AfriGeneas Writers Forum
Through the Storms and Rains
In Response To: Cotton Field on Mile Lane Road ()
“Through the Storms and Rains”
When I rise in the morning the dew is still on the grass on Mile Lane Road. Someone in the family told us that it was unhealthy to walk barefoot on the grass when the dew is out, especially when you had a sore or a cut on your leg or foot. The dew may infect you sore. I don’t know if that was true, but back then, I believed whatever our elders told us. As I think about it today, I have to laugh about some of the “tales” they told us.
Boom! Bang! Rumble! Tap! Tap! Crack! Those are some of the many sounds I heard on Mile Lane Road when a storm was brewing. We had many stormy days and nights on Mile Lane Road. Our house had a tin roof and it was the most gracious sound you could ever hear. As I close my eyes now, I try to take myself back to hear that sound. When it rained during the day you almost wanted to go take a nap just to hear the sound. You could tell when the rain was coming. Yes, you could smell it. You smelled it even before the first drop hit the ground. Many manufacturers have tried to duplicate the smell through air fresheners, fabric softeners and many other fragranced mixtures. That smell can not be duplicated and that smell is totally different in the country than it would be in the city. Back then you could hang your freshly washed clothes on the line and when you brought them in you had the most magnificent smell ever. You couldn’t wait to get those fleshly cleaned sheets on your bed.
Our house had a ditch in the front near the road. When it rained, the ditch would get filled up with water and it would last for a couple of days. Sometimes we could see crayfish after a rain. I only recall seeing minnow fish. We saw many turtles that became our pets. The ditch seemed to be really deep when we were growing up. I recall how we always tried to jump from one side to the other and sometimes we didn't always make it. I drove by that ditch last summer and it only seems like just a little scoop.
Playing in the rain and the after rain was one of our pastimes. We didn’t worry about getting our hair messed up. We only worried about our hair on Saturday nights when we were preparing for church on Sunday. I remember when my Mom told me that I could no longer play barefooted in the rain. When a young girl got her big “P” Day there were many things that she could no longer do. The word was that the rain would make you have cramps. Cramps or no cramps, I still wanted to go barefooted in the after rain water.
Sometimes the rain came with storms. I remember my sister’s grandfather going outside and taking an ax and splitting a piece of wood. If I can remember correctly, it was supposed to “split the storm.” I don’t know if it did or didn’t. I just know that eventually the storm was over.
Any typical night we could have a thunder and lightening storm. My mom would wake us all up out of our sleep. We would all pile in the car and then drive about a mile to my great grandmother’s house and sleep until early morning. We would have to get up
I still do not know why we always went to her house. Can you imagine, waking up in the wee hours, getting in the car (pajamas and all) and the family driving through the storm just to get to her house? Can you image six folks going down a country road in a little green Comet car in the midst of a brewing storm? We didn’t have a phone, but when we got to her house, the light was on waiting for us. We all knew the routine and went to our sleeping quarters. This happened with just about every storm that came with thunder and lightening.
Sometimes we collected the rain water and we used it to wash our hair in. I remember those hair washing days. I hated them. Sometimes I wonder how our hair survived. We didn’t always have shampoo to wash it in. I think we used whatever gave us a lather. Don’t even mention conditioners. We had them sometimes, and when we did, it was a luxury.
Through the storms and the rains, I remember a few tornadoes. We could see them from a distance, but we never seemed to get any damage from them. They always seem to pass over our house. Those times were the more frightening times.
As I look at the last photo that I took of the old “homestead” before they demolished it, I can see that throughout the years the tin roof rusted. That roof carried the sweetest sound. The closest I have heard of the sound is when rain is hitting on metal awnings, but nothing can duplicate the sound that the rain made hitting on the roof of the house on Mile Lane Road. The storms came with thunder and lighting, but they also came with that sweet sound on the roof. My mom got her roof replaced last year and looked into getting a tin roof, but most of the installers could not guarantee that the holes drilled during the actual installation would withstand the weather. So, she opted to stick with the traditional roof.
When the storms came, we had to unplug every electrical item in our house. We were not even allowed to keep a watch on our arm. Once a storm came and struck our television before we got a chance to unplug it. So, there we were sitting in the dark scared to death and not able to speak a word. We saw many rainbows back then.
As I close my eyes, I hear, Boom! Bang! Rumble! Tap! Tap! Crack! Umm, seems like another storm is brewing. Will we be off to great grandma’s house, or will be sitting in the dark not making a sound. Now I hear another sound. Yes, the sound of rain on the tin roof. It looks like we’re winging this one at home. Well, I think I’ll just lie down right now and take a nap to capture the sweet, sweet sound of the rain on the tin roof. Wake me up when it’s over…….
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