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Can you find a silver lining if there aren't any clouds?Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012, at 11:44 AM
Anyone who has a lawn, potted plant or garden knows this year we desperately need rain.
However, as farmers start to harvest crops, it looks like 2012 is going to become one the driest years in recent history.
But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. (On second thought, maybe talking about clouds isn't a good idea.) So with that in mind, I've been trying to find something positive about 2012 and our lack of moisture.
And there are a few things, if you take the right perspective.
Lawn mowing: Not mowing every four days has been a pleasant surprise this summer, as no rain equals no grass. What have I done with my extra time? Whined about the lack of rain, of course. When I have mowed I've found I am blowing more dirt than lawn clippings from under the mower deck. So that has saved me from needing a tanning bed. After mowing my now mostly dirt lot, I am a golden brown ... right up until the time I take a shower.
Gardening: This year has been snap ... no flowers, no vegetables and nary a weed. In fact I haven't seen a dandelion all season. Considering my yard is normally more dandelions than grass, I'll call that a definite positive.
Housekeeping: If you don't count my shower after mowing the lawn, I haven't seen mud for about a year. I haven't dealt with a breezeway of muddy boots and dogs. There has been dust, plenty, but on the bright side, I've saved paper by scratching out my weekly to-do-list on the dust-covered coffee table.
Think of the stories: This year's drought will give us something to talk about when we're old. "I remember back in 2012, when it didn't rain for 100 days and 100 nights ..." Of course, we will be able to embellish the story however we want. It can be our generation's equivalent of walking to school uphill both ways.
Bug be gone: Mosquitoes and bugs in general have been few and far between. Which means, even in Missouri, bugs need water.
Gravel roads: Because of the dry winter and summer, our gravel roads are in wonderful condition. There are no ruts, washouts or mud holes. In fact, the dry winter and summer of 2012 has probably saved our county many dollars in gravel. I also think this drought will make me think twice next time I'm tempted to complain about muddy roads.
No rainouts: No matter what you planned this summer, a picnic, outdoor wedding, baseball game, the chance of rain ruining your day has been slim-to-none.
Humidity: There hasn't been much this year. Apparently the lack of moisture has gone all the way through our atmosphere. Imagine our 100-degree-plus days with humidity. It definitely could have been worse.
Winter: For the first time in my life I find myself looking forward to cold and snow. The lack of moisture and high heat might make us all appreciate winter, a little bit anyway. In fact, I promise not to complain if it snows all winter. (Well, not too much anyway.) And since we all know winter is inevitable in Missouri, I think looking forward to it is probably a positive.
Reading: Think of all the great books I can read waiting for the truck and grain cart to fill up with corn. I might even sneak in a nap or two.
Unhurried harvest: And come to think about it, I don't think we will need to rush to the elevator and rush back for a waiting combine. It might take several acres to get a load at 10 or 20 bushels an acre. Besides when you start in the middle of August, it's bound to get done faster, isn't it?
Misery likes company: This drought is nationwide. Most farmers are in the same boat and our crops aren't the worst. At least we are not alone.
It could be worse. It really could be. We are in a one-year-drought, not a three year drought. Food prices may go up slightly, but we still pay less than any other country for our food. That is not likely to change.
And it will rain again. It always does.
And when it does, I plan to appreciate all that goes with it -- even the mud.
Well, at least for a few days.
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