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Photo I Like summer photos

2015 Summer Wonders #69

Summer rain…it may look refreshing, but in a summer when, at one point, we had rain 35 of 40 days in a row, looks can be deceiving.

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2015 Summer Wonder #30: Rain Dance

More rain. 34 of the past 38 days. Death to meteorologists!  A pox on all their houses.  If only I like rain even of a fraction as much as this young lady seems to.

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Tunesday: The Dead, Box of Rain

original_GD_skull_roses_colorAnother rain post–AND a Tunesday post–one of my favorite songs.  Anyone who ever had the pleasure of attending a outdoor Grateful Dead show in the rain knows what very special luck that is. Some bands run for cover, but the Dead just kicked it up a notch and dove into a “rain set.”

The last Grateful Dead show I ever saw, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, was twenty years ago today–June 30, 1995.  I went with Brian & Donna, my sister, and my mom–yep, my mom, whose eccentricities have been discussed elsewhere in this blog. Local heroes Rusted Root opened, and nearly shook the place apart, then the Dead hit the stage like a cool summer breeze.  About halfway into the evening the skies opened–it was a rain show, and it was amazing, beautiful, and tight–a rarity on that tour, from what I understand.  Maybe it was the rain?  Maybe it was the roses?

A mere forty days (and forty nights) later, on August 9,  Jerry Garcia was dead.

The last Grateful Dead show I ever saw, a mere forty days (and nights) before Jerry Garcia died was a rain show, amazing, and beautiful.  How lucky was that?

 

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Commentary

What? Rain?

This photo looks joyous. In truth, the young lady is surrendering to the inevitable, biding the rain gods to do what they will. The bastards. I don’t like to whine, but–are you kidding me? Less than a month ago, the following article ran in my hometown newspaper. I’ve never met this guy Quigley, but I blame him for what has happened since his little drought warning.

http://khum.com
http://khum.com

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weather sucks

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Photo I Like summer photos

2015 Summer Wonder #22 :Dancing In The Rain

Not my first rain post, nor my last–summer wonders are far more than happy people in the warm sun, pretty girls in bikinis, convertibles, surf boards, sailing boats etc.  Sometimes it rains, and when it rains one has a choice, if lucky, to run for cover or embrace the gift of it.  All the best mornings in my memories are rainy mornings when good fun is wrung from a disappointing beginning.

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http://www.natsupreme.com/summer-storms/
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Photo I Like summer photos

2015 Summer Wonder #11 Afternoon Rain

At the trailing edge of a Thunderstorm, the world from my window lush and wild, the sky still booming from the horizon….

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Rainy Morning Meditations

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It’s been a good summer, and today is a good day: the outdoor work hanging over my head has been suspended by gentle rains and I woke this morning to discover the low clouds–fog, mist, call it what you will, have confined my visibility–my experience–to a few hundred yards.  A gentle wind shakes droplets of water from the trees, a subtle hint of what was and what, as far as the meteorologists are concerned, will be. Rain.

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Rain and Flowers with the “in progress” Pergola.

It’s been a cool summer, but not overly wet.  Something about that polar vortex thing that had the media’s knickers in a twist this past winter.  The Infotainment Industry loves a good nickname.  Cold weather is bland, but call it a Polar Vortex like it’s something Captain Kirk and the Enterprise had to keep from destroying Earth, and we’ve got ourselves a story, folks. That’s why we have wars called Operation Enduring Freedom or Noble Eagle instead of more precise appellations, such as Operation Expensive Boondoggle or Operation Enduring Frustration.  It used to be that code names for military operations were random words picked by intelligence experts to give no hint of the mission objectives, but now they’re catchphrases selected by publicists and public relations experts.  It’s the same with the weather–and that’s why we don’t have “last night’s heavy snowfall”–we have SNOWMAGEDDON.  It’s all just a way to get you to watch commercials.

But I digress…(the official catchphrase of this blog, we’ll call it Operation Easily Side-Tracked.

Although…can one really digress from a column that lacks a defined point?  Is a spear without a tip still a spear, or is it just a stick?  (On the other hand, it’s much easier to club a guy with a stick than stick him with a spear, one just has to get closer to do it–so does the question  really matter?)

