Wet, Dry, or Dusty

RDP #62 – MONSOON

  1. a seasonal prevailing wind in the region of South and Southeast Asia, blowing from the southwest between May and September and bringing rain (the wet monsoon ), or from the northeast between October and April (the dry monsoon ).
    • the rainy season accompanying the wet monsoon.
Origin
late 16th century: from Portuguese monção, from Arabic mawsim ‘season,’ from wasama ‘to mark, brand.’
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My sister lives in Phoenix.  Desert. Dry.  Hot.  She loves it.  But I learned something from her that I didn’t know.  They have a monsoon season!  They actually call it that.  When I think of monsoon, I think of Asia, and the rainy season.
I didn’t know there was also a dry monsoon.  I always thought the monsoon was the rain, but it really refers to a season; depending upon where the winds are coming from, it will be either wet or dry.
So I learned something today, too, when I looked up the prompt. It’s amazing what we don’t know.
My sister told me that in Arizona, it’s not always a rain storm. Sometimes it’s a dust storm, which is truly awful.  There are some fascinating videos you can watch here to see how dangerous these desert storms can be.
We can get some pretty powerful storms here in my corner of Pennsylvania, but I don’t think they rise to the level of a monsoon-type storm.  We get the tail ends of hurricanes now and then, the most memorable being Hurricane Sandy about six years ago.  That was a serious storm, putting out the power for several days for many.
The thing is, I’ve always been fascinated by storms.  I love to watch the power of the wind, rain, or snow.  But I’m glad I get to do it from the relative safety of my house 🙂

Seasonal Scents

Scent

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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It snowed briefly last night. I opened the back door to dump my coffee grounds, and sure enough, there was a wet, earthy scent outside.  Same thing when it rains, only this time of year there’s something else underneath the wetness that I can’t quite describe. It’s colder, but not as frigid as it was back in Minnesota.  You couldn’t smell anything out there when it dropped to 30 and 40 below zero, because your nostrils stuck together 🙂

Image result for cartoon Calvin and hobbes so cold your nose sticks together

Weather always has an identifying scent. When I was a kid, we lived in Minneapolis. When it rained hard after a very hot spell, the streets and sidewalks gave off a scent I’ve never noticed anywhere except in a city.  There were big old trees along the sidewalks, and their leaves added a smell of their own.

In the fall, of course, the air is just delicious. Falling leaves, heaps of them, have a scent all their own.  Before so many places put a ban on burning, everyone piled up their leaves and burned them. We all waited for a still day, and the smoke would climb straight up into the air. If you burn leaves quickly after you rake them, they don’t have time to begin rotting. That’s a different smell altogether.

Winter snow and ice?  You’d think there would be nothing to smell when everything is frozen. If you grew up in a cold climate, though, you are familiar with the smell of wet mittens, gloves,  and other snow gear. If you’re old enough, you remember what that all smelled like as it steamed dry on the radiator so you could put it back on and rush back outside where all the fun was.

Spring, of course, is a festival for the nose. Wet, snow-soaked earth has a very recognizable aroma as it begins to warm up and dry out. Grass grows like crazy, and the smell of freshly-cut grass fills the air. Spring flowers come out like popcorn, and if you’re really lucky you have onion grass nearby.  One of my sons, always curious, smelled onion grass one morning. He pulled it up and popped it into his mouth.  Pleased with the flavor, he ate some more.  He had onion breath for several days 🙂

Are there still farmers out there who can tell you what the weather’s going to be just by sniffing the air?  I’m sure there are, but I don’t hear people talk about it much.

I’m losing my sense of smell.  Too many nasal sprays to relieve the swelling in my sinuses, I think.  It makes me very sad. I’ve always loved so many wonderful smells, and now some things just smell funny, not right. You don’t think much about being able to enjoy all the scents around you until you can’t.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/scent/

Haiku

Day 17 Seventeen Syllables

June 17, 1971.  The Okinawa Reversion Agreement was signed. This agreement between the United States and Japan returned control of Okinawa to Japan.

A Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry. It is three lines: the first and third lines have five syllables each and the second line has seven syllables for a total of seventeen syllables. They are often about nature.

Write a Haiku. Please include a picture that illustrates your poem.

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The skies wept with grief

Flooding the land and filling the oceans

Bringing life with grey mourning.

stock-photo-rain-over-forest-mountains-misty-mountain-landscape-hills-at-rainy-day-403140010

June 17 Challenge

Here’s a note from a friend who paid more attention to the details than I did:

Good morning Linda,

Here’s a comment about your haiku post.

This syllable count negotiable in the English-speaking world, but a haiku traditionally has 17 syllables, not seventeen words.

Take the “ings” off to reduce your syllable count. Like:

the skies weep with grief
flood the land, fill the oceans
life comes of sorrow

Or something to that effect. (I’ll try sending this comment through the Reader and see if it comes through on your blog.)

