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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
FairfaxOpinion'Old School' column: 'Raining' favorite

‘Old School’ column: ‘Raining’ favorite

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Many people, especially Floridians, love sunshine for their fix of Vitamin D and their mental health.

Call me crazy, but instead, I love rain, especially thunderstorms. The Carpenters sang “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Not so with me.

It’s a good thing, too, since, according to weather stats, we had a whopping 23 days of rain in June and another 17 days of the wet stuff in July.

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My love of storms started in my childhood, when our parents woke us up during any good storm. We’d wrap in blankets and sit on the screened porch to watch it. The blankets kept us warm and dry, while the thunder and lightning kept us entertained.

On the days when I’m already awake for the storm, I love the exciting build-up. The sky darkens as the wind picks up, while the trees bow in homage to the powerful force.

Next comes the lightning, striping the sky like a knife through butter. It lights things up temporarily, too, like God’s flashlight. Then the thunder booms: “just two clouds bumping together,” as my father-in-law described it to my worried 3-year-old.

When the storm itself arrives, it washes away the pollen that makes us sneeze and wheeze. I love the SMELL of it, too, a moist, earthy fragrance that can’t be imitated.

The rain gives me that cozy, “bug-in-a-rug” feeling of being inside my home, warm and safe, as I watch it or open that book I’ve been meaning to read.

Rainy days encourage me to cook more hearty meals, too, like a good homemade soup or a nice pot roast. I always get more “inside work” accomplished, like writing this column, attacking the laundry or reorganizing that pantry.

In my book, there’s nothing more relaxing than the sound of rain on the roof as I drift off to sleep.

I must not be the only one who likes rain. Think of all the words to describe it: downpour, deluge, drizzle, gulley-washer or shower. There are great phrases, too, like “raining cats and dogs,” or “spitting rain,” or “raining like pouring sand out of a boot,” or even “rain coming down in sheets.”

Maybe it was because I grew up in an Old School time and place, where excitement was scarce and we had to find it where we could. I never outgrew my addiction.

Reach Carol McEwen at carolwrites4fun@gmail.com.

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