This place we have lived in for the past 20 years is considered a desert. We get about 7 inches of annual rainfall a year. Hardly any snow in the winter. The farmers and ranchers depend heavily upon the snowfall in the mountains. As it melts it fills the lakes and the dams and that water is the lifeblood of our community. Summers are very hot and it is dry and arid pretty much year round. There is a lot of sandy dirt and not a lot of vegetation.
Unless you count the sagebrush. John Wayne could have made all his cowboy movies here.
But the weather - it's a changin'. Slowly but surely. Some call it global warming. I call it prophecy coming to pass. Whatever you want to call it, it can't be denied that the last couple of years we have had more than our share of snow. And rain. And cool weather. In fact we haven't really had any warm weather yet this year. Crops are slow. So are gardens. And this year we have already had tons of rain. It's very interesting.
Where I grew up in the Midwest, we always had thunderstorms. I mean the kind with really loud thunder and lightening that cracks the sky in two. We don't have those here. It's always been a weird thing to me to have summer rain with no noise and no light. It's just .....different. But this spring/summer we have had real thunderstorms. Not quite at the level I'm used to - but real thunderstorms none the less.
Last night I was babysitting our youth pastor's kids. We were sitting at the table eating our hamburgers and french fries (that's what I always make them when they come over) when it began to thunder and suddenly the skies opened and it poured down rain like I have never seen it do here. I reached over and opened the patio door so we could hear it. The kids all looked at me with question marks in their eyes.
"Why did you open the door?"
"So we can hear the rain. Do you want to go out and play in it?"
They looked at me like I had come from another planet. The younger two (three year old twins) looked interested in the prospect and they scooted down from their chairs. They walked over to the door and peered out and looked back at me.
The older two kids got down from their chairs. "You think we should play in it?"
"Why not? That's what rain is for."
"We'll get wet."
That was all it took. Tentatively at first, then with joyful abandon the kids participated in a rain dance. It was glorious.
Click on the pictures to make them larger - you can see how hard it is raining!
I had the best time watching them dance and play in the rain. They just couldn't quite believe they were doing it - with permission! Finally they came in and they had to strip down at the door so I could pop their clothes in the dryer.
After wrapping them up in blankets we played some games of Crazy Eights and made a craft paper. All night long they talked about playing in the rain. It was the highlight of the evening. And it didn't cost a penny.
I don't know if this climate change thing is something to be worried about or not. I'm thinking not. It's all in God's hands - not ours. But I have enjoyed having some "real weather" for a change. Bring on the rain!