Rainy Day Reflections

Rain is falling on our pond. To most of you, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but here in Central Texas, where we have had almost zero rain in months, it’s a welcome relief from the dry and dusty weather we have endured since mid-May. This summer will definitely go down as the most unpleasant summer I have ever experienced as far as temperatures are concerned. I have a new, clear understanding why farmers and ranchers watch the weather so closely. We were seriously concerned that our entire thirty acres of grass was going to die and we would have to start completely over in the spring. That would equate to a whole lot of hay being purchased this winter, then a whole lot of grass seed being planted in the spring. Both of those scenarios would cost us a whole lot of money.

For Green Acres and every ranch across Texas, rain equals money. Money saved on hay during the winter and money earned on crops being grown the remainder of the year. We are thankful for the reprieve we have had over the past week here in Central Texas. A couple of nights ago, I actually laughed out loud at The Outdoorsman as he practically pressed his face against the glass of our front door waiting for the coming rain. He was like a child watching for Santa Claus.

With the heat and drought on Green Acres, The Outdoorsman and I have both experienced sluggishness and discomfort for months. Our window units in the farmhouse had the impossible task of keeping our house cooled down on the dozens and dozens of 100+ degree days.  I had a constant thin, irritating layer of sweat on my body almost the entire summer that caused me to want to stay as still as possible throughout the days. We both dreaded going outdoors to feed all of our animals because the house was so warm upon our return inside and it took so long for us to cool back down.

The upside of all of this? It seems as if many of the local insects and weeds couldn’t withstand the unbearable heat. We had way fewer pesky bugs than we normally do on the farm. The other advantage was that the grass did not have to be mowed at all throughout the summer. This was a welcome reprieve for The Outdoorsman. He normally spends at least fifteen hours each week mowing to keep our pastures down, but no mowing is needed when the grass isn’t growing. It provided him with more time to do other things and to rest during the heat of each day.

Another positive outcome of the persistent heat was that we made the firm decision to install an HVAC central air and heating system.  We can’t take another summer like the one we just experienced in our farmhouse.  Picture yourself in an Easy Bake oven.  Not hot enough to cook you completely, but close.  It was pretty miserable, to be honest.  We are both extremely hot-natured so neither of us mind the fact that the house stays really cold in the winter and we have to run electric and gas heaters in every room.  But the heat.  We were unable to escape the effects of it.

Today has been a rare and unusual day for me.  I raced home as soon as I was able to leave school.  The Outdoorsman had left all of the feed already scooped and in buckets due to the impending afternoon showers so it literally took minutes to feed our menagerie of animals.  I was finished feeding our animals, walking the dogs, and collecting the eggs before 4:40 p.m. and, as I was walking into the house, light sprinkles began hitting my face.  By the time I closed the door to the house, the rain was skirting across the pond at a slight angle as the wind blew across our farm.  Just in time.

I came into the house, ate dinner, put on my pajamas, and watched the rain fall gently on our pond.  This is where I hope to stay all weekend long.  I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend with my little family on our farm.

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