A Week of Rain

SperryKacey had a birthday a couple of weeks ago. When asked what she wanted for her gift, she said shoes. She’d had her eye on a particular pair for quite a while. We had to order them online to get the exact style she was looking for. When they were delivered to our front door a few days later, she squealed in delight.

The weather has been full of rain. The new shoes sit in their box on Kacey’s bedroom floor, not yet worn. She says that she has wanted these shoes for so long that she refuses to take a chance on getting them wet and ruining them. She’s sprayed them three times with waterproofer. Still, she’s taking no chances until things start to dry out.

All week long, the skies have been gray. The sun comes out here and there, but mostly its dull skies, thick clouds and rain. The wind blows endlessly, tree branches swaying side to side, back and forth. Pink crab apple tree blossoms past their prime  float away in the wind, dropping like snow onto the pavement. When I open the patio door to let Lucy out in the mornings, the wooden deck and backyard grass are still soaked from the nighttime rains.

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Today there was bright sunshine streaming down from a sky that felt heavy. The wind refused to die down. After noon, weather reports warned of heavy storms in nearby areas.  I worried about Lucy at home all alone. Poor dog  is afraid of thunder! But by the time I got home from work, the sun was still shining, the wind was still blowing, and the heavy stoneware vase on the front step was laying on its side, shattered. I salvaged the decorative branches that had filled it and tucked them away in the garage. I scooped up the landscaping rocks that had added weight to the vase and tossed them back into the front garden, then picked up all the broken pieces and dumped them in the trash barrel.

Kacey came home from work as I was wandering the back yard with Lucy, tossing her ball, patting her head, and asking her why she keeps sneaking into the tomato garden. (She offered no reasonable explanation.) I joined Kacey up on the deck and we watched big puffs of clouds clump together and sail across the sky, moved along by the persistent wind. I asked, “Tacos for dinner?” She said, “Yeah, that sounds good.”

I chopped onions and tomato at the kitchen counter while the ground beef defrosted in the microwave. Kacey sat at the table and chatted with me while I got the fixings ready. The kitchen radio was tuned in to the Country station and we sang along. Baby you’re a song… You make me wanna roll my windows down … and cruise…  We got a little loud and too late, remembered we had slid the patio door open to let in some fresh air. I wondered if the neighbors had heard us from where they sat out on their deck. They probably think we’re weird. Oh well.

I heard about Kacey’s work adventures while I fried the meat at the stove. Lucy scratched the screen door to go out and then remembering she missed her people, scratched it again to come in. Kacey absently reached for the door and accommodated Lucy each time. Darn dog is wearing holes in that screen.

I was putting the taco seasoning into the ground beef when there came a frantic plea from the dog to be let back in. Kacey slid the door open once more and said, “Hey, it’s raining out!” But the sun was still shining brilliantly. Lucy doesn’t like to be rained on, but Kace and I stepped outside to marvel at the sunshower that was happening in our neighborhood. It was a quick, little shower and by the time we sat down to our taco dinner, the sky had turned threatening.

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The heavy rain came then, splattering off the canvas canopy on the deck and forcing us to crank shut the living room windows. Lucy warily watched the drops pelting off the deck. The rain was keeping her away from her playground and she wasn’t happy. It was over though, by the time we cleaned up dinner. There were still some interesting looking clouds up in the sky, but the worst of it was over. I realized then how green all the yards are. The grass is lush, the trees are full. And there was a hint of a rainbow to the east.

006bThe weekend is here. There’s more rain in the forecast for Saturday, but Sunday holds the promise of sunshine. Finally, maybe, a nice day to enjoy being outside and celebrating spring! And maybe Kacey can finally wear her new shoes!

My Dog is an Ombrophobiac

It was raining cats and dogs when the alarm clock went off this morning. I hit the snooze button and burrowed down under the covers, then lay there waiting for the intensity of the rain to subside. But it didn’t. And this was a problem because I was going to have to go out in it. Since Lucy’s hip surgery, one of us has to accompany her outside. For at least another month, we have to carry her up and down steps and watch her outside so she doesn’t run or jump.

The rain was pouring from the sky. It was still very dark outside and there was thunder. And Mark was away on a hunting trip so I couldn’t pawn off the dog duty on him. There was no getting around it. The dogs had to go pee. I was going out in the rain.

The weather had turned colder since the day before. I tossed on my rain jacket and slipped a pair of flip-flops on my feet. Lucy and Bella trotted behind me happily as I approached the patio door. And when I opened it to let them out onto the back deck, Lucy zipped right outside. And then she zipped right back inside. I figured I needed to show the dogs it was okay to get a little wet. I put my hood up and stood outside on the deck. Like an idiot.

“Come on, Luce. Bells, come on,” I said, patting my thighs with both hands. “Come on girls!”

The “girls” looked at me like I was crazy and stayed inside where it was warm and dry.

I had a schedule to maintain. I only had so much time to supervise the dogs in the yard before I needed to get back in, find some work clothes and hit the shower. I had to take matters into my own hands. I would trick them into coming outside. I went and found Lucy’s leash, which is a sure-fire way to get her to come. And then I carried her down the steps to the front entryway and hooked the leash to her collar.

“Leash” means walk, and apparently the idea of a walk was enough to erase the memory of the rain from their little doggy brains. Out the front door we went and all was well until we left the shelter of the front stoop. Bella seemed willing enough to go wherever I was going, but Lucy was desperately trying to escape the pouring rain. But I now had the leash on her and we were going to the back yard, like it or not.

