Filed Under (rural life, rural living) by admin on 03-04-2008

Water gathers on the edge of the shingles before dripping into the rain gutter. Dark skies and the sound of rain on the roof sometimes make me envy my dog’s schedule: up at dawn, and back to bed an hour later.

When the weather service announces a flood watch, it’s likely there’s going to be rain. Lewisburg sits in a river valley, so we can see flooding even when the rain falls elsewhere. Today’s flood watch, however, has come with a dark, overcast sky and a steady cold rain.

When I’ve grown weary of winter, a dreary rainy day can actually raise my spirits. While there are several reasons, one really stands out: If it’s raining, chances are the snow is melting.

As long as the field across from my house is covered with snow, winter is in charge. There’s no planting the spring garden (lettuce, spinach, peas, and some herbs don’t mind cold, but you can’t work the soil when it’s under a blanket of snow); there’s no soccer on the grass; there’s no golf.

Around here, the snow is usually gone by early March… and I’m poised to bolt for the outdoors. But late-winter snow—and rain melting it away—means lots of early-spring mud. So, while the rain melts the snow and raises my spirits, at least this year my favorite outdoor activities seem destined to start late.

In the meantime, the flood watch does provide entertainment. Ponds will appear where there usually are none. Drainage ditches that are dry most of the year will run deep with water, or even overflow onto roads. There will be deep puddles to spray with the car’s tires into people’s yards. There will be ducks swimming in some of those yards. There will be one kid—the same one as always—wading knee-deep in the runoff when I pick my kids up at school.

Inside, the dog will seem a little cuddlier than on most days (and she’ll probably sleep more soundly)… but she’ll reach a nadir of popularity when she demands to go out—without a fenced yard, when she goes, someone must go with her.

It’s a small inconvenience; spring is almost here.

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