Thursday, March 11, 2010
We have experienced neither the lamb nor the lion here in Iowa this March. Instead, we've had this mix of a little bit of snow, a little bit of fog and tonight, as I write this, a lot of rain and lightning and thunder.
I remember when I was a little girl, I used to love to lay in bed in my room on the second floor of our home and listen to the rain as it peppered the roof and the windows. I still like to lay in bed and listen to the rain but don't often get that chance any more. I've always found wonder in the majestic power of thunder rolling across the sky or lightning streaking down in bolts. And the smell of a spring rain comes in second only to a fresh cut field of hay. Wonderful.
Growing up in rural Iowa meant there wasn't always a lot to do when a spring or summer thunderstorm took out the electricity so we would make due with board games and card games. Monopoly, of course, was a standby and a favorite and we didn't need a little thing like a power outage to coax us into a game.
Yahtzee and Parcheesi and Scrabble were also games we'd dust off and play. Did anyone play Cootie when they were a kid? I still play it with the grandkids and they have just as much fun rolling the dice as I did when i was their age. And remember pick up sticks and Jacks??
As for card games, among our favorites were Rook, Canasta, Pinochle, Gin, Pepper and two or three different versions of solitaire. These days I play most of my solitaire on the computer but I often miss the smell of a well used deck of card and the feel of them in my hands.
Friday nights were popcorn nights. None of this micro wave stuff back then. Mom had a 'popcorn' pan and it was a big event to gather around the gas stove and wait for the oil to get hot. Mom would toss in a couple of test kernels and we'd squeal like crazy when they popped then yelling for Mom to pour in the rest of the unpopped kernels. And let's not forget the tons of melted butter she poured all over it. I can almost smell it ...
When the grand kids come to stay, we always make a point of having a popcorn and movie night. And we don't need a power outage to initiate a card game - Go Fish is one of their favorites and they're getting into checkers ... and of course Cootie.
What kind of 'rainy day activities do you remember from your childhood? Baring that, what kind of average, every day traditions do you remember from when you were a kid? What where your favorite games? Favorite snacks? Favorite things to do when you were forced inside on a rainy day, with the electricity off and nothing but each other to provide entertainment? I'll bet if you think about it, you'll remember some things you hadn't thought about for a while and the thoughts will make you smile.
And just for fun, here's a link you and your family might enjoy on a rainy day - it's the Decorah Bald Eagle Cam that was put in place by the Luther College Biology program in Decorah, Iowa. http://www.luther.edu/eaglecam/stream/
The camera monitors a Bald Eagle nest 24/7/365. Currently, the pair of eagles are sitting on at least 2 eggs although there may be three by now. The first egg was laid 2-25 and a hatch is expected any time after 4-4. I check in on them 3 or 4 times a day. Sometimes you can catch both mom and dad in the nest. Sometimes only one or the other is settled over the eggs. It's a wonderful opportunity to see this magnificent bird up close and personal. Viewers all over the world are watching this very popular pair as they await the arrival of the baby eaglets. Have fun.
"Cindy Gerard's stories are ...wildly passionate ... richly textured ...from page one (they draw you) into the heart and soul of the warrior life." W Dean Garner Former, US Army Airborne Ranger