A most perfect day

April 24, 2007 at 3:32 pm | Posted in country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, Habitat for Humanity, hand knit dishcloths, knitting, love, marriage, pets, photography, recipes, relationships, romance, yarn | 16 Comments

Trees at Fireflys Place Coming into BudI recall vividly, growing up in North Carolina, the wonderful feelings invoked by the environment all around me just after a summer rainfall. It is one of the richest memories of childhood I possess.

I used to long for that feeling in California, the many years I lived there. It rarely rains in Southern California in the summer, and though I knew it was futile to wish for a summer rain shower, I continued wishing nonetheless.

If you have not ever experienced the feeling, let me share it with you here:

You are outside playing on a hot summer day. The sky is blue, bright, clear. The skin on your bare arms and legs is tight from the heat of the sun, your neck is damp where your hair lies on it, making you too warm but you don’t care because you are a child and play engrosses you. The sounds of nature are all around you as you play without a care in the world.

Suddenly you feel a bit of wind, the sky grows dark in the blink of an eye and you hear your mother calling you to come inside. Rain begins tapping you gently at first, but then hard and fast. Your mother implores you come in immediately because thunder and lightening are on the way.

Pretty Blue Flowers at Fireflys FarmAll of the children scatter to the safety of their homes, and you feel a rush of terrible excitement coursing through your body and senses. Up the stairs you run as fast as you can and your mother is there at the door to usher you and your brothers and sisters inside … one, two, three, four, five. All are present and accounted for.

Thunder and lighting, pelting rain, rattling windows. The power goes out, and thrills you are having, all wide eyed and quiet, expand as a big balloon of living within your very being. Your mother gets out candles and lights them, and everyone waits for the storm to pass.

Sometime later, the skies are clearing and you get to return to the outside world. That world is more magical than it had been a few hours earlier. Perhaps you see a rainbow. Big fat drops of water cover everything, and you see steam rising up from the hot driveway as rain evaporates into the summer air.

The air is moist and cooler than it was, and birds begin chirping here and there. Throughout the neighborhood, children begin venturing back outdoors. There is a smell, a beautiful smell of wet grasses, tree bark, leaves, flowers … a dear beautiful after-rain smell you will treasure the rest of your life and long for if you are pulled away from it.

Fireflys Husband Doing Man WorkSaturday we woke to warmth for the first time in quite a while. My husband and I left at about 8:30 in the morning to deliver paint to the Habitat build site, because volunteers would be showing up to paint the interior walls of the new home at 9:00 that morning. We noticed as we drove through the village that everything was peculiarly quiet. With the sudden warmth and sunshine we expected to see people out everywhere, doing things, taking it all in.

Saturday afternoon my husband removed the snow blowing equipment from his tractor, and reconfigured it for heavy lifting. He spent several hours cutting up the fallen trunk and large limbs of our old, dead elm tree out by the willow. He would load up a pile of trunk and branch sections on the tractor and drive them over, across the road to a piece of land we own above the river. That’s where he will store the wood for now, and later he will cut it up for firewood.

I spent some time walking around the yard and surroundings taking photographs of flowers and green buds on tree limbs and branches. I want to keep an accurate photo journal of each and every flower as they come to life this spring and summer. Every week there are new arrivals, and it continues throughout the spring, summer, and into fall. I am going to attempt to catch them all. My husband will help me look them up and identify each by name, to assist me with my journal.

The sound of the birds out in the trees by the willow is tantalizing. Their calls and songs, combined with the chirping of the peepers, and the now occasional ribbiting of the more mature frogs creates an impression that we are living in a bayou. I relished that time in the yard hearing the sounds of our personal bayou, the sound of my husband’s work with the chain saw and the tractor. All of it mixed together with the wonderful warm air and sunshine made for a perfect day and many perfect moments.

Fireflys Rhododendron Coming into BloomThe third Sunday of every month we have a potluck lunch at church, after the service. This week I wanted to make something fresh and cool for the warm spring weekend. We decided on an idea I had to make a couscous salad with pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. It hit the mark, so this morning I posted the recipe on the I Live on a Farm website for you. Hmm, hmm, good.

Yesterday was another warm day, but with a wind portending of rain showers to come. Most delicious. Each time I took Blu out for some time in the yard I got to experience the wonderful feel of that warm wind and the darkening of the skies creating the excitement I used to experience as a child. Oh yes, I have my weather back again and I soak up every moment of it.

By 2:30 in the afternoon we got a pretty good drenching, and I had to run around the house closing windows as heavy rain was blowing in. The showers came and went, and came again. At 5:00 out power went out, and shortly after we headed out for a brief walk up the road with Blu. As we walked, a light rain breezed along from time to time. I gathered some materials for Thistleonians, and Blu found a deer antler just recently shed. Oh, how he loved that antler. It was slippery from the rain, so it took him some time to work out how to carry it. Once he got it balanced properly and could hold on it, he pranced proudly in front of us, heading back home with his trophy. The pride that showed in his posture and gait was unmistakable.

We let him take the prize into the house with him, and then we headed back out for more of an exercise walk together. When we started down the road it looked as if the rain had mostly passed and was moving on beyond us toward the north. As it turned out, that first rain had moved on, but there was another larger storm cell moving down from the north. When we were up the road a little less than half a mile, it started raining pretty hard. As we headed back it started pelting us pretty good.

