Wednesday, April 10, 2013

One Final Winter Storm. Right?

   So... Yesterday I went for a run in the back field wearing yoga capris, a tank top, and my super cool, personalized, turquoise beekeeper's ball cap. Within just half a mile I wished I was wearing less. Because of the heat and humidity, and because the wind had yet to really kick up, I was sweating buckets. My face and shoulders felt baked by the sun, and I loved it...

   Then around dinner time the weather shifted. Just a little.

   We were told to expect temperatures in the twenties, winds in excess of seventy miles per hour, hail, tornadoes, sleet, brimstone, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic ash, frogs, and locusts.

   Quite a switch from the warm, peaceful days of late.

   Natives to this Indian Territory are certainly accustomed to sudden and extreme weather changes. I'm pretty sure it was favorite son Will Rogers who first said, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait five minutes." And generally I scold people for complaining about our mysteries of meteorology, because we all know it changes on a whim and we can't do anything about it anyway. Right?

   Before I continue, let me stress that I am NOT complaining about the rain. I love it. I love being awakened by thunder. I love seeing the thin, silver streaks running downhill in our middle field, helping the pond to rise slowly but surely. I love the green grass turning greener because of the soaking. Everything about this steady, gentle watering is good. The forests already look healthier, and I rarely have to water the gardens right now.

   Rain is good. Cool weather is fine. Storms are inevitable. I get that.

   But this.

   This is Crazy-town.

   The forecast had me in emotional twists. I asked my Facebook friends to vote: Would you rather endure a last minute ice storm or a tornado? The vote was evenly split. Nobody was really happy about it.

   Going into the stormy evening I was stressed. I was worried about the animals, particularly our two horses. It's not that they cannot handle cold, wet weather; it's that big, sudden changes can be dangerous. I was worried about my thriving vegetable beds and new little fruit trees which have recently set blossoms. I was just worried. Worried and mad and irritated that only a few days away from the biggest planting week of the year we could be losing all of our beautiful progress.

   The two raised beds that have food in them have really been making nice strides. The broccoli, red and green cabbages, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, sweet pea and English pea vines, brussell sprouts, kale, and lettuces just seem to be growing by the hour. It's all super exciting. And very, very delicate.

   See how pretty it is? And this photo is a few days old. They have grown even more since then.

  My husband knows how much I love these tiny gardens, how much time and energy I spend day dreaming about them. And he loves me. Too much sometimes. So after work yesterday he marched outdoors as I was preparing to cover it all with just some plastic tarps, and he insisted we could do better than that. He nailed old stockade fencing across my two planted raised beds.

   I fell in love with that man all over again.

   We slept soundly last night, waking only to enjoy the symphony of a thunderstorm. At dawn, we peered through the silver mist and found all the animals tucked away safely where they belong. The geese were honking plaintively. The roosters slept late, warmed in their coop with their feathery harem.

My favorite red bud tree encased with ice.
Beneath this tree, the grass is emerald green.

    In contrast to yesterday, today, just to do an hour's worth of work outside, I wore seventeen and a half thousand layers of protective clothing, a pair of heavy gloves, rubber boots, plus my super cool, personalized, turquoise beekeeper's ball cap. And I was still freezing. I fed and pitied the animals with all my heart, found nine fresh eggs, checked on every ice-capped corner of our farm, then retreated back indoors with numb fingers, slightly wet feet (my left boot had split open), and a shivering rib cage.

   But not before going to see how the little green babies fared beneath their picket canopy...

   Just fine, thank you very much! The loose fencing allowed water to soak everything gently, and during breaks in the storm today a little bit of grey sunshine has pressed through, coaxing the short little pea vines upward. 

   The cole veggies are looking good, too, and all the animals have fared very well in this final snap of winter.

   I am so very grateful.

   As the sun sinks on Wednesday, the ice has already melted, about as quickly as it fell. Kinda unbelievable, even to those of us who have lived here since forever. We have one more frigid night to endure, then by tomorrow at dinner time we should return to the balmy paradise we were just beginning to enjoy.

   Okay, that's it you guys. Those of you here with me in the most beautiful state in the Union already know about all of this. And those of you not lucky enough to live in Oklahoma now have more reason to believe that we have the world's craziest weather. It's totally true.

   Hug your horses. Protect your broccoli. Don't complain too much. And if your husband builds you great stuff out of the blue, well, reward him extravagantly...

"Don't let yesterday use up
too much of today"
~Will Rogers



  1. So now you've apparently sent this storm our way - it's freezing rain outside as we speak. And I was outside in a t-shirt on Monday. Which is awesome and unusual for Canada in April.

  2. Your husband is rewarded just by having you as his wife.

  3. I find I'm left a little speechless by this beautiful post. It has hit on all the right levels this morning as I sit and listen to the rain, rain, rain. Thank you, Marie. xo


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