Saturday, July 10, 2010

Singing In The Rain

I'm singing in the rain,
Just singing in the rain…

Raining off the deck

I love the rain. And because I live in the desert I seldom get the pleasure. But the past couple of weeks have been glorious with cloudy days, cool temperatures and rain! I know it won’t last but it’s amazing what just a little rain can do out here.

Rain Gauge

Rain on the deck

Rain in the back

Crane, Texas, is in Crane County. Crane County encompasses 795 square miles of what is best described as prairie. The Pecos River is on the south and west borders. There’s also a lake called Juan Cardona Lake. I know. If there’s a lake it can’t be all desert. But this is a salt lake. Years ago salt was mined in the lake by Peter Gallagher and Company. At one time it was one of the most important areas in the state. I remember getting one of those junk mail flyers in the mail once, about taking your boat out to Cardona Lake and the great recreation in Crane County. Ha! Obviously they have never been out there.

Juan Cardona Lake

The annual rainfall in Crane is about 13 inches. The past two weeks we got 11 and one half inches of rain at the house. That’s almost a year’s worth at once. Sometimes when it rains out here, even with a significant amount, it soaks into the ground and by the next day you couldn’t even tell it had rained. This time you can definitely tell! The rain has transformed the desert into a lush sea of green! Everywhere you look it’s a verdant patchwork of emerald, lime, and olive. I know it won’t last but for now I’m savoring the vision.

There’s a plant out here we call purple sage. I don’t know a lot about it except that it grows in the dry climate. My mother wanted a bush after seeing it in bloom out here. When she went to the nursery to ask she got a completely different plant. Anyway, it has beautiful purple flowers. When it rains, even just a bit, the bushes pop with purple. Just as suddenly all of the flowers go away. It’s interesting. There are plenty of these in the median between the highways and as landscape along the interstates. You most likely wouldn’t even notice them unless they were blooming. We have some in the back of the house. I took a picture yesterday and the bush was pretty well covered. I went out today and they are gone.

Purple Sage Flowers

Next day no flowers

It’s pretty sparse out here regarding population. There are not many people but a lot of open space. It’s always been that way. In 1890 only fifteen people lived in Crane County, according to census figures. As late as 1900, only fifty-one people lived here. Now, according to the 2000 census figures and the sign at the edge of town, there are 3191 people. The population has gone down since we first got here. The old families with their particular style of evil are starting to die off. But new evil or maybe just descendants who have finally learned the art take their place. Of course there are good people here too. The bad ones just have a bigger presence. I really don’t like it much here. It’s not a nice place. But I’ve been here so long I can’t imagine living somewhere else. I will probably never have the chance anyway so it really doesn’t matter.

There are a lot of people famous in their own minds from Crane. That seems to go with small towns. But there are a couple of ‘real’ famous people from Crane as well. Elmer Kelton, a famous western novelist, was from Crane. He wasn’t born here but his family moved him here when he was three years old. He authored over 40 novels, and published over more than 50 years. Another famous person from Crane is Kenny Walker. When he was two years old, Walker became profoundly deaf from a bout with meningitis. He is one of only two deaf players in the history of the National Football League. Now he works with the Iowa School for the Deaf as a counselor and a football coach.

The green is wonderful even though I know it won’t last. We have temperatures in the high 90s to 100s expected all next week. It won’t take long for the sun to bake the green into the brown it always is. In the meantime I’ll be waiting for the next rain, or at least a cloudy day. It could be a while because it doesn’t rain in hell.

Off the back deck

Knitayear is coming along nicely. I’m looking at the colors and not seeing a lot of brightness. But this too shall pass. Day 97 was a mellow day. Just floating along and relaxing. Packing up to head down the mountain but enjoying the peacefulness of the last day. I chose a yellow fur. I couldn’t get mellow yellow out of my head after I decided yellow was the color! Day 98 was a melancholy day. Coming back to reality when I wasn’t ready is what caused it. I chose light blue cotton for this day. As soon as I get back I pack for two more trips. Ah…the joy of working! Day 99 was July 8 and a day spent getting ready for the next two trips. I put the finishing touches on a presentation, washed, and packed…the same routine. I was diligent and got it all done. I picked a purple/green variegated yarn. I didn’t have a particular reason but when I started looking it called to me. Day 100 should have been a celebration except I didn’t realize it was day 100 already! July 9 was a day of dawdling. I had things ready but I just couldn’t get ready to go. We left late, around 4:00 instead of the morning like we planned. I drove as promised. I didn’t mind as it was relaxing. I chose a magenta/maroon color and worked it in seed stitch. It’s a pretty color and fit my mood. July 10, day 101 was a full day of work! I graded tests and it took us all day. It was a good day though and I stayed energetic because of the people I worked with. I had some big kind of ugly novelty yarn. It’s blue, green, yellow, pink and black. I chose it because it seemed to be full of energy with all of the little pieces of ribbon off the yarn. It looks likes it is going to quit raining now. I can just hope that it will not be too long before it rains again. In the meantime I’ll relish the memory. Until then…

Knitayear Summer

Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place.

One of the rainy days
Come on with the rain.
I've a smile on my face,
I'll walk down the lane
With a happy refrain.
Singing, singing in the rain.
In the rain.


  1. I remember my father getting one of those fliers to go fishing at Lake Juan Coronado. We all had a good laugh about that one!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Jodi! Texas is unique for sure! Glad you enjoyed this little bit of the dessert!