Saturday, July 28, 2012

Red evergreens and rotten tomatoes

The midwest is in such a drought, our evergreen bushes are orange-red. My potted flowers are barely surviving and despite the soaker hoses operating twice a day, the tomatoes have bit the dust. We're begging our baby tree to hang in there, but the leaves aren't cooperating.
We were driving down highway 55 passing through St. Genevieve commenting about the thermometer readings. 105 in St. Louis and then the temperature slowly decreased twenty degrees. I'm sure the farmers were hooting and hollering when the clouds let loose, but alas the rainfall was too late and not nearly enough to make a difference. Corn crops have failed miserably and well, everyone knows what that means. Next year's grocery bills are going to surpass this summer's electric bills.

In the past, our first tomato ripened in early July, and we picked the last one from the vine in late August. This year, the crop is a month ahead of schedule. Our vegetable garden is almost kaput!

The last time I ached for a good old midwest thunderstorm was in 1970. St. Louis was under a tornado watch, the sky was green and the atmosphere eerily still when I left for Alaska in the summer of 1969. All week long we'd experienced electrical storms with sizzling lightning and booming thunder. I'd grown up on those rainmakers.

As a kid, after one of those thunderstorms, my brother and I would float popscile sticks down the overflowing stream at the curb. We'd splash in pot hole puddles. We'd laugh at the birds bathing.

I couldn't believe that thunderstorms were not a daily spring/summer occurence in Alaska. In April, May and June 1970 I waited expectantly. On June 23rd, the evening that I went into labor, I heard the first thunder rumble. I looked out the hospital window and yippeed at the sight of falling rain.

This week the sky darkened, the wind kicked up with a tease and thunder threatened overhead. Then, the clouds whizzed by without so much as a sprinkle. After nearly a month of triple digit temperature readings people, plants and animals are aching from this parched feeling. I'm ready to do a rain dance. How about you? The weather guy is predicting heavy rainfall midweek. I think he's a guesser. But I'll continue to hope and pray.


Bookie said...

Last summer I lived the whole summer thinking the heat would break, just a spell, until my whole summer was gone.This year I KNEW what was happening...and the harsher drought makes is even scarier. Water levels falling and severe weather all sound so ominous. And it all makes our minds feel withered too, I think.

Joanne said...

I've noticed our weatherman no longer tells us how many rainfall inches we're short. It's too late to catchup.

Kim said...

I'd like to see four or five days of steady slow rain. I even promised I won't complain about the wet weather.

I am sorry I didn't become a meteorologist - what other job can you be wrong most of the time and still get a paycheck?

Val said...

We had a sluicing downpour for about 15 minutes on Thursday. That's it. I stood outside to watch. We have chickens hatched in early June who had never seen rain.

Your tale of floating things in the curb stream reminded me of Stephen King's book. IT.

Tammy said...

Thank heavens the gods were listening to your poetic words as my immediate area is having its first significant rainfall in six weeks at least. Funny how rain has become exotic now. Your words really are magic!

Anonymous said...

SO crazy your weather! Seems more like Georgia than MO.

I had a ton of little cukes die on the vine. Then a whole batch popped out when the rains came-- until this week when...yep, the heat burned 'em up again. :-(

Susan said...

Gosh, Linda, I have read and heard the news about the terrible drought in the midwest. I feel very sad for all of you.

While it has been hot here, and dry,the weather is nothing like you are experiencing.

Lord bless the farmers and, like you said, Lord bless the consumer at the supermarket come fall.

Chuckled over that fat-dripping burger on the side of the bus and the OA announcement at the back. That was funny. (Which would you choose, side or back? hee hee)

Take care. Susan

Janet Smart said...

We were parched and dry for quite a while,but lately we've had a lot of rain. You can have some of ours if you want it. Our garden is doing pretty good now and so are the weeds!

K9friend said...

Hooray for rain! May it come again...and soon!

Critter Alley

Lynn said...

I was out of town when it rained, but hubby said it rained a good four hours. I bet that was nice!