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We all prepare for rainy days in our own way

June 29, 2006|by TIM ROWLAND

So, how's that water table looking now? And just when I was starting to hear rumblings about the Return of the Cloud Seeders. I'd heard about the rise of the South, but who knew it wasn't going to rise, it was going to float?

Better watch out. These are just the conditions that might lead the County Commissioners to enact another drought moratorium.

To quote an AccuWeather forecaster interviewed in The Herald-Mail last week, it's going to be drier than normal this summer, with as little as nine inches of rain over the next three months.

If you're standing at the $2 window trying to decide on a horse and you see this guy coming, run.

Well, OK, he could still be right. He just didn't specify that we were going to get the rain all at once, is all.

And who can blame him, because usually you can never go broke predicting dry for Washington County.


My complaining about the drought had fallen on the deaf ears of my brother who lives way up north in New York, where if anything, he has the opposite problem. Plus some that we here, who are always complaining about growth and development, would never imagine.

My sister-in-law, Mary, likes a particular kind of minestrone soup that comes dried in bags and is sold at a gourmet store in Burlington, Vt. So when my brother was across the lake last week, he stocked up with enough soup to last Lewis and Clark to Great Falls, Mont.

Then, two key events commenced.

One, when he got home he forgot to take the soup into the house, and two, he left the sunroof open. This was all the invitation necessary for a lawless raccoon, which dropped through the roof and proceeded to shred all the plastic bags of soup.

This left about an inch of powdered soup mix throughout the interior of the Honda. The crime scene wasn't discovered until Bruce was next leaving for work, so there was no time to vacuum.

Which might have been OK, except that when he went into the office he left the sun roof open AGAIN, and - well, at this point you probably don't need a humor columnist to tell you what happened.

The weatherman hadn't specifically called for eight inches of minestrone that evening, but this is what happened, and helps explain my brother's lack of patience about my complaints about a lack of rain.

But those who know me well know me as a man of action, who wasn't about to sit around and just gripe about the grass turning brown and the death of the estimated $3 million worth of new plants I'd put in this spring.

I knew we needed help, so on Saturday I put my plan into action. First, I went to the nursery and purchased some English Laurel that the label said required "arid" soil. Then, I washed and waxed the cars. Finally, I got out the hose and the lawn sprinkler and watered the property like I had never watered before.

We have been teased so often with forecasts of rain, only to get nothing, that I wasn't buying all the predictions of showers.

In fact, and I am not kidding about this, it wasn't until the rain gauge registered a half-inch that I turned the sprinkler off.

Bottom line, when I prepare for a thing, the opposite always happens. So if the farmers want to thank me now, they may feel free.

Of course, I may have overdone it.

Late Sunday afternoon, I noticed the fish pond I had installed in May was reaching flood stage. I didn't know what to do about this. Calling FEMA was of no use, I supposed. And you lose a lot of face calling up the fire department and asking them to pump out your fish pond.

In the final analysis, I figured that if the fish slurped over the side I could always get new ones, seeing as they had only cost 12 cents each.

So all I could do was sit on the back porch listening to the Conscience in High Heels tick off our preparedness checklist.

"Is the basement OK?"

"Probably a little water, but there's not much down there it can hurt."

"How about all you're dad's books that you've been cataloguing - the Atomic Library?"


I made it to the basement in three jumps exactly, just in time to haul a posse of Zane Greys to higher ground. But the scare taught me a lesson.

Next time I do the Rowland Rain Dance, I'm only going to wax one of the cars.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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