For anyone who hasn’t heard the shouts of wild rejoicing, here’s the latest weather report:
Shortly after 1:00 a.m., thunder rumbled and the skies opened.
And once more the humble little cenizo proved itself a prophet: a harbinger of rain.
Forgive the purple prose; I’m still a touch giddy.
A piece of lore I picked up in my youth went like this: In Texas, it doesn’t rain at night in June.
When I was nine or ten and had had several years to ponder the statement, I pointed out that I’d awakened in the night and heard rain falling on the roof.
Of course, someone would say. That was after midnight, which means it was morning. Because in Texas, it doesn’t rain at night in June.
Some parts of Central Texas had as much as 3.5 inches this morning. Austin proper didn’t get that much. The airport, several miles west, got an inch and a half. I don’t think my part of town did that well. But we’re grateful for what we got. It cooled things down.
In my family, rain always brought the same response. My father herded us into the car so we could drive around and see the results. Were the ditches full of water? Was it standing in the fields? Did it rain on York Creek as much as it did closer to town? We could spend hours on a Sunday afternoon, exploring the back roads, speculating on what the precipitation would do to grass, cotton, corn, maize…whatever happened to be growing at the time.
(Note: In those days, I didn’t always appreciate the finer points of rainfall. I usually sat in the back seat with my nose in a book.)
Once my family joined my uncle and aunt on a Sunday afternoon tour of the wetlands. We passed property belonging to one of the town’s more outspoken citizens–in fact, this citizen had for several months been saying some undeservedly nasty things about my uncle, day after day, in his presence (that’s another story). He was a public servant and generally mild-mannered, so he never responded. But his good nature was beginning to fray.
When we reached the gate, he stopped the car, hopped out, and made his way through puddles to the fence, where the rain gauge held a couple of inches of water. He took the gauge off its stand, filled it with water from the ditch, and set it back in place.
He came back to the car grinning. “Tomorrow old Soandso will come into the post office telling how she got over six inches out at her place.”
In other words, if you can’t–or are too much of a gentleman to–lick ’em, just play a practical joke.
That was over forty years ago. Some people I know are still laughing.