Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thunder, lightning and Rain

I hear Thunder outside. The clouds are gathering.

Soon we will see Lightning, and feel the Rain.

It's August in Oregon. The middle of the month. We expect to hear the thunder, and maybe a few paltry raindrops heavy with moisture will fall, but nothing serious.

That's the way it is tonite. The thunder, for a few seconds, and a moment of the PlopPlopPlop of rain. Then ... nothing, until the Thunder rumbles again in the distance.

We may see some Lightening tonite. At least, those of us who care to stay up for it. Most of us will go to bed soon, and fall asleep under the cannon-boom of Thunder with few cares. It's too soon for the rains to start.

But sometime during this week, the rains will come. Heavier, and closer, and more frequent as the days slide by.

The Dog Days of Summer are passing. Our plans for picnics, outings and "be sure to put on your sunblock" are slipping away.

Soon, too soon, the rains will be here. We will morph into our rainy season selfs again.

It is traditional in this part of the country to expect sun and summer's glowing heat after Independence Day and before Labor Day.

After Labor day, the betting and the planning shifts. We worry less about bringing Sun Block to our outings than we do to bringing Rain Gear.

For it will rain, and soon. Already I feel the soft coolth of Autumn through the window. Yes, we still need to turn on the Air Conditioner to sleep comfortably of a night, but soon the world will reverse itself and we will say to each other "Yes, but it's a Dry Heat" only with a sense of jocularity, and we will swelter in rain coats while the heavens drench ourselves and our days.

Dust turns to mud. Shallow depressions in the earth become mud puddles, meant for splashing and to impede our passage.

There are sunny days left to come, but the dark days are upon us. The Summer Soldiers here, those who love the warmth and cherish the ability to leave our doors without seeking coats and warm clothing, anticipate the following days with a resigned sense of dread.


On the shooting range, plastic bags appear over cardboard targets, and we curse as we try to apply masking tape over soggy paper. Steel targets predominate, and are not painted. The timers appear inside zip-lock bags, and the score sheets must be shielded by umbrellas which drip, drip, drip from the rib-points.

During this time, for the next nine insufferable months, we deal with disappointment and inconvenience. We sing the mantra of Camp Grenada.

We ask ourselves again, why do we inflict this discomfort upon ourselves? Why do we even bother rising before the chilly sun, driving expensive miles to muddy ranges with insufficient shielding from the rain, ready to scurry for cover when the lightning threatens from the ominous clouds?

Because we love it so.

That is our curse, and our salvation.

[lyrics here]

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