Technically and officially the rainy season here in Florida begins in May and continues through October. In truth, during an ordinary year, the rainy season kind of arrives sometime in June and finishes up in September. Which is not to say that there is no possibility of rain any other time. Or course it's possible, it's just a lot less likely.
In case you didn't already know this, rainy season rain is different from rain other times of the year. To begin with, during the Rainy Season, rain is possible every single day. It's not an absolutely carved in stone guarantee that it will happen, but it is possible. Sometimes it's only a 15 minutes downpour in late afternoon. Perhaps just a drizzley, sprinkley, misty kind of rain just in the early morning. Other times the rain is a full day event but it could also just be an on again off again sort of deal. You can feel the humidity in the air all day long and the gardens become extra lush.
This year however, things were different. Even though the rainy season officially began in May according to the calendar, all the way through May and June and even into the beginning of July, the weather was instead, hot and dry. Really Hot and Really Dry. Like high 90's hot and no rain at all. The lawn to feel a bit crunchy. Flowers drooped, leaves and fronds began to brown. Every day I looked skyward and saw only beautiful blue and here and there a puffy white cartoon cloud. Ponds began drying up and the water level in rivers was starting to drop. We were beginning to wonder what the heck was going on.
Until a little more than a week ago. Finally the rainy season arrived.
At first it was just over night rain showers. I would wake up in the morning only to find raindrops on flowers and that smell of refreshment in the air. There were puddles on the ground and birds bathing in those puddles. It was glorious.
And then it began to rain in the evening. Great huge thundery storms that drowned out normal conversation and flashes of lightening that would do paparazzi proud. The kind of storms that make the house feel like it's rocking.
The time of day for the start of these storms became earlier and earlier until we would wake to grey skies and there were only brief moments of sun throughout the day. And even though the rain bands were sporadic I was often reluctant to take a walk because you knew that there was the possibility of rain at any point during the day.
Planning to grill has become a test of wills. Will it, won't it rain while I am trying to prepare dinner outside? That has become the daily question. I stand there in the kitchen, grilling utensils in hand, food seasoned and ready to go, starring out the window at the sky trying to learn her secrets. We pulled the grill up against the house so that it's under the overhang and if I work it right, even if it's raining, I can walk from the door, close up against the house all the way to the grill and back without getting wet. Unless, of course, the rain is coming in at an angle, in which case yes, I'm going to get wet. But as long as dinner does not, it's all good.
I go on no walks without a zippy bag in my pocket now. If the sky opens up, the hearing aids come off and go directly into the bag, zipped closed and back in the pocket. Even if I'm soaked to the bone, the electronics are safe.
Planning a beach day? Go ahead. I mean if you were going to get in the water you were planning to be wet anyway so the rain really shouldn't matter. Unless there is lightening. If the lightening starts, get out of the water, get off the beach and go home. That's just sensible.
I try to plan grocery trips around rain bands. I just hate loading and then unloading a car full of groceries in the rain. Usually I time it well, but occasionally I don't and in that case, once again, I get wet. I won't die of it. It's just rain after all. And honestly, when it's really hot out, sometimes the rain feels good. I need to remember that.
Come to think of it, as a kid, we would put on our bathing suits and run in the sprinkler. We put on our galoshes and raincoats and rain ouside to be in the rain, jumping in puddles and laughing like lunatics. Nothing felt quite so wonderful on a steamy hot summer day. Why would it be any different now? Well other than that fact that I generally do not grocery shop in my bathing suit. As a matter of fact, I have only worn my bathing suit one time since I bought it. What? What sort of crazy person lives walking distance to the beach and has only worn a bathing suit once in 4 years? Well I guess, my sort of crazy person. Whenever I'm at the beach I'm in regular people clothes. I have not gone swimming in the ocean since I was a kid. Nowadays, I wade in the ocean rather than swim. I can do that in shorts and so I do.
But I digress. What was I saying again? Oh yeah, the rainy season. Don't be too discouraged about our weather here. Just because there is the possibility of rain every day, doesn't guarantee that it will rain every day. It does not. Yesterday, for example, although the prediction was rain we saw nary a drop. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day.
But since the possibility of rain exists every single day of the rainy season, planning outdoor events is tricky. I mean even during a time of no pandemics. The virus just adds another layer of difficulty to an already quirky time of year.
So make a note: In Florida, unless you have a really strong back up plan, do not organize so much as a picnic during the rainy season.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.