The rarity of rain in the desert brings out the oddness in some of us dry skinned, somewhat parched critters. Today’s downpour, complete with a bit of surprising lightning, reminds me of some delicious memories.
We don’t live in a rural area, but we have rural patches of neighborhoods in the landscape of our town that haven’t been incorporated into the city. This leaves wonderful one and two acre lots with farm animals, irrigation, bumpy roads without curbs, traditional on post mailboxes out front of the houses, and best of all, a sense of the history of this former farming community turned big city suburb.
I used to drive my youngest daughter to fifth and sixth grade, usually taking a short stretch of county road. On rainy days the water would flow haphazardly on the edges of the road in huge muddy puddles. At the time we were driving a well-loved older model Jeep Cherokee with four-wheel drive.
Did you know if you’re going just the right speed and hit a puddle at a certain spot you’ll get a wide arching wall of water that can shoot out a good twenty feet? My daughter and I discovered that one drizzly morning.
Rainy school mornings took on a whole different feel for us. The anticipation of knowing we’d get to splash and spray our way to the school motivated us so we were usually ready to go earlier than usual. We called these mornings puddle jumping days.
Fortunately no one was ever walking the muddy shoulder of the road on rainy days. Approaching a glistening pool of brown water filled us with excitement. The sensation of tires hitting the edge of the puddle was answered with a marvelous shower and spray of water propelling outward and upward in an artistic chocolate sweep. Sometimes, depending on the depth of the puddle and the angle the tires hit the water, we’d end up covering the jeep in a deluge of mucky water. Fortunately I usually had the wipers already going due to the rain pouring down.
We aimed for puddle after puddle all the way down the road. I’m sure any onlookers thought we were high school troublemakers raising havoc. The goats and sheep looked on in bemused silence. We left behind emptied puddles and chaos.
Ah, we laughed our way to school those days.
I still can’t resist a puddle on the side of the road, whether I’m walking or driving. I want to make a splash, soak everything in sight then look behind me at the mayhem.
Today is gonna be a great one!