Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rain Running

Two weeks ago, on the train back from Washington, a fellow passenger in the row ahead let everyone know "we've had too much rain."  In Tennessee where he's from, maybe, but not here.  Someone I know resisted the urge to interrupt his cell phone conversation.  Does he know how much rain is "too much?"  Do you?  One decent rain per week certainly isn't, nor are two.  Come August, he might choke on that.

Today's trip to the bank, a little more than a mile from home, began with a sunny sky and gray clouds to the southwest. This runner hesitated only briefly, didn't even put on a baseball cap to keep raindrops off eyelashes and contacts.  Bring it on.  I don't mind running in the rain, unless it's in the thirties or forties.

The bank brought sprinkles.  A little farther down the road Mother Nature started throwing buckets.  With zingers.  As I said, I don't mind running in the rain, but I'm no Ben Franklin.  Two men beckoned from the nearest garage.  "That opened up in a hurry, didn't it?"  "Yep, we need it."  "April showers."  "My garden loves it; saw pea blossoms this morning, won't be long." "Peas are early, aren't they?  You garden, huh?"  "Yeah."  "We used to, down along there, before that house was built, long patch between the road and the mountain.  Last week I bought a new batch of pinwheels.  Went out the next morning and those big winds had blown them all over creation.  Got some more yesterday.  See all that's left?"  "Yeah, I always enjoy your pinwheels."  "Air Force.  I guess I like to see things spinning."  "Where were you?"  "Germany, three years, then Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, then California for a year, then Nam.  A year.  Came back and volunteered for gunship training in Columbus, Ohio.  Back to Nam.  We'd go out at dusk, reconnoiter, then empty our Gatling guns on the way back."  "How long were you in?"  "Twenty-and-a-half."  Turning to the other fellow, kneeling by his weedwhacker, "When it lets up, I'll take you home, let's even things up." "Thirty, does that sound fair?" "Thirty cents?"  "Yeah, sounds fair."  Laughter.  "When I was a boy, it was hard finding work.  I worked alongside a crew of men in the fields.  Fifty cents a week.  When I got older I got a raise, to one dollar."  "A week?"  "Yep."  "Things were cheaper then." "For sure."  "I think that's it."  "See you later."

"So you ran home in the sunshine?" says Virginia.

Yep.  The sky cleared up and when I got home the patio was almost dry.


  1. I can tell you enjoyed hanging out with them. One day you may be hanging out with the old men that meet and have coffee every morning at the gas station. You'll be telling stories too.

  2. Are all these stories also being recorded in a book?

  3. mary pannabecker steinerMay 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    I love to run in the rain, and all too often lately, it's been rain and 40s. It's funny to watch the expressions on the faces of people I'm passing...like "are you nuts?" I just smile and smoosh on. Unfortunately, we've had too much rain...not good for the farmers, and in Cincy, there are mudslides. Hoping NOT to see any of those on Saturday.