September 10, 2010

Endless Sunshine

All summer long we have suffered here in my part of the world with too little rain.  It was the hottest summer on record in this state.  It was dry... we got an inch and a half for all of July, and an inch and a half fell once in all of August.  We normally get 3 to 4 inches a month here.

Yet each time I tune in to our local weather on TV, the breathless weatherboy is excitedly telling us "great news Keesha: no rain in the forecast, a glorious weekend coming up."

The chirpy news chickie (sorry, the newswoman) then squeaks: "oooh, Garrett, I hope there's no rain in the long term forecast either to ruin any outdoor plans.  Can you guarantee that?"

And the goofy meteorologist then giggles, "hee hee,  I'll see what I can do"

What?!  Is absolutely everyone in southern New England a beach volleyball player?  Is it that important to have constant sunny perfection for perpetual outdoor entertainment?  Should we just be done with it and import some palm trees?

Does no one garden or tend the earth here?  Some sensitivity, please.  I'm dying here, parched and suffering.  Where is the news about the gardener's and farmer's real and serious issues?

30 years ago it was no different.  In her classic 1981 collection of essays "Green Thoughts"  Eleanor Perenyi complained about Connecticut meteorologists hyping the weather with no connection to its effect on the earth or on the plants and crops that grow on it.

Her assessment was that Americans (more so than Europeans) need to dominate their natural surroundings, including any variability in weather.  And Americans have lost touch with nature, learning to fear anything that does not mimic our well controlled indoor environments.  That was true in her day and it's even more true in today's climate controlled homes, buildings and cars.

There's a whole month's worth of posts that could be written about Americans' relationship to nature and the outdoors.  You could read Last Child in the Woods about nature deficit disorder, or you could follow our state's No Child Left Inside programs that reconnect children with the outdoors (we need structured programs to get kids outside??)

Or you could stop watching the weather entertainment on TV.  It is simply chatter about how much fun everyone will have if only it doesn't rain and the sun just shines. 

If you are outdoors all day you don't need to hear a weather forecast.  As Eleanor Perenyi writes, the gardener knows "rain really is imminent when the leaves turn their backs to the wind, smoke goes to ground and the earthworms rise to the surface."

Rain.  My idea of a fun weekend.


  1. I feel your pain Laurrie. We have had the same conditions here. I am so happy today that it is raining here. It is predicted that we will get almost an inch. What a blessing to the soil and all of nature here. The rain has lifted my spirits like no amount of sunshine could do right now.

  2. Out out damn drought! Those fools on TV don't reflect what my friends and neighbors are saying - the people want the rain!

  3. Lisa, isn't it amazing when rain can lift the spirits! I am so glad to hear you are getting rain. Please send it east when you are done with it.

    Cyndy, the fools on TV must not even have a pot of geraniums on their balconies.

  4. I feel sorry for you Laurrie, we got rain here everyday on Labour day weekend, and they are calling for rain on Sunday as well. I'll start blowing the rainclouds south for you.

  5. Deborah, we rely on all of you to the west and north of us to send us your weather... I'll be waiting for your rainclouds!

  6. You should switch to News8. Geoff Fox often says we need rain or more bad news for the farmers/gardeners out there. The anchors want nice sunny weather every day, but Geoff knows we need rain.


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