As of late, we have plenty of rain to blame. Our summer seems fake, with spring doing the real moving and shaking while summer provides a front. The Milli Vanilli song referenced in the title is similar to our summer; an uncredited singer laid down the vocal tracks while the two credited members lip-synched on video and during performances.
I could not escape the rain when I visited my parents this weekend. It rained hard enough Saturday night and Sunday morning I had to move my car because of street flooding. Monday started cool and gray but ended sunny and warm. Light jackets and long pants gave way to short sleeves and short pants. On Tuesday, I attended a Twins game at Target Field. Lucy had wanted to go see a game there, but cancer stole that opportunity. We averaged about three Twins games per year, but our last game was August 2010. Target Field is beautiful, the weather was perfect, and the Twins picked up a badly needed win. Lucy would have enjoyed the evening.
Our “too much of a good thing” rain is causing problems. Southern Minnesota has large plots of farmland that is unplowed. The crops, if they could be planted today, would be almost two months behind. Resorts are experiencing cancellations. Mosquito, fly, and tick populations are booming, and the silver maple trees have a bountiful crop of “helicopters” dropping on driveways and gutters. Cottonwood seed cotton is thick enough to look like snow. My lovely sinus problem is high gear and people I know with allergies are in a heightened state of misery.
People generally like sunny weather. Constant dreary weather and unseasonable coolness cause crankiness, sluggishness, and a marked decrease in intelligence and patience (at least from what I can tell on the highways). When the sun makes a cameo appearance and the temperature becomes more summer-like, it is like a rebirth: colors are brighter, sounds are cheerful, and all seems right with the world. Then the weather changes and we are jarred back to a dreary reality with only hope for a better day keeping us going.
There are some advantages to the rain. The cloud cover and gentle pattering of the rain is soothing. Sleeping late is easy, especially if one is on vacation and has earned a break from job stress, and that can lead to inspiration to a blog post, courtesy of a Facebook status update I saw. I would have indulged, were it not for several close lightning strikes at 6:30 am. That was another disadvantage of the unsettled weather.
Lucy and I experienced an unexpected rain shower on the Gateway Trail north of Oakdale, MN almost ten years ago. It remains one of my fondest memories. We were nearing the end of a twenty mile bicycle ride on a slightly humid August day. Lucy noticed some clouds forming and asked me if we would make it back to the car before it would rain. I did not think the clouds were of any consequence, and assured her it would not even rain. About fifteen minutes later, we were riding in a gentle warm rain shower. We were sweaty and a bit tired, but the rain helped cool and refresh us. Lucy had a huge smile on her face after the rain quit after ten minutes, and she smiled all the way back to the car.
It would have been easy for Lucy and I to “blame it on the rain” when she received her cancer diagnosis. We chose to face forward no matter what the cancer battle threw at us. Like the unexpected rain shower years ago, we tried to make the best of it and it helped us cope. It is admittedly much harder to do so without her supporting me, but I do my best. The sun will shine once again.
Give your loved ones a meaningful hug and feel the joy they add to your life. For those of you who are starting a new chapter in your life, remember a journey of ten thousand miles begins with single step and I wish you good luck and Godspeed. Thank you for your support.