I started writing "Hot and Dry and Humid" in my farm journal (which I hope to turn into Boyd's New Arkansas Farmer's Almanac someday), what seems like a year ago. Progress on the farm has been occurring in fits and starts, go out, work a little until I just start feeling a little dizzy, then back inside for a rest. Hot and Dry and Humid. Every day. Eventually I stopped writing it out and opted for just the acronym, "HDH". Once I tired of this exercise I start just making the "ditto" marks, then, this being too much to bear, day after long hot day, the entries are blank. So I really can't tell the last time we got any significant rain.
Today I worked a few projects until the heat got too bearable - 9AM Arkansas Time, then I reverted back the strategy of keeping the projects short and doable, so I could run back inside, shirt soaked, in front of a fan, reading my favorite book of all time until I fall into a catnap, then back outside for another little project.
The last project I started, out of desperation, was to set up a sprinkler in the portion of the garden where our tomatoes and cow peas are planted. My hope, in addition to watering the plants, was to soften the ground which has become hard and cracked, so I could do some easy weeding early tomorrow morning.
I performed my annual ritual of soaking my self with the sprinkler until I could get the range and direction set to only water what I needed watered and then did the evening chores. Hark! What do I hear? Is that the rumble of what we used to call thunder? And the flashing on the horizon? Could that be, what was it we called those bright flashes that immediately preceded this thunder. Lightning, that's it. No rain though, just the preamble. Kind of like a movie trailer that promises a laughing in the aisles comedy but fails to deliver once your in the middle of it.
The air did cool down a bit and the breeze picked up making it tolerable, at least, to be outside. So I decided to help Patt weed the strawberries in the Cross Garden. Then...it started to rain! Rain! Glorious Rain!
I continued weeding. Patt called the dogs and ran in the house. I thought she would have asked me to come in the house with her saying something like, "You'll get hit by lightning". To which I would have replied, "Then I will die doing something I like to do...or I'll survive and be one of those savants that can read people's minds..."
When she returned, wearing her straw hat and work gloves, I smiled inside. You know, like the feeling you get when you know that everything is going to be okay? By the time she got back out to the garden my white woven cotton work shirt was soaked through. I was dead sexy! Kind of like Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy coming up out of the lake sexy. Funny that Patt did not mention it.
Any way, we got the strawberries, rosemary, and thyme beds weeded. I ran to the barn to turn the sprinkler off while Patt went inside. The cool air refreshed me as I entered. Patt showed me the radar of West Arkansas out of Russelville. There was one storm on the screen. A small one, directly over our farm.
I told Patt that what happened made all the heat worth it. She said, "well I wouldn't go that far."
Now a nice dinner of beef in a wine reduction and swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts.