Things to do, places to be


The rain might hold off today.

Generally speaking, I donít mind the rain. But the lawn needs to be mowed, the past few days have been a combination of mist and cold and rain, andÖ


Iím hoping the rain doesnít make an appearance. Itís already wet out there, and that might stop me, but Iíd like to give the lawn a shot.

Years agoÖ decades agoÖ I actually enjoyed it when the rain was falling. I donít remember the first time I noticed it, but it seemed like everyone else hated being outside in the rain. As a kid, playing soccer in a league or basketball in my driveway, it became evident that there was a bit of an advantage for someone that didnít mind being in a situation when everyone else preferred to be anywhere else. They hated the rain. I didnít. And once I noticed they hated it, I learned to love it.

During my time with track and cross country, my favorite time to be out running was during a light rain. On that front, I actually know Iím not alone. Provided you arenít on a street with a ton of cars and too many puddles, running in the rain is incredible.

AhhÖ but time marches on. The reality is, life tends to frown on rainy day activities. Baseball cancels games. Holding an umbrella limits some of the things you can do. And, frankly, wet socks can really ruin a day. You can love the rainÖ thrive in the rainÖ the day-to-day real world is going to limit your chances to fully embrace the rain.

Three or four times a year, the rain draws my attention to the gutters. Leaves are involved. Blooming bushes. Pinocchio noses from the maple trees. All this and more causing me to wonder if things might be getting clogged and need a cleaning. Ladder comes out, a to-do item crossed off.

How often do you consider the rain and your plans?

Picnics, sure. A trip to the zoo or maybe a beach isnít the same when youíre avoiding dark clouds and wondering if that was lightning. Iíve certainly been on vacations when a week of theme park schedules faced adjustment based on the forecast.

But in general, Iím not so certain rain is as big a thing as it seems like it should be. Like most of you, the vast majority of my plans these days take place under some sort of cover. Other than having to get to or from my car, there is something over my head far more often than not during the day.

I can mark a bit of the transition for me thanks to baseball. My mom tells a story of Fenway Park and a day with my dad. The two of us had gone to a game, and for him it was miserable. Rain delays and damp and yuck. On the other hand, I was thrilled to see the guys running around the field with the tarp. Fascinated by it. Non-stop entertainment. Apparently, I went bonkers with anticipation when it would begin to rain, cheering for the guys to run out onto the field and begin positioning the huge tube so they could cover the field. My dad? Not nearly as impressed.

I do recall the excitement I felt, though not all of the specifics. Then time marches on.

A generation passes. Justin and I are at Shea Stadium. I can even tell you the Mets were playing the Cardinals, and he was eight. Rain delays and more rain delays. Cold evening, hot chocolate and more hot chocolate. Justin was loving the guys with the tarp and loving the cocoa. Me? Not nearly as impressed.

I hate driving in the rain. Actually, thatís not completely true. I donít like driving in the rain at all, but what I hate is that light rain where itís coming down and youíre going to need the wipers but it isnít strong enough to justify keeping the wipers on.

I guess what I donít like when it comes to the rain, in simplest thought, is the altering of plans. When I need to get from point a to point b for activity c, I want all of that to happen. I have mapped out today for certain things. Not tomorrow. Not next Thursday. Today. Letís get it done.

And itís not just rain. It can be weather in general. Years ago, Mike and Richard joined me at the house for a project. We were going to rebuild the bulkhead to the basement. It was hot and sunny and simply brutal. One of those mid-90s days, with the sun directly overhead, and yuck. But it was also a weekend day that all three of us had available to do the work. Sometimes, thereís no margin for change.

I will get out to mow the lawn today. Probably will have to wait until later in the afternoon, when a bit of sunshine will help dry things out a bit. And yetÖ

Tomorrow I have a bit of time free. Could honestly use a nap. A bit of rain would be perfect for that.


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