Saturday, June 27, 2009

What to do when it rains.

As children my younger sister and I were not much daunted by any kind of weather. Rainy days were frequent enough not to be an occaision, but after a few hours of reading, paper dolls, or board games, we inevitably hauled on our boots and headed next door to our grandfather's farm. If the rain was a mere drizzle, it was an adventure to dangle in the swings hung from the huge maples in the yard, listening to the rain-welcoming calls of the robins, feeling the splat of any droplets that made it down through the thick green roof of leaves. There were puddles to wade, earthworms to admire as they stretched and seemed to swim in little pools of moisture. My uncle's hens, disliking the wet, ruffled their feathers and huffed, clucking, back to the shelter of the henhouse. When we too had absorbed enough moisture we headed for the farmhouse. Upstairs the hall was dim and mysterious. At one end a tall cupboard loomed, containing unfamiliar items--books that never made their way down to the living room; a shoe box containing a pair of shiny brown pumps which had belonged to our never known grandmother. Small boxes contained neat stacks of crocheted motifs--a bedspread started and never finished, perhaps by that same lady. Sitting on the edge of a blanket chest, we sorted, handled, admired the treasures, replacing them carefully in their appointed spots. As the rain increased my uncle appeared with enameled basins to place around the chimney stack which stabbed through the hall ceiling on its way up to the roof. The sour smell of dripping creosote mingled with the breath of the rain-pummled flower garden blown in from the open west door and wafted up the stairwell. Climbing narrow steps to the attic, we stood in the cobwebbed space while the din of rain on a metal roof filled our ears. A single feeble light bulb did little to charm away the darkness lurking in corners under the eaves. Picking our way carefully around the debris of several generations, we crossed creaking floorboards to arrive at the dusty dormer window, there to watch as the leaves of a young maple shuddered in the deluge and the petals of our great-grandmother's Fairy rose shattered in the wet grass.


  1. Lovely post, this could easily be the start of a great children's adventure story:) Your mention of paper dolls brought back memories of when I played with these as a child. They were always one of my favourite things.

  2. Thank you for your visit and comment. I suspect my sister and I had big imaginations, but we were never bored. The farm, right next door, drew us in. I think that the "grown-ups" always knew just where we were, but we had that lovely sense of being off on a great adventure.