A tropical storm had made landfall in the gulf with 60 mph winds. It was disappointing because we have in the past had storms blow through here easily with 70 mph winds so we all knew, a hurricane it was not going to be. It just wasnt strong enough to bring anything inland. What it did do was leave a week’s worth of humidity in its wake. With the stifling heat, we figured humidity might provide an opportunity for pop up storms. All the towns in the hill country set to fervently praying that they would be the one to receive the pop up when it established itself. I take the emergency weather radio with me every day while im at work because i watch the weather not only for my own homestead but for a neighbor and a friend in a neighboring town as well. The pop up storms that resulted were so small and so brief that there was nothing really to track. So, neither the weather radio nor the weather apps mentioned them. I turned the radio off. For this we would just have to use our eye balls. The sky turned gray and we all kept an eye on it hoping it would do something.
I headed home in the afternoon knowing that the best chance for rain was 20 percent at 4 pm. By the time i got to the truck stop on the edge of comfort this was the view. Because of the direction the clouds were darkest in relation to the traffic light at the highway underpass, i knew San Antonio was getting the rain i wanted. But there was still another chance. A smaller blip on the radar was popping up near my town and seemingly moving in the right direction to hit at 4.
Seconds after i arrived home it began to rain. The little drops of moisture pitter pattered on the wooden porch steps and disappeared as quickly as they had soaked in, thanks to evaporation. The blip on the radar scooted beneath us and all we got was two hours of off and on sprinkles which barely made a puddle in the overturned trashcan lid. But moisture was falling from the sky, however little, and being how long it was since we had seen such a thing, i was here for it in all of its novelty. I was captivated. I immediately ran inside and grabbed the dogs. I made them stand outside to feel the raindrops hit their fur and face. I took my shoes off and ran about in the powdery dirt. It never rained enough to turn it to mud but the moisture made the powder clump up like bread or cookie dough when you just begin adding the liquid. It felt strange and soft beneath my toes. The ants went underground to get away from the rain and i was able to run about the yard barefoot while the drops fell on my hair, face, and shirt. It was raining so minimally that my pants remained dry but the grass and everything surrounding me smelled of rain and we were graced with two claps of thunder. I decided that i could be upset that we couldnt have anything substantial or i could enjoy the gift, so i stuck my tongue out and enjoyed the cool drops of water hitting my skin for as long as the sky would give them.
The dogs absolutely thought i had lost the plot. They watched me with boredom and concern written across their faces as i jumped and ran about the yard in the dirt with my arms out singing a nursery rhyme compulsively “its raining its pouring, the old man is snoring….”. It was as if they were saying, “Right, are we done now? Can we go in?”
But, we couldn’t go in. I forbid them to go inside to get out of the rain. Not knowing if or when it would ever rain again, i felt it was important that we all experience this, so we could remember what rain felt like on our faces and what it smelled like once it hit the grass. I locked them in the dog run and ran about the yard barefoot until there was only a stray drop here or there and i saw on the radar that the little green blips had all disappeared. I made sure we soaked in the drops of rain we were gifted, whether the dogs understood what we were doing or not. The rain dampened their fur but it was not enough to wash them. They continue to smell like ranch dogs. One day i will take them to the pet shop tub station in town and pay $14 per dog to activate the heated water sprayer and use their shampoo, conditioner, and blow dryer (Cashew’s nemesis in life). This usually happens once a year towards winter when i might actually want to put sili in the bed at night (better to have her not scent the sheets with dead animal, poo, her sister’s saliva and anything else stinky they can find to roll in).
The grass was so dead it had gone this strange color of red which was really noticeable in the softer light created by the cloud cover.
At the end of the day, this was the amount of rain that fell: