Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

The old man is snoring!

Fell out of bed

And bumped his head

And couldn’t get up in the morning!

A morbid little song, isn’t it? We’ve been having torrential rain here this morning. I just stepped out the back door at work to breathe in the moist air and get away from my desk for a moment. While I was standing there smelling, watching, and hearing the rain pound the parking lot and spew from the gutters, I had a very distinct memory slam me so hard it made my heart ache for simpler times.

My parents (my mother and step-father) got together in November of ’92. From then until I left for college in ’98, we lived in a house on the Little Missouri River every summer. I know my mother would have gladly lived there year round if the bus had been able to pick us up during the winter, but since the sloughs (pronounced sloos and are kind of like marshes) would fill up and cover the road whenever the river rose, and since the river stayed high most of the winter, that was impossible. And though there were times I hated being so far from civilization, I must admit I had a wonderful time during those summers.

The memory inspired by today’s rain is of me sitting on the covered part of the back porch in an old metal spring chair. I was curled up with a huge, hardback, Stephen King book. I don’t remember which one because I read so many of them (we made weekly trips to the library, and between my mother and me, we could check out 10 books and usually read all 10 before the next trip into town). The rain was pouring so hard I could barely see the outline of the bend in the river 150 yards away. I was wearing a tank top and shorts, and my hair was still wet from swimming before the rain. The rain smelled wonderfully fresh, the book smelled comforting, and everything was right in the world in that moment.

I miss those times. I have a lot of little snippets of my little utopia, and I don’t visit those snippets often enough. Things that seemed major back then now seem so minor. Now, things that would have been a Big Deal then are now simply a part of every day life. I sometimes wish I could go back to my Age of Innocence, back to a time before having a full time job, a car payment, and a mortgage. Back to a time where my biggest responsibility was washing the dishes or hanging out laundry. I think I’d like to take my husband and child back with me though, because that would make my utopia even better. I’d also like to take the knowledge I have now so that I can truly appreciate and enjoy those times, not take them for granted like I did then.

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