COLUMN: Where's the rain?

Sandy Turner

By Sandy Turner

I just mowed 10 acres of crunchy grass for my weekly therapy. It didn’t need mowing, except for the weeds, which are thriving during this drought.

If I won the lottery – which I never will, because I never play – I’d install an irrigation system so all of this grass would stay green until the first frost. I never understood my grandparents and parents’ obsession with the weather, but I absolutely get it now.

When we get a spurt of rain, checking the rain gauge is like checking your numbers for the lottery. Who knew we’d get so excited about even an inch of rain?

Cornfields surround us, and even though they appear to be OK, I can’t imagine being a farmer and having to depend on Mother Nature to ensure job security. All of that hard work could be wiped away, depending on the weather. It’s a thankless job, and when I was little and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always to be a farmer.

Even though we’re keeping the garden watered, the pepper plants seem to be wilting away. Thank goodness the tomatoes and cucumbers seem to like the heat.

Typically by now we’ve fished the pond at least a couple times a week, but I just can’t bring myself to play the game of catch and release with the water level so low. The fish have to be so crowded they are bumping into each other, and I’m sure every cast would land one of them, but when they’re thrown back, they may have lost their place.

I feel sorry for the fish, and I’m sure the last thing they want to deal with right now is a hook in the side of their mouth.

At least we haven’t seen any fish which have given up the fight to survive, although it seems we’re being overrun with raccoons, so they may be cleaning up the banks at night.

The rose bushes came alive early this year and were blooming like crazy. Now, even with watering, only a quarter of the bush has roses on it. All of my potted plants are either suffering from too much heat or too much water, as I seem to be obsessed with giving them drinks.

My one “go to” plant – which a friend introduced me to some years ago by giving me a bag of bulbs- is thriving. When the weather turned warm in March, I planted cannas all over the place and they do not seem to care about the weather. I can’t imagine how many bulbs I’m going to find when I dig them up in the fall.

It’s summertime, they say. Have fun and enjoy the sun, they say. In 60 days, it will be fall. Mother Nature is all kinds of mixed up. I’m thinking she’s menopausal.

The way this summer is going, we should expect a snowstorm at the end of September.

Sandy Turner is a mom, grandma, former caretaker and retired journalist living in Missouri.

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