Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rain, Rain

Labor Day Monday we were driving home from the Glauser Olympics (at which we placed with a silver, thank you very much) when we found ourselves in a heavy rain on the freeway.  I didn't realize how heavy it was until we came to our neighborhood streets, which normally drain well, and the water reached the underside of the minivan.  We passed some friends splashing through the flooded roads in the dark.  My children begged me to let them go play, but at 9:30 at night I just wanted them to go to bed and get rested for school the next day.  So they went to their rooms like good little children.  After waiting for us, their parents, to go to bed, those stinkers went outside to play!  (I got an admittance of guilt from one of the younger ones the next morning.)  Sadly/fortunately, by 10 p.m. the rain had tapered off and the streets had drained, so they were met only with disappointment.

The little English children of the 17th century must not have realized how good they had it.  They sang "to charme away the Raine" (according to John Aubrey, who was a writer and one of the world's first archaeologists--kind of an interesting guy).  While they were charming the rain away, their nursery rhyme also works for kids of the desert who welcome a good downpout in daylight hours:

Rain raine goe away,
Come again a Saturday.
Little children want to play.

By the way here's another interesting tidbit from Wikipedia. Did you know Peter, Paul & Mary, the Foo Fighters, and Nine Inch Nails have all included versions of this nursery rhyme in their songs?  Now you've learned something new for the day!

While English children were wishing to postpone the rain, my kids were wishing it really would come again.  The kids weren't the only ones.  I have at least one adult friend who felt left out when she missed playing in the rain Monday evening.  I, too, was hoping for a nice summer deluge.  I have a great memory from when I was 20 years old and played in the rain in Arizona's Kaibab Forest.  In one of nature's tricks, the sun was interrupted for about ten minutes that day as the heavens dumped their water on us.  I joined the other college students I worked with that summer in a few minutes of wet frolicking and amazement that so much liquid could be held up in the air...until it couldn't.  When it finished, we were surrounded by steaming earth and the rich scents of forest soil and pine.  It's one of my favorite memories.  I wanted my own children to have that memory for themselves.

Well, the nursery rhyme worked, and for the second time in six days, Utah County got pummeled by heavier and longer rain than I've ever seen in my 35 years in this state.  Provo's Mayor Curtis said it was a storm that only comes around twice in a century.  (The pictures of damage he posted on his blog are pretty impressive.)  We were just finishing our weekend deep cleaning when Kent and the kids called me to the back deck to witness the greenish-gray, roiling clouds.  They were beautiful and ominous.  And then they broke.  The wind whipped the water in sheets against the deck doors so that we could barely see through the glass.  In coastal areas, such a storm would send residents running for cover and locking their shutters.  My kids took it as an indication that they should be outside!

They ran out and back in with the thrill of being soaked within seconds.  After recording the excitement on Facebook, they were back out again!

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Notice #3's orange T-shirt in the truck's spray?  She loved it!
Neighbor children ran to our home for brief cover, and then ran back outside to splash in the puddles that were quickly forming in the gutters.  I gave up my intentions to mop the floors and took a seat on the covered front porch to watch all the excitement, and to be grateful to have an actual roof over my head.  I said a prayer of thanks that the constant rain on our recent camping trip had been nothing like this monsoon.  Within a few minutes, though, I was cold and damp from the mist that was blown under the porch roof.  The kids brought their useless umbrellas back to me.  I guess with the water driving hard enough to force its way through the umbrella fabric, the kids just gave in and ran through it with no cover.  

My friend, K, who had missed Monday's storm came over to make sure we weren't missing all the fun, and I reassured her that I was enjoying myself while still staying mostly dry.  When she left, I told Kent that part of me really wanted to join the water fight that had formed in the lake where the street used to be, but part of me really wanted to stay dry and make sure the towels were catching the leaks around our sliding door.  He said he would go play if I would; but he was fixing a screen, and the sensible part of me won out.  For a bit.

Once the hard, windy rain left off and only a normal, steady shower was left, I couldn't resist any longer.  I headed out with my camera to capture #3 swimming in the street and #s 1 and 2 splashing with their friend, S.

Thanks, Raine, for coming again on Saturday, because my little children did want to play.

P.S.  Thanks, too, Raine for getting it all over with and leaving a lovely evening for BYU to beat Texas!  40 to 21!!!  Great game Cougars! 

(Thanks for the photo Deseret News.  I didn't see a copyright symbol, so I hope it's okay to post.)

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