It rained last night.
For the first time in 3 months, rain fell here. We were sitting in the family room watching the French Open when I looked out the backdoor and saw that the deck looked wet.
"It's raining," I said to Linda, and she said, "Maybe it's still the water you sprayed on the deck earlier."
That morning, I noticed that the deck boards had started to curl up like old leather shoes and all the nails in the boards had come loose. Three months without rain had drawn most of the moisture out of those boards, and there wasn't even enough in them to keep them secured with nails to the frame of the deck. I got out the garden hose then and sprayed the deck for about 5 minutes.
That was in the morning, but now when I went to the window and looked out, it sure seemed like rain.
I opened the doors and walked out. Yep, it was rain.
It was coming down hard too. This was no weak spit or cloudly, dreamy wetness. It was rain.
Opening the door, I stepped out and felt the drops on my face and felt my T-shirt getting wet. If I were a kid, I know what I would be doing. I'd be running around the backyard shouting, "Whhheeeeeeeeeeee!" I'd be stopping for a moment to look at the fish in the pond slurpping up the big bubbles that the rain was dropping in the pond. I'd be watching the red and brown cardinals trying to shake the dust and ashes off their feathers, watching them preen all stiff feathered and happy. Then, I'd be running again, and going next door to see if Irvin, my 60-year old neighbor, was running around in his backyard too , getting wet as could be because now we could.
But I didn't. I just walked to the rain gauge nailed into the railing of the deck, and made sure it was secure in case the rain really started coming down heavy and hard in a Noah-sized old-fashioned Georgia downpour, the kind you hear about in that Gladys Knight and the Pips song. Then I went back inside to watch the always serious Nadal zoom around the red clay of that Paris tennis court like he was some kind of blue bumble bee in capri pants.
* * *
This morning I woke up early while it was still dark, and I went out on the deck. The boards were creeky and dry. I checked the rain gauge. About a tenth of an inch had fallen.
I could still smell the smoke in the air. It smelled the way a wet cigarette would smell if you brought it close to your nose and drew the smell in really deep.
In the Valdosta Daily Times this morning, there wasn't any mention of yesterday's rain.