The average temperatures were above normal all winter, and have continued to be so throughout spring. Then suddenly, yesterday, we had an extreme cooling-down that is still with us this morning. As I do this entry, it's 47 degrees. By Sunday we'll be back in the above-normal range.
As the cool front came through, it brought us no rain, and my garden has once again turned to dust. I am just about to give up watering everything but the tomatoes and peppers. I am discouraged, and I'm tired of moving the soaker hose from row to row. We have a well that never goes dry, and a new pump in it, but I've about decided it isn't worth the effort. What I was hoping would be a temporary measure until rain came has turned into a full-time task. As I look at the ten-day forecast, I see there's only a 10% chance of precipitation there.
It's never going to rain again.
Even as I whine, I think about the surrounding farmers who need rain for their crops. Our garden saves us some money, but we don't depend on it for our livelihood.
I remember a hot, dry summer in the fifties when my parents and I still lived in north Missouri. I was a child, so dry weather didn't matter to me; but Eagleville was a farming community, so a drought affected the general population in a big way, and adults were concerned. We had the usual big garden in the yard, and my mother fretted about that.
Here's the only reason I remember there being a drought: The Eagleville Church of Christ was having a week-long Gospel meeting (other churches would call it a revival) next to Joe Bartles' house. It was billed as a tent meeting. I recall being rather disappointed that the meeting wasn't held in a genuine tent: there was no canvas roof overhead, only canvas walls. You call that a tent?
So one night we were singing hymns before the sermon and thunder sounded in the distance. Before you know it there were raindrops, and with no roof over our heads, soon everybody was running to their cars (I knew they should have used a real tent!).
It looked like the drought was over
We got home and my mom took over the switchboard from whoever had been watching it in our absence. The rain became a regular downpour, and there was so much joy in our house that it was almost a tangible thing. I stood on the front porch and watched the water falling in sheets, while in the house my mom sat at the switchboard singing "There Shall Be Showers of Blessing" at the top of her lungs.
The giddiness was contagious, and my parents and I had the time of our lives that night celebrating the rain.
I am so glad I have that little video-like memory that plays in my mind any time I call it up.