Monday, June 23, 2008

At last! We got some rain!

Another fine weekend is behind us, and as has been the situation for most of this unsettled weather period, my home remained situated in that zone described by the TV weather people as one where “. . . not every city and town will get any.” At least until Sunday afternoon. Saturday afternoon about an hour and a half after my daughter went home, Wife Gator and I tuned to the Weather Channel to see what was happening in the weather.

To our great surprise as we had been bathing in beautiful, bright sunshine all afternoon, the “Local on the 8’s” said there were light showers in the Portland area. Huh? We looked out the window at the beautiful blue skies with just a few dots of white clouds. No rain/showers had fallen in our yard. So we called Daughter Gator to see what was happening at her house. She lives in Portland. She was surprised we called as she had assumed the rain she was having and had fallen ever since she got home was all over the area. Nope. Not in my place.

That led to an e-mail to my fearless friend who lives in another nearby city. He had shut down his equipment because thunder showers were in his neighborhood, or a little to the north of it. But, he said, it had been raining at his house. Not a whole lot, he said, but his yard was wet. He said the weather radar showed signs of one more cell heading into the area and it looked like we would get some from it.

His source was almost correct. About the time I was reading his reply, our skies began clouding over and darkening up. Sure enough, we thought, now we’re going to get some showers. Sure enough, we continued to live in that “not everyone” zone. I think we may have been able to count a couple dozen dots in the driveway where apparently the weather gods tried. But the driveway was a lot drier than spotted damp. We ran our irrigation unit in our veggie garden.

We awoke yesterday morning and once again the TV weather guy gave us about the same old, tired weather forecast. While he was talking about showers and fog in the area, we were once again basking in bright blue, sunny skies. By late morning, however, those milky, foreboding clouds were beginning to take over.

By mid afternoon, our rainless streak came to an end. Fortunately, DG had come over earlier in the morning and by noontime, all the outside work had been completed. Shortly after lunch DG and her pup headed back to their home. It remained cloudy with the sun trying to break through in the first part of the afternoon. Sometime around three, the rumbles of thunder were echoing from off in the distance. Another half hour later brought them close enough for us to know the “not all . . .” streak would end. Although we didn’t get any direct hits in our neighborhood, we did get a pretty good shower as that sort of dry spell came to a noisy halt. By late afternoon we had a couple pretty good gully washers. And today’s weather forecast looks pretty foreboding as well.

Through it all, it was a great, productive weekend, though. DG and her dog came over both days, she to help us out around the yard, the pup to romp outside with our dog. It’s amazing how much fun they have outside when we, especially their ‘moms,’ are out there. There are six or seven what I call “green bushes” along the front of our house. I guess if they were along the property line, they’d be called hedges. In either case, all I know them as are “green bushes.” Now WG and probably DG could tell you exactly what they are. “Green” works for me. They got trimmed and all the scragglies were cut so they look really nice today.

We also have a huge, and I mean huge, burning bush and a big yellow bush and a couple other flowering bushes. That’s as close as I can come to naming them, but they all have already seen the best of their season. So yesterday they got their trim. They’ll be cut way back. Don’t believe anyone who tells you these types of bushes can’t be cut without ruining them. WG refuses to accept that nonsense. Since she started cutting them back, they’ve grown twice as big and twice as flowery. And they get bigger and more flowery with each passing year.

Every year when she starts the cutting, I’m reminded of some rhododendron plants she had in front of our house in Portland. When they started growing above the windows, she decided to cut them back. Down was more like it. Nearly everyone we know said she was making the biggest mistake that can be made. Rhododendrons can’t be cut back, they said. Poppycock, she said, and headed out with her pruning shears. When she was done, the bushes couldn’t even be recognized. The next year, they were right back up to the windows but with three or four times as many beautiful, huge flowers.

So the weekend was for the most part dry, at least until yesterday afternoon, and we were able get a major beautifying task completed. I suppose to keep any credibility I may have left, I have to be honest with one teeny confession. As I’ve said ever since I began this project, I don’t do outdoors except to mow in summer and snow blow in winter. My two wonderful ladies, Wife Gator and Daughter Gator, did all the work. I watched the College World Series.


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