Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Singlehandedly End the Drought

After the storm.
I'm sure most of my U.S. readers are aware that this year has been a very dry and hot one for most of the country. All kinds of crops have suffered from the lack of rain, and if it weren't for the wonder of irrigation, they would have done a lot more than suffer----they'd be completely dead.

Well, I've decided to do something about ending the drought. I'm going to paint my house.

I spent all of last summer languishing from the desire to paint my house, but we never had a dry enough stretch to do it in. It didn't help that I was also insanely busy, but it was easier to blame the weather. This year has been nothing but bright, hot, sunny days in an unending progression. Perfect house painting weather.  Unfortunately, I'm still insanely busy, so all this perfect painting weather has passed without a single brush stroke threatening the complacency of my chipped and peeling paint.

So I knew that all I had to do to end our nation's drought was begin painting my house. Little did I know how powerful the mere thought of painting would be....

It has been weeks since it has rained. Everything is dry and hot and dusty. The wheat fields---those that aren't harvested yet---are golden perfection waiting to be combined. Farmers work from dawn to dusk, and sometimes beyond, trying to get their crops in before it rains. Did I mention the dust? As someone who lives out on 8 miles of gravel road, the dust is something I tend to notice.

Yesterday I was out watering my pumpkins when I noticed a small storm off to the west. It wasn't very dark, but I could see a fringe of rain along its base. Good, we might get a few sprinkles, but I was going to keep watering anyway. No way we'd get enough to satisfy those thirsty plants!

The storm moved in and the rain started to fall, lightly at first. Then the drops grew thicker and began to fall faster. Soon we were in the middle of a downpour, with thunder crashing and lightning flashing overhead. I gave up on the pumpkin watering when I could see puddles forming in the driveway. Plus there was no way I was going out in that waterfall to move the hose from plant to plant!

I began to worry for all the wheat fields around my house. Sure, my pumpkins were happy, but I don't depend on them for my living. (Good thing, too, those slackers!) Once wheat lies down it can't be harvested, and that rain was giving a pretty compelling argument for flopping over.

The storm lasted for about 1/2 hour, but when it moved on it left plenty of life-giving water behind. I was happy to see the wheat was all still upright, though I'm sure that this soaking will delay the farmers' harvesting schedule while they wait for it to dry out.

But since nobody I could see suffered complete economic annihilation (most farmers have crop insurance anyway these days), I could rejoice in the beauty of a world washed clean from its choking cloak of dust.

Since I hadn't actually started painting, the storm was only a small, localized one. The roads by our house were muddy messes, but 8 miles north, they were dry and dusty. I guess maybe I'd better hold off on even THINKING about painting my house until after harvest. I don't want to get lynched by an angry mob of farmers!

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