Is there anything better than listening to the sound of rain on the roof? Hearing the drops pelting the window as you drift off to sleep?
Well, that’s subjective, of course. Probably for many people that’s not their cup of tea but it is one of my favorites.
So that made it a little ironic one recent rainy evening; I have a ‘noise machine’ that I turn on most nights before I settle in – courtesy of a ‘white elephant’ holiday gift exchange a couple of years ago. While the clothes dryer and white noise settings don’t get much use, I do utilize the crickets, the birds and the thunderstorm sounds on a regular basis. This particular night, I had set the thunderstorm and put it on the 90-minute timer and then started to read. Just a few minutes in, I realized the actual rain on my window and howling of the wind outside was louder than the manufactured thunderstorm coming from my noise machine.
Either way, for me it is wonderful to fall asleep to the lullaby of raindrops.
While we were getting our much needed rain, my family back in upstate NY was getting more than their share of snow. It was the kind of storm we used to have back when my siblings and I were kids; where the snow came down so fast you had to shovel the sidewalk and brush off the cars every hour. My dad had to go out for some appointments one day recently and tried to beat the weather; he was on one of his last stops for the morning when he fell on the slick surface outside a store and suffered a broken tibia and fibula. He told me he was being extra careful because he knew it was slippery and, the next thing he knew, he was down in a heap. Surgery went well and the doctor even told him he has very good bones, so hopefully that means recovery will go well too.
My sister Sue, who is now retired, was able to fly back and is there now, helping out. She is staying with dad at the house; my brother and sister-in-law live just up the road a mile or so and are in contact with him every day. My niece is also close by and my dad’s sister lives in the same town so there are plenty of people to make sure dad follows the doctor’s orders and does his physical therapy exercises.
Sue moved out here to California before I did; she was invited by our aunt to stay with her family for a summer in Vallejo, as she couldn’t seem to find a job back home. Long story short, Sue moved to Vallejo, got a job pretty quickly, and met her future husband at our aunt and uncle’s church. She and her husband Steve now have four grown children and six grandchildren.
Sue arrived in New York on a stormy Sunday evening; she sent me a photo from the front window of dad’s house on Monday morning, complete with several inches of snow piled up on both the car and truck. She isn’t planning on going out much, though; number one, she wants to be close at hand if dad needs anything and, number two, daytime highs right now are straining to get out of the teens and low 20s – not really the type of weather us ‘California girls’ are used to anymore!
Flying is also a lot different now; she said that there were plenty of additional requirements, including proof of a negative COVID test, which she needed before she could get on or off the plane. Luckily, her flights were smooth, her paperwork was in order, and my brother and sister-in-law were there to pick her up at the airport.
Dad is on the mend and Sue and I are staying in touch; I let her know when we get a few drops of rain and she keeps me posted on how many inches of snow are on the ground, along with how many times she has shoveled the sidewalk. Good thing she packed a winter coat!
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.