I appreciate her pointing out my error. And I feel silly, because I know this.  Just wasn’t using what I know 🙂

Rain

Drop

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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Elena sat on the window seat, her nose pressed against the smooth glass, watching little rivers of rain dropdropdrop across the windowpane.  She cuddled her favorite stuffed dog in her arms, petting him absently while she enjoyed the storm.

“Don’t go outside, Elena.  It’s too dangerous.  Too much lightning.  Stay inside until the thunder stops.  When you go out, be sure you wear your rainboots so you don’t ruin your shoes.”  Mommy  was getting ready to go to work,  and as always she had a list of do’s and don’ts for Elena.  Mommy said she hated having to go to work and leave Elena each day, but someone had to make the money now that Daddy was in heaven.  Elena tried very hard to do as Mommy said.

“And Elena, don’t forget—if you need anything, you can go right next door and Mrs. Wright will help you. You can go stay with her if you want.  She always likes to have you spend time with her. “

“I know, Mommy.  Don’t worry.  I’m eight years old!  I can take care of myself!”

Mommy sighed, pulled on her raincoat and grabbed her umbrella, and gave Elena a hug and a kiss.  “I’ll miss you today, Sweetheart.  You be a good girl.”

Elena settled in to watch the storm.  The trees across the street were flinging their branches around in a crazy hula dance while dark green/gray clouds rolled across the sky. When thunder boomed, lightning soon followed, jabbing bright fingers down toward the ground.  Elena loved storms,  loved the thunder, enjoyed the rain. She understood the danger of the lightning, but she still wished she could go out and stand in the wind and rain, splash through the puddles, and try to run between the raindrops.

The storm seemed to speak to something inside her, with its huge voice and the wild breath it blew across the city blocks.  She enjoyed the rain the most though. As she watched, big fat drops splatted against the windows and then followed a zigzag course down the windowpane to the bottom of the glass. Over and over again she watched this process until she actually started to feel sleepy.  In her mind, each drop became a little river winding through valleys and out to the ocean she’d never seen.

She knew that rain fed the grass, trees, flowers, lakes, and rivers.  She knew that people needed the rain, as well. But for her, the best part of the rain was imagining where all those little rivers ran. She populated the window with people, animals, roads and cities.

Dripdrop,dripdrop,dripdrop.

Wonderful, wonderul rain.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/drop/

Storm!

Sudden Shifts

You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next.

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The beach is wonderful  near Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Soft sand, always a breeze pushing at your hair.  Sometimes, the breeze becomes wind, blowing away anything that isn’t secured.

The water was slate grey that day.  We had just settled on our beach chairs, and the gulls were flocking us because we had taken some snacks out of our totes. They were setting up an awful ruckus, notifying their buddies for miles around that some tourists thought they could actually eat on their beach!

When we put the food away, the gulls left.  When we got it back out, they descended like feathers out of a goose-down pillow. We played this little game with them for a while, but eventually we figured out a way to hid the cheese and crackers we passed from hand to hand.

Nibbling on our snacks, we noted that there were patches of dark rain all around the horizon.  We wondered how fast those rainclouds were moving, but we weren’t concerned.

We should have been.  The wind picked up considerably in a very short time. The surf grew more aggressive,  angry as it hissed onto the sand, crawling closer to our little nest with every heartbeat of the ocean.

And then the rain came.  We were drenched in just seconds as we quickly packed things up and made our way up toward the parking lot. It really wasn’t that far, but I had a hinky back.  I didn’t know yet that I had two lumbar disk herniations that were the cause of my pain.  All I knew was that every step caused sharp, jagged, breath-robbing bolts of ugliness down my back and legs.

“Go ahead, don’t wait for me!”  I called to my friends.  “Get into the car.  I’ll get there eventually!”

So they beat feet, already soaked but growing colder by the minute as the wind increased.  I glanced up at the sky, and wished I hadn’t.  I grew up in southern Minnesota farm country, and I knew what green-yellow clouds meant.  Hail was coming.

No sooner did that thought form than I was pelted with little sharp-edged drops of ice. I held my beach chair over my head and did my best to increase my turtle-like pace. The sand under my feet was soft and dry, not easy to walk in.  The hail seemed to increase in size, pelting me from every direction.   Other folks were running, racing to get out of the storm, but all I could do was plod.

I remembered a dream I used to have when I was very young.  I needed to run away from something awful, but I couldn’t make my feet and legs move. I was stuck in something I couldn’t see or feel, and no matter how hard I tried, I made no progress.

The awful thing never did catch me–until this moment!  Finally, finally I made it to the car where one of my friend pushed open the back door and I clambered in with my chair and my beach bag. What a relief!

As soon as I was under cover, the hail stopped, the wind decreased, and the sun peeked out and laughed at me.  As the clouds continued to blow further inland, the sky cleared to a beautiful blue. We looked at each other, laughed, and climbed back out of the car. We had the beach to ourselves for a little while, and we enjoyed the calm after the storm.