Fireflys Pesto Couscous SaladBy the time we reached home we were drenched through every layer of clothing, hair dripping wet; even our socks were wet inside our shoes. When I was a little girl, that was what I always wished I could do during a storm–stay out in it and get good and drenched. Mama was right to bring us all in–we were children afterall, but I have to say that as an adult it was wonderful to be out on that walk getting a good drenching, holding hands with my husband and walking along pretty much as normal despite the heavy storm.

Back at home we changed into dry clothes and snuggled into warm positions in the living room to enjoy a quiet evening with Blu and each other as we waited for the power to come back on.

Power was restored just before we were ready to turn in for bed.

All in all, it had been a most perfect day.

I hope yours was too.

And by the way, I wanted to say how much I have appreciated the interest many of you have shown in my paintings and Thistleonians. The auctions have been going well, and it is exciting to be shipping my creations off to some of my wonderful readers and friends. I almost get the sense of being out there with some of you now, because these treasured things I have created as an artist are now in your homes. ๐Ÿ™‚



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  1. Thank you. Besides summer storms and orange Kubota tractors, I love finding a beautifully written letter, which is what your posts feel like. I tell myself, ‘I have a friend who lives on a farm and she sends out lovely letters full of details and she shares her day, her art, her happiness…’ it’s such a pleasure.

  2. I loved your story of summer rain storms. I sure wish I could experience one first hand. And I also loved the story of Blu and the deer antler!

  3. What a lovely post. It has an extra bonus for me because I too spent my childhood in North Carolina and have wonderful, wonderful memories of the trees, mountains and streams.

    Have a beautiful evening.


  4. Ah yes, summer storms. My favorite smell is the one that came before the rain. The air is just electric and there is a distinct crispness as the breezes come off the water, bringing the salt and smell of the sea with it. The walks in the rain are the best, as long as its not lightening and thundering. You feel so squeaky clean after all is said and done! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you had a day like that.

  5. hi!

    I was inspired by your blog to create my own. But I am just wondering about your side bar on the right. How did you create your list? Can you do that with the free version of wordpress?

  6. One more question. What is your advice on getting my website out there where people start viewing?

  7. I remember summer storms as a child, but they were really nothing compared to the summer storms on the prairies! I also remember that fresh, clean and cool smell of the world after a summer rain.
    Thanks for the memories!

  8. I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now, but never posted before. I’m moving to Rockingham this weekend and have become even more excited by this post. I can’t say much for this state (won’t mention it), but if there are more people like you in North Carolina, I won’t be disappointed by the move. Keep up all the beautiful work and thanks for blogging.

  9. Sounds like a great day! I can almost smell the rain and see the flowers and hear the river. Your couscous looks yummy! Hope spring brings you lots of wonderful surprises!

  10. This post was beautiful – and perfect for my soul. I loooove summer rains and your words brought me back to my childhood!! It’s refreshing to see someone else who appreciates that kind of beauty. Thanks so much!

    I’m missing my weather now, but I’m dreaming of the day when I’ll get back to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Your summer showers bring back childhood memories for me too. I am in South Carolina. The smells after a good rain and a rainbow bring back an experience at my grandmas house years ago as a child. There was a rainstorm and then the most beautiful rainbow that went across her house and ended across the road in a field. Pot of gold?! Can we go see the pot of gold, my sister and I begged. We weren’t even allowed to cross the road. But, yes, she agreed, go find the pot of gold. There was no pot of gold, but the experience of finding out and standing right where the rainbow ended is an experience I will never forget. Rainbows always remind me of this time as a child. Rainbows are truly a gift of God and I am always amazed to see the stream of color across the sky.

  12. I remember summer rain like that as children. So fun, although we get pretty hot up here, we don’t get the kind of heat the Carolinas get.

    I look forward to seeing spring through your eyes. I’ll get a precursor to what will come to us soon.

    I am really looking forward to my little Thistleonian arriving in my post box. Now, I just remembered that I was intending to knit some squares for you and haven’t yet. I need to get at those and get them mailed for you.

  13. Really great discription of the summer rain. I remember them well, dark clouds rolling in, thunder in the distance, getting closer and closer and then the big drops of rain. Then the dark clouds and hard rain! What an adventure. Thanks for the memories,


  14. Firefly,
    I too have wonderful memories of summer showers growing up in rural Mississppi. I remember wonderful times spent with my mom and sisters with the power out for hours. I can also remember some pretty bad storms that tore the barn up and my dad crawling underneath the rubble to get puppies out. Puppies another smell I remember from being a child. Thank you as always for putting a smile on my face and refreshing my memories of childhood and what I loved so much about being a child.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Your Friend, Ann

  15. i can totally relate to getting good and drenched in a storm! the weekend of the noreaster, everyone was inside, or huddling under too small umbrellas. i went to my little french patisserie in my building’s lobby and after coffee and croissant decided to take a little walk in the torrential rain! i figured, it is only water, what can be so bad. so i walked for a good 30-40min getting SOAKED and smiling because once you give into it, getting drenched isn’t so bad! and then i got to go inside, and dry off and knit!

  16. Those are amazing photos you have captured.

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