Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

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By Parker Heinlein
Outdoors Columnist 

The sound I miss the most


While working in the yard yesterday I noticed a dark cloud approaching from the west.

“It’s going to rain,” I thought to myself.

The weather app on my phone affirmed my prediction.

“Rain starting in six minutes,” it read, “continuing for 40 minutes.”

I welcomed the moisture like I always do this time of year. April showers bring May flowers and all that.

I should have known better. It hardly even spit, the dark clouds vanishing by the time they reached town.

I miss rain. Especially in the spring.

But this dry corner of Montana I call home, sees little. The average precipitation up here for April amounts to less than an inch, and the yearly average is only slightly more than a foot.

The wettest months of the year are still ahead, however, so there remains a chance I’ll get my fix. I dream of downpours, gully-washers, and all-day steady drenchings.

It may simply be where I was raised. Southern Indiana receives nearly four feet of precip each year, most of it in the form of rain.

I can’t for the life of me, though, ever remember wishing for rain as a kid, but it never stopped me from going outdoors. I always had rubber boots and rain gear, and all that water added an element of adventure when it flooded the neighborhood.

I can still remember Dad picking me up early from school because the street to our house was flooding and if we wanted to get home we had to go now.

For the most part, though, rain meant cancellations: Little League games, picnics, camping trips all got washed out at one time or another because of the weather.

It might be the sound I miss the most.

One night last week it drizzled enough that I could hear the sound of water dripping off the eaves. Or at least I thought I could. I turned down the television to listen to the rain, but by then it had stopped if that’s what it really was. It might have been the labored breathing of an old dog.

I check the weather forecast and it shows a chance of rain a few days out. It often does. But the days pass without a trace of precipitation and the chance of rain remains a few days away, always a few days away.

At least we can count on the wind.

Parker Heinlein is at [email protected]


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