A summer of promise

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It has definitely been a summer of promise. The weatherman has promised rain at least a dozen times, and the sky has darkened and made the same promise almost as often.

Once, at three in the afternoon, the sky turned especially angry toward the northwest, dark and threatening. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled. I stood in the middle of my brown and wasted yard, holding my breath, waiting hopefully, believing the promise. Five minutes later the clouds evaporated, the sun reappeared and the temperature roared back toward triple digits.

Another time in the middle of the night, the air crackled with lightning and the rumble of distant thunder woke me. For several minutes I lay there listening for rain. Then the moon re-emerged and I went back to sleep, another promise of rain unkept. The next day we got a sprinkle. I counted 25 drops. Sadly, not much promise there.

I still water the green beans, tomatoes and squash every day. They promise to keep trying. I gave up on the flowerbed long ago. That small promise of color and fragrance was short-lived. I no longer bother to bring in the cushions from the patio furniture. I promise them they won’t get rained on.

I drive through the countryside and see the corn, short and stunted, tasseling to pollinate ears that haven’t formed. Much of this year’s crop will be chopped into silage. The soybeans look a little better, still showing some promise if we get rain soon.

I walk around the yard and check the barn. The lawnmower sits idle. It hasn’t been used for two months. Before going to bed I turn on the Weather Channel.

Wouldn’t you know it – they promise more of the same.

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