home. Later that day I drove the kids around to see all of the water. There were several times when we had to turn around because the roads were under a foot of water. The canal type drainage ditch on the west side of our property was full and the water was two feet deep across most of my yard making it look like one large pond. Jason and Lane built a raft and floated their cousins across it. They were having so much fun I couldn't make them stop when I left for my school board meeting. I called twice to make sure none of them had drowned. 7.5 inches was the final count that day. There are a lot of places where that would be normal, not here. I have been listening to the some of the older people in town and none of them can remember ever getting half of our average yearly rain fall in one day before. Back in the seventies we had five inches in a day once, but we have only had paved roads since the nineties so drainage wasn't as big of a deal. With the paved roads we had a flooding problem in some parts of town. Not enough to rival the places who get real floods, but here where the land is flat knee deep water is impressive. For those of you who have never been to Southwest Kansas let me explain. If you were to come into Kansas from the east you would say to yourself 'It's not that flat. Sure there are no mountains, but there are sloping hills and trees.' Keep driving. When you get out here there are a few rises and slopes, but I can see the lights of towns seventeen miles away at night. When driving on the highway, I can clearly see if I have time to pass a couple of trucks at once. The air and ground are usually so hot and dry in the summer that a couple of hours after a really good rain you can walk out and not even get muddy. Water just seems to soak in and leave no trace. One of my high school teachers once said that she always got cranky as a child when they drove into 'colorful' Colorado and it looked just the same as it does here. You have to drive west a bit before you hit the colorful part of Colorado, and yes we get a bit of a complex some times. I love living here, but I would like a little more water. A river that had actual water in it and wasn't just a sandy river bed with Elms and Cottonwoods would be great too while I'm asking.

No comments: