I’ve always loved rain. Guess it takes me back to days on the farm. Dad, a farmer and my hero, both loved and dreaded it. Crops wouldn’t grow with out it, and he couldn’t get them out of the field in it.
My favorite days on the farm as a boy were spent walking through the woods in January, wrapped up in my granddad’s old army coat toting his 1950’s Remington .22 rifle or my old Iver Johnson Double 16 looking for squirrels. There is just something about walking through wet leaves admiring God’s creation which has always fired me up.
My two favorite rainy day memories of all-time are as fresh today as the day I lived them. I was in third grade. Granddad needed a new plow frame for his Strawberry operation that February, so dad, granddad and I piled in his 1977 red and white Ford F-100 and drove to Kinston. I sat in the middle as Granddad drove his pride and joy, column shift. It was a cold, rainy Saturday morning, but it sure was warm in the truck. I usually slept on a ride like that, but there was something about the day which kept me wide awake. I recall wiping the windows so we could see, maybe that was my job. I remember climbing up on dad’s knee to open the wing window so air would blow on the windshield like it was yesterday.
I can’t tell you much about conversations dad and granddad had, but I vividly remember how awesome it felt to sit between the two of them as we made the trip. I actually remember how the ag store looked as we pulled through the gate. That old strawberry cultivator frame dad and granddad put together stayed on the farm as long as I can remember. The memory of that day will always be a treasure to me!
Second great rainy day memory? Edinburgh, Scotland, August, 1999. Kim was recovering from her first stroke and we had the opportunity to chaperone mom’s drama team from Hoggard High on a two week performance trip to London and Scotland. The kids performed at the renouned Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Things couldn’t have been anymore amazing, we ate every morning and evening in the John McIntyre Center on the campus of the University of Edinburgh. Scotland surely isn’t known for her sunny summers, this one was no different.
Kim, mom, dad, Sunday and I hopped on a bus that cold and rainy, August afternoon and headed to the coast of the Northern Sea. I vividly remember walking along the sea wall, wind whipping the water into the air, coats blowing in the wind, hair a soppy mess, but happy as a lark to be with my family in a place our ancestors likely visited often. We dipped into a cafe, grabbed a bite (I can almost make out the menu in my minds eye), talked a bit, then ventured on. What an awesome rainy day.
Days like today take me back. It’s good to have memories of family. They are truly treasure which no one can take from us. I thank God for them!