Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rainy Memories

It's raining, and it's raining hard as evidenced by the water that is rushing in underneath my porch door as it tends to do in heavy rain.  So off I go with one of the bright orange ShamWow towels purchased in bulk from the State Fair last year guaranteed to soak up all that water from the floor in a jiffy.  Although I have watched countless infomercials and witnessed endless demonstrations at the Fair, I can't seem to get the darn towels to soak up much of anything, let alone an entire 2-liter bottle of soda.  (Yeah, I said "soda."  My husband is from Syracuse and he's been a bad influence on me.  I know it's really called pop, but I've grown weary of the argument and have decided to humor him.)
Some people get so upset when it rains.  I don't mind it so much.  Rain smells clean and fresh most of the time.  And for some reason I seem to have a lot of happy memories in the rain.  When I was a teenager I was on a walk with a boyfriend when we got caught in a sudden sun shower.  We started to run for shelter but realized we were already soaked, so instead we jumped in puddles like a couple of little kids.  It was really fun. 

When I was dating my husband we went to the Park Ave Fest.  When we were as far away from the car as possible a horrible storm hit and we were instantly soaked by torrents of rain so strong that I had to cover my face so my contact lenses wouldn't get washed out of my eyes.  Mike took me by the arm and we strolled through the downpour.  People screamed and ran for cover, tents blew over, I remember seeing a hot dog wash down the road between my feet that got me laughing uncontrollably, but we strolled.  While some people grumbled that the storm had ruined the festival and their whole day, I was just happy that I had decided to put the roof back on the Thunderbird before we started out.  Convertibles do not make good swimming pools.

I have been to the State Fair every one of my 35 years.  My family used to hitch our old pop-up camper to the back of the station wagon and camp at the KOA not too far from the fairgrounds.  We would camp and visit the fair for several days at a time, and drive past the "stinky turkey" farm on the way there.  No matter what the weather report said, we would always bring our umbrellas for the first day we were at the fair.  It would ALWAYS rain on the first day.  I liked the rain at the fair.  It forced people into the buildings leaving the roadways clear to browse the various junk tents without bumping into everybody.  And when we would return to our camper I was lulled to sleep by the patter of rain on canvas.  My Dad would warn me not to touch the canvas or it would leak, and every year I would test that hypothesis.  It leaked.  Every time.  I'm sure it irritated Dad, but it was just another tradition like gobbling at the stinky turkeys and mooing at the cows.  Even the year that a tornado touched down and pulled the roof off the 4-H building, we still had a good time.

Just so that you don't think I've gone perpetually optimistic, I would like to point out my slight irritation that I can't hang my laundry outside because of the rain.  Folding the laundry inside isn't as nice or refreshing as folding it out in the bright sunshine and warm breezes.  Plus, I don't like my laundry room.  I dream of someday having a crisp, white, clean smelling laundry room and not what I currently have; a dark, dirty corner of the basement with a spider infestation that my husband is purposely keeping in an attempt to lower the population of even creepier bugs in the house.  Also, we're all trapped in the house, the kids found some kazoos, and I'm pretty much going insane.

So, it's raining now.  And I don't really mind it.  I'll sit by the window and listen to the pitter-patter as nature waters my neglected garden and leaves the air smelling fresh and clean.  In the meantime, I have to sop up the giant puddle on my porch.

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