Here in south Texas we rarely get rain. Being well versed in this topic is the second requirement for being a Texan. You have to keep good conversation starters like, “what aquifer are ya’ll on?” ready at the draw, and know how to read a situation well enough that when it does sprinkle you can correctly choose between “boy we sure need this – I can see things greening up already” or “what a shame the football game is getting cancelled because these wimpy ol’ clouds are spitting for a few minutes.” For starters, you’ll want to gauge gender, age, profession, and clothing…but really it’s a learned art.
Aside from the smaller category of folks who will be going through the stages of grief over the turning off of Friday night lights, we Texans are thrilled when it rains. It’s a sign that nature’s life can continue. There’s immediate relief from the heat, but there is also long term hope. Hope that we won’t be on water rations for our yards. Hope that we can take baths again instead of water saving showers. Hope that food prices won’t sky rocket and farmers can keep farming. Hope in the future.
And all this hope-filled rain means one thing for our feet: it’s time to break out the galoshes. They go with the dress you’re wearing to church. They’ll go over your jeans for dinner. They go with your work clothes all day. When it rains here, galoshes wash up all over from everywhere. They are particularly rampant in wet weather among the middle school girls at the private school where I teach. Because galoshes are a uniform exception due to weather, they offer a bold opportunity for freedom of clothing expression. Hot pinks and polka dots and animal prints and plaids start popping up all over the campus boardwalk. Texas galoshes are filled with joyful feet of young and old, ready for the few sprinkles we get in a refreshing Autumn morning.
While normal, everyday shoes might discourage one from jumping in a puddle or walking without worry, galoshes allow you to get out there and enjoy the blessing of rain.
It’s raining in our house. And remember how wonderful rain is in a drought. We’re expecting our first baby. Our parents are all expecting their first grandbaby, and the galoshes are ready for life.
Follow our journey as we kick off our normal shoes (forever) and go jumping in God’s magnificent, life sustaining gift – a child. YOU are part of the rain.
Oh – and the first requirement for Texanhood? Be willing to do life BIG.
(I suppose in one sense I’ll meet that criteria well here in a few months as my belly grows without abandon. And no – it’s not just from breakfast tacos. Mostly.)
Update: In late October 2012 the rain stopped and drought hit hard. We lost our first sweet baby at 9.5 weeks of pregnancy. After 10 weeks of wandering hopelessly in the desert, I picked up the blogger’s keyboard again to write. Journey with me, if you dare, through the uncharted territory of grief. I suppose you should pack some galoshes, just in case.