A Wet Year

I like to completely detail and wax the ol’ Camry at least once each year. I prefer to do this during dry spells so I can enjoy the look of a pristine car finish for at least a week; two or three is better.

This spring and summer have been especially rainy in Nebraska. We go a couple or three days at best without rainfall. So, the only cleaning the car has gotten has been a couple of runs through an automatic car wash at a gasoline station.

Last week, I watched Chuck, the neighbor across the street, wash and detail his new Ford pickup. He spent the entire afternoon on the task, at least one hour of it went into detailing the front grill and bumper. After Chuck finished, I walked over to his place to admire his truck and to complement his work. The vehicle looked nicer than when he first brought it home from the showroom.

The next morning, Chuck drove the pickup to his job at the post office, which is about a mile east of town. I felt sorry for my neighbor because the sky had opened up with a downpour. That evening, he returned home and the truck was covered with a coating of road film. Chuck said just as he was preparing to steer onto the post office road, a semi-truck stirred up a long puddle and drenched his pickup.

I shook my head and said that’s one reason I haven’t bothered to wax my old Toyota this year. We groused about the rainy year for a few minutes, then I walked back across the street to home.

Although we did not have any remarkable blizzards during the last winter, we did receive measurable snowfall at least once per week. Late winter witnessed the historic snow-melt flooding across much of the Great Plains. It was so severe that much of Norfolk was evacuated because of fears the levee would be breached. Elsewhere, other areas fared much worse.

This month, Western South Dakota has seen flooding from persistent, heavy rains. In fact, some parts of that state still have standing water left over from winter.

If climate cycles hold true, the Great Plains will experience drought conditions after another year or two. Many farmers are afraid to complain about this year’s rain out of superstitions regarding rain and drought and crops. Ironically, this rainy year has prevented several farmers from planting or cultivating their fields. There have already been a higher than usual number of rural bankruptcies.

“If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.”–Zen monk, Thich Nhat Hanh

I’ve lived here so long that I’ve adopted Nebraskans’ sour attitudes about our weather. When I become aware of this, I sometimes take deep breaths and try to reconfigure my attitude. Even in the midst of a severe thunderstorm or a blizzard, I feel inspired by the force and power of the troposphere. At times, the emotion feels poetic.

The onrush of heavy clouds puts my life in perspective. The downpours wash away my hubris.

The Blue Jay of Happiness smiles at a line from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Environment, Hometown, Meanderings and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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