Storm's a brewing there on the left; it turned out to be a sunny day after a minute (literally) of rain came down.
One of those days where the volatile Oklahoma weather worked in our favor, left us with bright, clear sunshine for our field trip to the zoo.
When I was a kid, I loved to spend time outside in the rain. My bubble umbrella and I would go on long walks in the rain, splashing in puddles and watching how the rain created a new landscape in those city streets. Though we lived in a decidedly urban neighborhood in the heart of Milwaukee, I know now that we were blessed by nature. Large, sturdy trees, flowers, vegetation of all kinds surrounded us. Those days we would spend an entire day outdoors, we could feast on raspberries and rhubarb, growing wild in patches here and there or cultivated in yards. We made forts in long-blooming lilac bushes, climbed trees, chased ants off the peony bushes, popped milkweed pods and wondered over the sticky fibers bundled within them. We chased caterpillars and tiny tree frogs--but that was on the sunny days.
Rainy days, we would harvest those worms crawling up to the surface. Splash in puddles. Make boats of folded newspaper to race through the gutter. We'd hole up on our large, creaky wooden porches and design our future. The rain always gave the world a surreal quality. The thunderstorms were scary; we'd explain away the thunder and lightning and puzzle over the sky with its changing colors. I recall one day, sitting on the porch with my dad when tornadoes were in the forecast. He pointed out the sky, the clouds, told me what to watch for.
As a young adult, my favorite pastime was driving around on cloudy, overcast rainy days; we'd pick a back road, use the highways and lake as our guide and actively try to get lost. It never worked; we never really got lost, but it was the best way to spend a rainy afternoon, listening to music and driving.
When we lived in Germany, there was no shortage of rain. Rainy days in the summer, fall, winter and spring; Mother Nature played no favorites. One summer, I think it rained every day.
Our first trip in the fall of 1997 was a bus excursion from the Rhein Falls region where we lived to Bavaria, to see Neuschwanstein Castle (the castle that famously provided inspiration for the Disney castle) and various other sites. The bulk of our time on that bus was spent planning our list of what we needed to be sure to bring with us on all future trips--rain gear was first on that list. We quickly learned that our Levis jean jackets--though durable and on trend--were no match for the rain.
There we are, standing soggy in front of a waterfall in Bavaria. I think this was on the walk down from the castle back to the village. I don't recall clearly as this was a good 20 years ago, but I do remember that overcast days are the best days for traveling in Europe--providing you carried your rain gear.
When we planned our trip to London in August, I was excited, anticipating a chilly, soggy visit, but alas; we were met with a heat wave the likes of which London hadn't experienced in decades. I felt so cheated.
The obligatory red phone booth in London picture. I think this was just outside the Hard Rock Cafe in London, in August, our wedding anniversary. It was hot. Like, seriously hot. Like Oklahoma hot. I was miserable. Oh, and it was the 1990s, so please disregard those overalls.
It took me a few years to realize what was strange about the rain in Germany, but it was the lack of thunder and lightning. Though the rain was common, I can't recall thunder even once. That's good sleeping weather--a nice, gentle thunderstorm.
Now we're in Oklahoma. The weather changes on a dime and when you need the rain, it won't come; when you're fully hydrated, it won't stop. This is a land of feast and famine, and you learn to adjust. As I wrote this post, in fits and starts over the course of a few hours at my kitchen table, the weather has again taken a turn. I woke to rain and hail and large, angry clouds and now the sun shines bright and the wet ground steams as the sun bakes the rain away.
|The clouds quickly grow big and fluffy here in Oklahoma.|
|Cloudy skies make the rainbows.|
|Hey there, sunshine.|
A rainy day playlist I've shared before but it's always fun to listen to: