Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Playing in the rain

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The hot sultry weather made the flowers hang in a withered wilt. The hot air seemed to take your breath being heavy and flaccid, devoid of any movement whatsoever. Even the flies hid in the shadows. I noticed a dark cloud form off to the south. The sky blackened and thunder rumbled in the distance. Maybe we would get some rain out of this pop up storm although usually the weather here moves from southwest to northeast bringing with it moisture riding up from the Gulf. But the thunder got closer while the white billowing clouds streamed increasingly overhead. A gentle breeze pushed up from the direction of the darkening horizon and my hopes of a cooldown materialized with the first big drops of rain.

I took a look at the thermometer as I came inside. Then I watched through the window as the leaves bent under the weight of the water droplets, remembering my youth and the rainstorms in West Tennessee. If there weren't lightning and thunder we would run out in the downpour often in our underwear. Turning our face to the sky with open mouths we drank in the refreshment. There was always a mud puddle to splash through. Then we would find a small stream to launch our boats, just popsicle sticks or tree limbs, to race from one side of the street to the other.

I don't remember hearing the rain as a child but when I went back out on the porch to see that the temperature had dropped from 90 degrees to 80 degrees in just a few minutes, I noticed the stippled staccato stint as each drop hit a leaf leaving an over all soothing hiss of surround sound. I also don't remember being cold but this day just the spray from the downspout gave me a chill forcing me back inside.

Have times changed that much that children no longer relish playing in the rain? Maybe it's the danger of lightning or the competition from video game entertainment that keeps them inside. But a champion for the out-of-doors is lurking around the corner. Bring on Pokémon, only this time make him waterproof.

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