Rain. Summer rain on Big House’s back porch roof. A good book to read while rain rattled. Big Kitty lying in my lap while I rested. I’d be sweat wet again soon enough, thistling, gardening or haying, but for the moment I was in the dry.
A reenactment last week. No book, because none of my favorite authors have produced lately. I was enjoying the scenery instead. No Big Kitty. She died under a pickup tire when I was young. Scoot, my yearling plus cat took her place. I scratched lightly around her ears and chin as she lay there on my imperfect lap.
“Run fast boy. Fast enough and you’ll split rain drops in half and only get half as wet.” Pap’s admonition when we were out and about the farm, rain rattling on the roof, and he needed me somewhere else for whatever reason. To the shop for some tool, to the house to tell Mom to go ahead and start dinner, to the garden to grab a couple fresh tomatoes. He always sent me with a grin, but still I was the one getting uncomfortably wet. He didn’t seem to mind.
Cousin Jamie Hilbrink and I practically lived along Capon River, summer afternoons when we were young. When not in the hay field we were in the water. A summer storm, a dilemma. Parents said get out of the water during lightning storms. Might get electrocuted. I used to wonder how close the lightning would have to hit to hurt me. Wouldn’t it kill all the fish and crawdads too?
OK, get out of the water but then we were standing/sitting under great trees on Capon’s banks. “Stay out from under big trees where lightning might strike”. We couldn’t go back to the house either. “Don’t be standing alone out in open fields where lightning might strike tallest thing handy.” A gully near “Little Slate Rock Hole” had sandy banks. We’d burrow in, sit there and worry about flood water coming down the gully. Summer swimming could be a worrisome thing.