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Tuesday, May 8, 2012


There’s something about rain wherever we live. This is something I’ve been thinking about for some time now, but haven’t revealed my suspicions until now – it doesn’t rain where we live! 

It all began when we lived in Houston in the late 70’s into the late 80’s.  Oh, it did occasionally rain, but there was definitely a drought when we lived there.  I remember visiting Houston when I was in junior high and it rained every day.  Everybody said it was normal, so when we moved there, I expected the rain and very humid days to be a normal part of our lives.  Nope – we went into a drought.  In fact, we went through a hurricane and it barely rained.  The weather guys reported that it was the driest hurricane in modern history.  Go figure!

We moved to Wylie in 88 and it started out in a drought.  It was raining when we were looking for a home because I remember tracking black mud on some new carpets in the homes for sale.  In fact, it rained so much that the local lake (Lake Lavon) was flooded and we couldn’t use our boat for 2 years.  But once we signed on the dotted line and bought a home, it quit raining.  The weird dirt there was actually shrinking from around our house and we had to circle our slab with soaker hoses and “water our slab” to keep the foundation from cracking.  I put in a fence around our yard and I ended up with tendonitis or tennis elbow from digging the holes for the fence posts because the ground was so hard packed from the lack of rain.  Tumbleweeds were part of our landscaping!

Fast forward to now.  We’ve been living here on beautiful Lake Travis for 10 years now.  The occasional rain will keep the lake actually looking like a lake until the last couple of years – you guessed it, we’re in a drought.  It’s raining like crazy in Houston and Wylie, but not here.  It’s so bad that you can actually see the rain coming at us and at the last moment, it splits, goes around us and comes back together to rain in Austin.  The TV weather guys announce a great rain event in Austin and we’re drier that a popcorn toot.  The lake has shrunk so much that we have to take a bus from the camp down to the lakefront to keep from getting so tired or flipping our ankles on the dry rocks that should be under water.

I wonder if there is a place in the United States that gets too much rain?  We can sell ourselves as rain stoppers and for a fee, we can move there and make the rain stop.  How many times have we seen or heard stories about dry places hiring rain makers to come and make it rain – we are the opposite, but I believe just as valuable a commodity in the weather business!!  Now don’t say Seattle or some crazy liberal place like Portland, Oregon, I’m talking about a nice quiet place in Middle America that could use our services.  We could be “Weather Consultants”  or “Weather Therapists”.  We could be actually appreciated for our talent!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Where Did The Time Go?

When I started this little blog, I thought I could sit down and whip out a witty post every few days when I felt full of "it" and impress all my followers (poor souls). Well, so much for my lofty goals and back to reality! It has been since October since I last felt witty and I'm not so sure I feel that even now, but here goes nothin'!?!

It's now May and it looks like this year is shaping up to be a carbon copy of last year in the weather department. It's predicted to be 97 today even though it is currently raining (if you can call it that). In fact we've had very little rain this year, just some early to get the flowers going and now today, having skipped the whole April showers thing. The flowers are now all reduced to brown dried up weeds and leaving behind their seeds, many in the form of fuzzy balls that like to clog up in your shoe laces (for those of you that only wear Crocs, shoe laces are what are used to hold real shoes on your feet). Worse, this year has yielded a bumper crop of spear grass. There was a time that this would be a time of rejoicing because spear grass made a fine weapon to fire at unsuspecting friends when they weren't looking. Now, it is an annoyance to remove from your shoe laces (see above) and socks, except they make you immediately remove them because of their nice little sharp points (see above #2).

Back to today's rain, we had 3 inches of thunder and lightning and 1/4 inches of actual moisture, if that! The earlier rains actually added 6 or 7 feet of water to Lake Travis, helping our water wells mostly, but still 40 feet below full. Since we are a summer camp, we depend on water to get us through the summer. But, alas, the lake is getting lower again, headed for that historic low water mark established 3 or 4 days after I was born in 1951. That's right, I'll be 61 on my next birthday!

But enough about my/our problems, there are things to be celebrated! My son-in-law was blessed with his dream job on January 1. Now he's complaining about having to work too much and go too many places, poor baby. Our eldest grandchild will graduate high school at the end of this month. The entire Libby clan again visited us at Easter. Tres and Kate are enjoying their first foster children (a 3 yr old boy and a 2 month old little sister)! Dolly the border collie has 5 little miniature Dollies, born this week. I can retire in 6 more years.

Notice, I said nothing about summer camp being less than a month away. Summer camp is a blur and this will be my 10th summer working at the camp. I'm now in a "responsible" position with several people reporting to me, hanging on my every word, waiting for direction and wisdom. This has worked so well that I have 2 key staff members leaving right before camp starts. I hope to have them replaced, but having someone in their positions is little comfort when I have to try to train these guys when the blur of camp actually starts. It's like being kicked in the unmentionables and having to keep smiling. Oh well, nobody said it would all be fun and games. Just 6 more blurs to live through and I can kick back and enjoy life again!

There are some joys between summer camp seasons, but our camp keeps trying to eliminate those too. We've tried to fill up our calendar with little episodes called "outdoor education" or what I like to call mini summer camps, all consuming and designed to suck the life out of those of us awaiting retirement. Oh, the kids love it, but these little mini summer camps grind on through the fall and spring with our regular weekend retreat schedule still intact and the annual camp rehab season still trucking right along. Leaving us in the position trying to get ready for the camp season with one arm tied behind our backs or as busy as a one armed wallpaper hanger. Or another metaphor, as busy as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

It's not all bad, we still have our annual homemade ice cream bash coming up!