Gauging the year ahead

Yesterday morning, my friend Deb wrote on her Facebook page, “And so it begins. Tulips, green grass, budding trees, and the rain gauge! All my farmer-wife friends will know what I’m talking about. We live or die by the rain gauge from now until harvest.”

Deb’s wisdom is something I’ve grown to accept, but had never really articulated. That small plastic tube that sits on the garden fence post affects our moods, determines our course for the day, and gives us conversation starters. “How much rain did you get?” is perhaps the most often asked question this time of year.

This morning, as I hung rugs on the clothesline and washed the outdoor furniture, my thoughts too turned to signs of spring. Unfortunately, the best sign of all — tractors pulling planters through the fields — has yet to be seen. Normally, we would have started by now, but the rain gauge has dictated otherwise.

We’re expecting more rain tomorrow and through most of next week. That little plastic tube will be busy filling up, but sadly the farmers will not be busy planting.