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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rain, Rain Go ......

We have been fortunate enough to be getting lots of rain the last several days.  Last year the story was different, drought.  Wide spread drought across so many areas of the US.  We lost probably half of the grass on our front lawn.  That is nothing in comparison to the loss of livelihoods for farmers and ranchers.  There is a map available here that shows the condition and locations of the drought areas.  You can even look at the US map from 1999 through 2012 and see areas of drought in monthly loops.

Maybe having grown up in farming country in north central Texas during the late 40's and 50's I feel the scarcity of water and rains more than 'city folks'.  I mean for me as current city dweller the loss of a lawn is irritating.  For farmers in the 50's it was money or no money.  It was putting cardboard in my shoe to be able to go to school.  It was not that my folks were poor money managers, crop failures due to lack of rain is just that ... crop failure.  No insurance for crop failure I guess.  I was just a kid playing in the dry dirt.  Some days Reba Jane and I would drop stuff  and an occasional rock into the bottomless cracks.

The cracks were wide and deep in the North Central Texas sandy loam.  And decades later during another drought period I received an email with a picture attached.  The salesman for Litton working out of his Plano home had placed his size 10.5 Nike next to a crack.  The crack was wider than the shoe and about 3 feet longer.  It was one of his first summers in Texas and he was in shock.  I just responded with, "At least you have air conditioning!".  And running water not having to be hauled in by the water truck and dumped in a brick underground cistern. 

There is the other side of the rains which is too much rain.  I remember peering out the window as Daddy drove the car down the flooded road near Honey Creek.  Men, courageous men, lined the road guiding us to stay on the road.  I am sure it is a memory from child's mind but the flooding was real.  Road beds have since been raised along with higher bridges.  Lots of small and large flood control dams.  We call them tanks in Texas.  But no matter, there are still floods. 

So the same magical compound, H2O, can bring life to crops or death both in its absence or over abundance.  I was very blessed to have a community of farmer and ranchers in my background.  It gave me an appreciation for the simple things in life.  Like rain.  Even when I am so tired of it.

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