And on Sunday, it rained.

On Sunday, it rained here. It was amazing. I had heard on the news the night before that there was a ten percent chance of rain, but I had dismissed it, because it hadn’t rained at all in a month. Not a drop.

I had been out with my friend Jennifer for most of the day. We had a Mexican breakfast/brunch kind of thing, and then went shopping at the Hong Kong Supermarket. I had wanted to go and pick up a few things, and she was interested in finding these little salty preserved plum candies that she remembered eating when she was a kid at baseball games. She and her friends would take these little plums and shove them into those big dill pickles, and then eat bites of both plum and pickle together.

This sounds just unimaginably salty to me; these children must have had stomachs of steel. I mean, we found the plums and ate a couple, and they were so terrifically salty that Jennifer threw hers out the car window after making some incredibly bad faces and unpleasant noises. Actually, I was kind of into mine, but I was also drinking a can of “Hello Boss” Taiwanese cappuccino drink, which was very sweet and milky, and that tempered it a bit. I had one later, without the “Hello Boss” chaser, and it made my eyes water. Afterward, I felt like my tongue had been burned. Right now, just writing about it, I’m salivating involuntarily.

After all that, we decided to go to the Warehouse Saloon and Pool Hall, which is in my neighborhood but that I had never visited. It was big and dark, just like you’d suspect, and there were no windows. We’d thought about going out to a swimming hole outside of town with a couple of friends, but opted for the pool hall because of the air conditioning factor, and because I suspected the hole might be dry or, at least, low and mucky.

At that point it had been over 100 degrees for 10 days in a row, and there hadn’t been any rain in a month, not even a drop. Some small towns have run out of water; Austin has watering restrictions in place, and they’ll probably get more severe. I can’t imagine how the farmers are making it. And it’s been deadly: the heat has killed 20 people in Texas so far this summer. So we weren’t even considering a chance of rain.

When we went in, Jennifer says she heard a guy saying that it was raining somewhere, but that she thought it was joke. We played some video games, played some foosball, played some shuffleboard, and then decided to hit the road. And as we walked outside, the sky just opened up.

It rained. It poured. There was lightening and thunder. It was amazing. As we drove back to my house, it rained harder and harder. The temperature dropped suddenly -- I later heard it had gone down 30 degrees in an hour, although I still find that hard to believe. When we got back, Jennifer’s car was soaked — she’d left the windows cracked — but she didn’t seem to care that much.

It rained 1.39 inches on Sunday. That’s not nearly enough, of course. But I hear it might rain again today, and when I look out the windows I see clouds. Keep your fingers crossed.

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© 2000 E.V. Hobbs

This page added July 25, 2000.