(This is a partly-true story.  Had to make it a little  more dramatic than it really was in order to fit the prompt.  But it could have happened this way. . . )

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sudden-shifts/

The Rain on the Soil back Home

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .. . . home.. . . soil.. . . rain.Use those words in the title of your post.

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Ellie stood in her ramshackle kitchen, staring out the dusty window at the dusty yard that met the dusty field. There was nothing green in sight. Not one blade of grass, not a leafed-out tree or bush. The yard had been a showplace just a couple of short years ago, before the rain had stopped. Now, there was nothing but brittle brown stubble and tired old trees that didn’t have the strength to raise their branches to the sky.

Her prized roses? Huh.  Not much of a prize these days. What the dust didn’t kill, the locusts did.  Or the wind. The wind sucked the life out of everything, leaving desolation in its path.

Drought. Dust. Dry. Drained. Depression.  The Great Depression, they called it. That sure was fitting.

Ellie rubbed her eyes with her index fingers, trying to relieve herself of the itchy feeling the dust always left. Sighing, she picked up her rag and set about the useless business of trying to wipe the dust from the kitchen counters. When she finished that, she’d try to clean the dishes.  Thank goodness the well hadn’t gone dry yet. They rationed water as if it were gold, knowing that eventually, if it didn’t rain, the well would go to dry dust just like everything else had.

Years later, one of Ellie’s granddaughters would ask her, “Grandma, why do you always rinse out the glass before you fill it up with water?  It’s clean when you take it out of the cupboard, isn’t it?”

And she would reply, “Yes, Sweetpea, it’s clean.  It’s just an old habit of mine from the Dustbowl Days when no matter how clean the glass was when you put it away, the dust would get into it anyway and you had to rinse it out before you could use it.”

But this day, Ellie didn’t know she would survive this hell. She didn’t know she would live to see grandchildren running through the lush green yard and coming racing into the house seeking a drink. All she knew was that she was slowly losing her grip on reality, and if something didn’t happen soon, she may slip into a world where no one could follow her.

Sighing, she worked her way through the darkened house. John had boarded up most of the windows against the dust and the grasshoppers and the wind.  They did everything they could think of to protect themselves, but when a dust storm blew up, it seemed that the gritty stuff seeped through the walls themselves.  She’d taken down the curtains and stored them away, hoping for a better day.

Pushing the front door open, Ellie stepped out onto the porch.  The boards creaked under her light step. She took her worn out broom and swept the unrelenting sand and dirt from her wide front porch, down the steps, into the yard.  Futile as it was, knowing she’d be doing the exact same thing tomorrow, she stayed busy with the chore until it was as clean as she was ever going to be able to get it.

She looked out across the stubble in the field, squinting against the sun as she watched her husband pouring buckets of precious well water on a few remaining cornstalks. Her heart ached for him. He’d worked so hard, and all he had to show for it was a handful of still-growing plants.

Sighing, she turned to go back inside when she felt a little tug at the hem of her dress.  She glanced down, expecting to see the tired old dog asking for his water bowl to be filled.  Nothing there. Huh.

Then she felt it again, only this time her dress flattened against her body and her hair lifted off her forehead in wispy feathers.

A breeze?  Oh, no.  Another dust storm coming?  She really didn’t think she could stand it one more time as the black clouds of hatred rolled across the prairie, darkening the sky and covering the ground with filth. 

She turned to the west, expecting to see the tell-tale line in the distance, but there was nothing. Raising her eyes, she stiffened in shock to see a few greyish, puffy clouds rising from the horizon. Holding her breath in hope, she watched those clouds come racing toward the farm, beginning to fill the sky and creating a different kind of wind from the dust storms.

Her heart began to thump, then to race. Could it really be?  Those sure did look like rain clouds! Oh, John!  Would he see?  He was so intent on his task, his head was still bent so he couldn’t see up.

“John!”  she screamed as loudly as she could. “JOHN!  Look up!  Look at the sky!  Look!  LOOK!”

John’s head came up, turned in her direction. She pointed up toward the clouds, and he swiveled his head in the direction she pointed. He stood stock still for several seconds, then turned and began to race toward her, waving his hat and yelling for sheer joy.

They met in the center of the yard, hanging on to each other as the drops of mercy from the clouds began to spatter against the  hard, parched soil.  Then it drizzled, and then it poured!  Rain! Glorious, life-giving, thirst-quenching, well-filling, soil-healing, soul-healing, merciful rain!

They stood with their arms raised, letting the rain sluice down their tired bodies. Thoroughly wet, they turned into each other’s arms and hugged, then without saying a word, they waltzed to the rhythm of the falling rain until their feet were muddy and their clothes stuck to them.  They laughed.  They cried.

They thanked God.The rain would save the soil, and it would save their home.

It was a good day.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/free-association/