Focus On The Farmers

It’s pouring in Columbus right now, and the weather forecast is for more of the same — all day, and for that matter all week.

As I sat on my back porch listening to the rain pound the roof this morning, the phrase that popped into my head was: “It’s good for the farmers.” When we were kids, that was Mom’s inevitable response to a rainy summer day. Forlorn kids would be staring out the window, saddened by the fact that a precious day of summer vacation would be lost to thunderstorms, but Mom would try to put a happy spin on the showers. She was a master of the power of positive thinking In the days before spin even had a name.

Here’s to you, Ohio farmers! Let’s hope the rains produce a bumper crop this year.

August Toadstools?

Here’s a visible sign of just how unbelievably wet this August has been — a bumper crop of ugly toadstools has sprouted in Schiller Park.  A few days ago I jokingly posted about all of the rain we’ve been getting, and wondered whether the next thing we would see was mushrooms — and now they’re here, effectively mocking my idle attempt at humor.

Toadstools, in the middle of what is traditionally one of the hottest, driest months of the year?  I almost hesitate to ask this, but what’s next now — snow?

Rainy August

Normally, August is one of the hottest months of the year. It’s typically the month when your lawn dries out and finally gives up the ghost, and you squirm with embarrassment when your neighbors arch an eyebrow at the carpet of brownness.

Not this year, though. We’re in the midst of the wettest August I can remember, where you need to carry your umbrella every day just in case another gullywasher is going to roll through town. We had a big cloudburst this afternoon, and another one tonight. It’s as if August and April traded places.

The lawn seems to be enjoying it, though. What’s next? August mushrooms?

Half An Umbrella . . . .

IMG_6143The constant rains and blustery, weirdly unseasonable weather have wreaked havoc on our umbrella collection.  The little pop-up umbrellas, in particular, have taken a beating — which is why you see lots of soggy, downcast Columbusites trudging around carrying massive, ultra-sturdy golf umbrellas.

Today as I walked to work it started misting.  After feeling proud that I had remembered an umbrella, I discovered that the canopy on this one had become unmoored from two of its ribs, leaving the cover flapping in the breeze.  Embarrassing, to be sure — but half an umbrella is still better than none.  So long as I could position the umbrella to keep the rain and mist off my glasses, I’m OK.

I’m guessing that Columbus-area stores have never sold as many umbrellas as they have this year.

The Rain, Again

The rain, in Spain, falls again, and again, and again.

I’m as much a fan of My Fair Lady as anyone.  In fact, I’m as much a fan of rain as anyone this side of a farmer.  I enjoy the gentle patter of raindrops on the roof.  I like to see things nice and green, and I know that rain is what makes that possible.

IMG_5904But for God’s sake!  Enough is enough!  In central Ohio we have had gray skies and rain, for weeks now.  Our backyard is so lush and green it looks like the tropics.  And while those of us who live in the Midwest know that we have to endure the constant overcast during the winter months, we expect to be compensated by some blue skies and bright sunshine when summer arrives.  We want to be able to wear shorts and expose our flesh to the sun’s warming rays.  We want to sit outside in the clear, rather than remaining huddled indoors or under umbrellas, looking expectantly at the skies.

But not this summer, not so far.  I’ve come to hate looking at my iPhone weather app, and seeing either the dreaded cloud with lightning icon or the cloud with rain icon, day after day.  Will we ever see the unadorned yellow sun icon again?

What’s Up, Tiger Lily?

IMG_5881One good thing about constant rain:  it helps the flowers.  The ongoing deluge in Columbus has finally revealed the mysterious flowers in our front beds.  They’re lilies, I think, and their distinctive orange markings remind me of a tiger’s colors.  So I’m calling them tiger lilies, whether that’s technically accurate or not.


It’s been a rainy few days in New Orleans–but it hasn’t been a consistent rain. Instead, I feel like Forrest Gump — we’ve seen fat rain, and skinny rain, and windy rain, and rain so powerful you feel like it’s going to knock the roof down.

The most impressive rain storms are what Midwesterners would call gullywashers, with rain so heavy it turns streets into lakes and instantly soaks whoever is caught in the downpour. We watched one such storm advance up the Mississippi River, the rain forming a kind of gray curtain as it swept forward. It gave us fair notice to scurry under cover before the deluge came.