And Lucy was not liking it. Bella happily wandered the perimeter of the yard, the huge raindrops soaking her long fur. Lucy the Pansy tried to yank the leash from my hand and seek shelter under Mark’s fishing boat and trailer, which for some reason were recently pulled out into the middle of the back yard and left there. Lucy heaved to and fro, trying to dodge the rain and escape the thunder while I held tight to the leash and through clenched teeth, admonished her to “go potty!”

My brave little old lady

It was so dark that I could no longer see where Bella was exploring, but I knew the minute I called her she would come follow me back to the house. Lucy continued to strain and yank and try to extract my arm from its socket. But I am stubborn too and there was no way I was heading off to work knowing she hadn’t started her day by relieving herself.

Wussy little pansy girl

I was getting ticked off. There I was, standing in the middle of the back yard, in the pitch-black morning, in my flannel pajama pants, in the cold and wearing a rain jacket that was not doing its job.

“LUCY,” I growled. “Frickin-frackin-furrin-furrin-go-potty-already-will-you-damn-it!”

Finally, finally she squatted and did her thing! I was now completely drenched and none too happy to be starting my day this way. Since we had come around to the back yard from the front door, we had to go back that way because for some reason, I had locked the patio door upon deciding to trick the dogs into going out in the rain through the front door.

I called Bella and soon her dark little form could be seen bounding across the dark, drenched grass. Lucy had now caught onto the fact that we would finally go back in where it was safe and dry and warm, and so she cooperated as well.

Just as I was shutting the backyard gate behind me, a powerful strike of lightning lit up the sky and a huge boom of thunder rippled down over us. Lucy began frantically trying to seek shelter again. She wanted to free herself from the restraint of the leash and she desperately tried to bury herself inside a shrub. We were just a few feet from the front door and I begged her to come with me. Thankfully, she caught a glimpse of Bella happily following the trail of landscaping border around the front gardens toward the house and decided to follow suit.

My hot, morning shower never felt SO good.

There were two cute, furry faces there to greet me when I emerged from the shower. They know it’s feeding time after my shower and they were so cute, I couldn’t help but forgive Lucy for her earlier escapades. The rain and thunder and lightning carried on outside while the dogs gobbled down their breakfasts. When they were finished, I headed off to blow-dry my hair, but not before I heard the familiar clang of the bell that hangs on the patio door – the one that Lucy uses to let us know she wants to go outside.

I peeked over to her where she sat at the door.

“You’re kidding me, right,” I asked?

She turned and hit the bell again with her snout and looked at me expectantly. For one insane moment, I contemplated whether I believed her or not. In the end, I decided I didn’t care. As I walked away, I could still hear her clanging that bell.

*Ombrophobia – fear of rain or being rained on

Pouring

The weatherman said it was going to rain today. For most of the day, I forgot to look up from my computer and check out the window. But usually, if there’s weather to be noticed, someone clues me in. No one did. The rain didn’t come today. It was hazy and cloudy. Windy too. But no rain. As I was driving home, I thought, “Hey, it was supposed to rain today!”

And then a song on the radio caught my attention and I busied myself with singing along.

It was bowling night tonight. I did well and I was happy. For the past four weeks, I’ve not bowled well and I’ve been frustrated. I’d bowl one really good game (maybe) and two less than stellar games (guaranteed.) Tonight I bowled over average all three games. Consistency is good.

We finished early because we had a bye tonight. (We only had to bowl against ourselves.) I knew we were going to be done early and I hadn’t planned to have that last beer, but Teresa, our waitress just brought it. After our games were done, I finished my beer. The pull-tab guy waved me over and asked, “You going to brave the rain?”

“It’s raining,” I asked?

“Ho- boy! It sure is,” he said. “It’s been down-pouring for a while.”

To pass some time, he told me about his vacation in Mexico and his wife’s adventures at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. (He had to go play sober cab for his wife and friends. They had had too much fun.)

Finally, I decided I was going home. I picked up the box of Girl Scout cookies I’d bought from Alishea’s Girl Scout troop. I slung my purse over my shoulder and wheeled my bowling bag behind me. When I reached the doors of the bowling alley, I saw that it was not done raining. Not by a long shot. It was coming down hard. I tried to tuck my box of cookies under my arm and I heard the guy from the bowling desk behind me say, “Whoa.”

I looked back at him as he stared out into the rainy night. I took a deep breath and said, “This should be fun!”

I opened the door and made a run for it. Thank god for flip-flops. Wet socks are gross. The rain was coming down in sheets. My car was only about twenty-feet away, but by the time I got there, flung open the passenger door and tossed in the box of cookies and my purse, I was drenched. My hair was dripping. My bowling shirt was soaked. My jeans were sticking to my legs, and my flip-flops were under water. No sense hurrying anymore, I popped the trunk and heaved my bowling bag inside. By the time I sat down in the driver’s seat, I was waterlogged.

The drive home was an adventure. The windshield wipers were on full-force. The lines in the road were blurred. There was a slightly scary, interminable moment where I could be heard uttering, “Oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t…” as the car hydroplaned. I came out of it okay and took it very slow for the rest of the ride home. I could barely recognize the normal scenery. The rain was so heavy, everything was blurred. I was glad to get home where my puppy was very glad to see me. This was her first thunderstorm since she’s been with us and she wasn’t so sure she liked it.

And to think if this were a normal winter, that rain storm might have been a snow storm!