It’s a beautiful morning–that’s the point–a reverse-beauty that reminds me of camping and hiking.  It’s misting now–tires of passing cars hissing on the road.  Days like this find me wistful in a way that demands reflection.  I think of waking in a tent, holding off getting up as long as possible, then standing around in rain gear, clutching plastic spill-proof mugs of coffee, or tromping through sodden meadows, or scaling rain-slicked, moss-covered rocky trails.  One remembers the uncomfortable moments within a lifetime of sunny days and blue skies, and those memories can be warmer and more brilliant than all the picture-perfect weather in the world.

One of the best memories I have of many days at the beach involves my wife and I mired for an entire day at the Oregon Inlet Campground at Cape Hatteras National 504-967Seashore near Nag’s Head, North Carolina.  We’d begun the day with a swim, then a leisurely bicycle ride down the road to the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  I’ve got this thing about Lighthouses–I’m not content to look at them: I need to climb every one I see.  It was a great ride, and a great climb to a great view, but as we rode our bikes back south, the rain began to spit–big, widely spread droplets–and a headwind rose up that seemed to push back with double the effort of every revolution we pedaled.  The distance back to the campsite couldn’t have been more than about 3 miles, but it took more than an hour and by the time we arrived at the tent we were soaked in perspiration (despite the wind) and rubber-legged.

And then the rain came.  It was welcomed at first–our immediate neighbors had both run for it (a sign, in retrospect), allowing us to strip down in what began as a gentle shower and flop into the tent, butt first, so our sand-crusted feet would be rinsed  by the weather.  Young, naked, and in a tent at the beach–things began well enough, as you might imagine, but after a few hours were were sitting crosslegged, dressed in clean(er) clothes, playing cards.  I loathe playing cards, but the 2.3.jpg.w300h225backgammon board was in the van 15 yards away and the rain had evolved into a gray translucent curtain.  It would continue, through the rest of the afternoon, the evening, the night, and the next morning.  At some point, confined to a 2-person, 6’x7′ Eureka Timberline tent, we made a vow: we would buy a bigger tent, and obnoxiously big tent in which a human being could stand–or at least kneel–without pushing against the nylon skin.  Late in the second day, the rain slowed to a gentle shower, and we crawled stiffly from our little cell in the sand to find the campground all but deserted–a mere handful of intrepid (stubborn?) travelers had stuck it out, and several of them were wandering around, semi-dazed.

We were, by that time, soaked–the tent, the sleeping bags, our clothes–but after 30-some hours of deluge the light rain was nothing.  We walked down to the beach and strolled for hours, the place pretty much all to ourselves, and by the time we made it back to the campsite a light breeze had begun breaking up the low clouds.  Cracks of fading sunlight gave way to twinkling stars.  We’d stood our tent up on end to dry the floor, and hung our bags on a makeshift clothes line strung between the van and my bicycle, held in place by a few extra guy lines (yes, it was genius).  We cooked noodles on the camp stove while the breeze dried our stuff, and stayed up late watching the stars.

In the morning, the sun rose early, hot and somewhat humid.  We packed up and moved south to the campground near Frisco, which was equally deserted, and split the day between sleeping on the beach and floating in some of the most gentle, rolling surf I’ve ever been in.  We would travel that entire summer, camping in North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, and had phenomenal weather–only one other time in 2 1/2 months were we rainbound–in a gorgeously green South Dakota canyon that had been used as a scene in Dances With Wolves–and the irony, after such a long trip, was that those two days are the most vivid memories in a summer’s worth of adventures.

Is this where I say something about silver linings?  Maybe.  The truth is, I woke up this morning and wanted to write something about the rain, and I wanted to write something for the blog that actually came our of my head with some semblance of immediacy.  After all, this started as a writing blog.

 

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War Poems For National Poetry Month: Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, by Bob Dylan

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warnin’
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
I heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you meet my blue-eyed son ?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded in hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

And what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what’ll you do now my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
And the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell and speak it and think it and breathe it
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it
And I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singing
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

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Commentary Journal Photo I Like

Alsea Falls, Oregon

just click the link, and the pretty picture will make you smile.

Alsea Falls, Oregon.

Found this nice photo–very near where I used to live.  Thanks!

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Q: What do you hear, Starbuck?

Q:  What do you hear, Starbuck?

A: ???

Yes, this is a quiz.  Answer in the comments section.

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http://www.pinterest.com/pin/56295064063628484/