Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sudden Storms and Dog Days

The black cloud cover over Coker Creek promised a good soaking, but we dared not have too much hope; even the breezes were hot and humid. As the first sprinkle hit the ground, Mamie and I couldn’t wait to share our excitement over the occurrence, racing each other to the phone. Richard was convinced that Mountain Mama had done an old Indian rain dance to bring this blessing, even though I don’t think Mamie has any Indian blood in her. I hope it’s true that she’s dancing because it would prove that her latest bout with sciatica is improving.

The rain we got wasn’t enough to wet our whistles (whatever that means;) it was only enough to transform our yard into a steam bath. We were sorely disappointed that we had been subjected to such a cruel tease by Mother Nature. I thought of calling Mamie to ask if we had jinxed ourselves with our premature celebration, but didn’t want to disturb her, in case she was still dancing for more moisture.

Just when we were ready to concede defeat on the rain dance working, thunder rumbled and rolled through the holler. The sky darkened and the skies opened; wind and rain raged. Gypsy, who is usually terrified by thunder, must have been relieved that the violently noisy storm brought equally powerful cooling; she continued to do her fine imitation of a door mat without once crying out for rescue.

Richard and I threw open the windows to better hear and smell the sweet storm; admitting that it would be better if we had a more gentle, much longer rain, rather than this sudden gully washer. As we sat at the kitchen table snapping beans, we kept reassuring each other that the garden ground was so nice and fluffy from Richard’s tilling and our hoeing that it was bound to accept much of the water that was washing over it. We were sure that, since all the seeds had long-since sprouted, we weren’t in danger of wash-out. As the Yiddish say, “From our mouths, to God’s ears.”

The rain also revived our dog; she’s cavorting again with the cat. Great Pyrenees aren’t made for the heat, even with a summer buzz cut. It was so hot and dry that poor Gypsy couldn’t find a cool spot under the topsoil, no matter how many holes she dug. Even with eight acres of shade, a pond, and two creeks, she still finds it necessary to dig in the dirt for cooling herself.

It is true that she almost drowned herself following Rachel’s dog, Cinnamon, into our pond one spring before she had her summer “do.” Not being a water dog, her coat absorbed half the pond; she needed serious assistance getting her soaked self back onto the bank. I don’t think there’s any danger of her drowning on dry land, and last I checked we have no quick sand. I guess Gypsy has some sense, or maybe she simply has a long memory.