Hodgepodge by Roy Hodge

Throughout the past summer, and now into early fall, I have noticed something unusual.

I don’t remember anyone — and it is usually lots of anyones — saying to me: “We sure need some rain.” The best reason for that, of course, is that we don’t especially need any more rain than we are receiving. We are getting part of a predicted rainfall as I am writing this.

But along with the rain we have seen the sun shining. It seems to me that the rain to sunshine ratio was just about perfect this summer.

There was a lot of warmth and sunshine and enough rain to make the gardeners at least semi-happy.

I have been thinking about summers during the years my friends and I were growing up on Wiman Avenue. I remember that showers, even an occasional storm, provided us with summer fun.

When it stopped raining we would run outside, often in our bare feet, or wearing our soon to be soaked shoes or sneakers.  We would run up and down the paved street in front of our homes, splashing in the rivers of water rushing down the road, next to the curbs.

In my memories of those summer days of the past, we had a lot more quick and sometimes quite violent thunder showers.

As a small child I was frightened by the loud thunder. My mother later told me that she said, “Don’t be scared; it’s just the angels moving the furniture around up in heaven.”

There was a special place where my mother and I would go during a thunder storm and also during an air raid drill.  There was a shelf at the bottom of the dining room table big enough for the two of us to comfortably sit.

That’s where we would be while the thunder boomed, or the air raid sirens sounded. I would sit and listen while my mother, in her soft, comforting voice, sang to me.

More weather stuff:

From Hodgepodge, July 8, 1996: The difference between “partly sunny” and “partly cloudy”: “Partly cloudy” means more sun than clouds and more blue skies will be seen. “Partly sunny” means more clouds than sun.

When I was talking to John Florek at the city water works on August 14, 2002 he said “There’s been hardly any rain for a month and a half.” John said 0.25 inches of rain had been registered at the water works so far in August.

Looking back a few years in the record books John said, “In the summer of 1992, the summer that wasn’t, there had been 32.5 inches of rain recorded through Aug. 14.”

And the quote of the week in September 1981 from Fred Sumner: “ … and I haven’t even started building my ark.”

Rain songs

You probably haven’t thought lately about the popular songs written about rain.

We all know “April Showers,” “Singing in the Rain,” and “I Get the Blues When It Rains.” How about “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” and “Come Rain or Come Shine”? I think Ray Charles sang that one.

Willie Nelson sang the song, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” and you may not remember that a group called the Cascades had a one-hit wonder called “Rhythm of the Rain.”

And, this old popular song: “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella on a Rainy, Rainy Day,” was recorded by Bing Crosby and Perry Como.

Along with the lyrics of that song I found a definition: “It means that the bad conditions only bother you when you let them. Your smile, a positive attitude or being happy, protects you from bad things, rainy days, and the bad feelings you might have from a situation.”

I remember this little refrain: “Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day, little Roy (or Johnny, or Susie) wants to play.”

The following was — and  probably still is — a popular nursery rhyme:

“The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

“Out came the sun and dried up all the rain. And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.”

October

“October’s Party” by George Cooper:

October gave a party;

The leaves by hundreds came –

The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples,

And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet,

And everything was grand,

Miss Weather led the dancing,

Professor Wind the band.

… Roy Hodge

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