My special relationship with Mom Nature


I am deeply disturbed by recent actions of the current occupant of the oval office. However, this is my Birthday BBQ week. Therefore, I am postponing commentary on his behavior. Because, I plan on enjoying this week. So, today I’ll talk about my special relationship with Mom Nature.

I have three Moms in my life. One biological, one marital and one…er…ecological? My biological Mom is gone some 15 years now. My Stepmom is still around, I see her at least once a week. And my “other” Mom? Well, she’s everywhere!

My special relationship with Mom Nature goes back to my youth. Growing up in a water-surrounded state like Florida brings a lot of Mom Nature into play. Having a natural wetlands like the Everglades just adds to the fun.

But, for today, I’ll only focus on Mom Nature’s sloppy wet kisses. We have lots of pet names for her monster thunder storms. The one that always stuck with me came from a weatherman “back in the day”.

His name was Walt Cronise. “Uncle Walt”, as we called him down here. He came up with the term, “toad-strangling” rainstorm. You should Google him. He was a fascinating and talented man.

But, I digress.

Okay, the best part about Florida rainstorms was watching and listening to them. I’ve got a few tales about them (you might have read them before), but I’ll focus on just one.

Stay on your side

When I was a kid, I’d get to spend every other weekend at my Grandparents’ home in Keystone Point. I mention this home a lot. The dock on the canal was my early morning, mid afternoon and early evening living area.

With a big Ficus tree and a fence covered in hibiscus hedge alive with all manner of color, it was a perfectly peaceful spot. I would sit there with my little fishing pole and just chill before the word chill was used for anything other than soder pop.

One day, I watched as a huge bank of dark gray (nearly black) clouds rolled by. Those are the most fun fronts. They look like they’re 4D, climbing almost like a flat wall into the heavens.

When a front like that comes by, everything changes. The temperature drops dramatically (especially noticeable in Florida). The wind smells like water. The air feels charged.

And still, I just sat there. It takes a lot more than mean sky to get a fishing pole out of my hands. Plus, it was still sunny out.

And then it started raining. I watched in fascination as the rain crept over the house across the canal from the dock. I could actually see the rain advancing.

Of course, I stubbornly kept fishing. The rain advanced further, now it was over their backyard. Still more, now it was raining on their dock.

Weirdly, I was still in sun. To me that meant only one thing: keep fishing. I watched as those little circlets of splashes formed in the canal. First the edge, then a quarter of the way, and then halfway.

And then, it stopped.

Not raining, mind you, it just stopped advancing. I was still sitting there on the dock with my little fishing pole in the sunshine. At the same time, it was pouring rain on half the canal and everything north of me.

Ha! I love Florida. I think this is when I first realized my special relationship with Mom Nature.

Since that time, I’ve had wonderful run-ins with my “third” Mom. Sometimes, she wasn’t so nice about her watery embrace. Many other times, I’ve been happy with her forbearance.

We get along. I mean, sure, we kind of “have to”, but I like to think of it more personally. Which brings us to this week and the Birthday BBQ.

We are currently in the midst of a full week of constant rain. It’s really extraordinary, without a tropical disturbance causing it. We’ve had so much rain that the street into my block is flooded. You can still drive a car to get out, but you need to be in low single digits, speed-wise.

The weather is expected to continue for another week to 10 days. That puts my Birthday BBQ smack in the middle of it.

Now, I can work the food line back inside the house, so it’s not totally devastating. But, I can’t BBQ outside in the rain. And, the back area behind the house is so saturated, it’s mostly swampy out there.

Plus, the rain direction is blowing into the patio, so even cooking on the patio is challenging. But, I expect I’ll get it done. I’m always able to find a way around the rain in the end.

And, hey, I haven’t given up hope for a little respite from the rain for a few hours. Or, maybe, she can make it rain on only one side of the street again.

I’d like to think she’ll continue to look out for me, especially on my birthday. I’m banking on my special relationship with Mom Nature to come through for me once more.

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