It’s raining. So, you say? It’s been dry, you see. Very dry. Starting in late July, the rains stopped here in Mississippi. Officially, in August, it rained a good bit, but most of that official total came during two spot showers at the airport, where the official amount is recorded. At my house, it rained once in August, on the 7th, and totaled .2 inches. In September, officially, .04 inches of rain fell. That was more than I got – not so much as a single drop at any point. That continued into October, where as of the 27th we had officially gotten .38 inches of rain. At my house, I actually exceeded that amount – I had a total of .5 inches one day. Did I mention that during this period it’s also been hotter than normal, with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90s all through September?
The effects have been dramatic. Shrubs and trees that have weathered many droughts have died during this one. Even weeds have been dying. And foundations have been shifting all across the area, as the clay soils have shrunk and shrunk and shrunk. Streets are cracking apart – and don’t even think about digging. Normally you could begin preparing garden beds for next spring now, but the soil is like concrete. And leaves – they’re falling, but when they fall they’re like aged, dried paper. They crackle underfoot.
Like almost everything, there have been some upsides. Our current Habitat build is making extraordinary progress, because it hasn’t rained on any Saturday (we’re a small, all-volunteer chapter, and we can only build on Saturdays). So we’ve gotten lots done, and haven’t had to work on a muddy homesite. The Viking Classic PGA golf tournament, which was completely cancelled last year because of heavy, persistent storms each day, went off beautifully this year. And nobody makes blue skies like those in Mississippi in the fall. I think it’s the contrast between the changing leaf colors, the many trees still green, and the blue of the sky. And the heat and lack of cooling rains meant I could use my unheated pool until early October this year. But still… it’s time for rain. And today, rain is falling. It’s supposed to rain most of today, and tonight, and into tomorrow. And the people said “Amen!”.