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Monday, June 01, 2020
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The Weather Changer



    I am certain about it. They had been predicting for several days that a change was coming. The continuous summertime heat with temperatures soaring above 90° in the afternoon was predicted to end. Each day had become increasingly difficult to work and live with the extreme temperatures.

    I have been mowing/bush-hogging my pastures this week. The hot sun and humidity made for an unpleasant combination of diesel fumes and sweaty coveralls, but I was determined to get the job done before the day was over. I had only one pasture left to be mowed. I began shortly after lunch and finished about four in the afternoon. By then my blue coveralls had dark blotchy perspiration stains that expanded with each pass through the field. I occasionally looked up at the sky and noticed a growing number of white billowy clouds that grew taller as the afternoon heated. Once finished, I parked my old Massey Ferguson in the barn and thought to myself, it may be spring before I fire up that machine again. I keep my bush hog on this tractor year round. When not in use, it remains in the barn waiting for the next growing season.

    As I got back to the house, I was met by my daughter and grandson who were visiting with their “Meme”. I excused myself and went into the bathroom to change clothes and get cleaned up. When I came back into the kitchen and picked up my cell phone, it was displaying a weather warning for Shelby County. I opened the app and observed a bright yellow line stretching from north to south that would pass through our county momentarily. I looked out the window and sure enough dark clouds were in the northwest sky.

    The rain soon came with fat drops beating a rhythm on the deck that increased in cadence and volume within a very short time. Soon the sky was filled with heavy rain and occasional loud cracks of thunder. I thought to myself how close I had been to getting rained on before I finished mowing the pasture.

    The rain lasted for nearly an hour. Once it stopped and the clouds began to clear, I slipped on a pair of shoes and walked out on the deck. I felt the marked decrease in temperature as compared to an hour before the rain arrived. The rain gauge showed we had gotten about a half inch of precipitation, and the thermometer had dropped almost 20° and was hovering around 70 degrees.

    I walked out to the garden where the cool breeze was coming out of the northwest. I heard the occasional drops of water falling from the trees nearby. The water droplets were falling from the soon-changing maple leaves that were now washed free of the heat of a hot summer day. I could hear the sounds of distant thunder now escaping to the southeast . It was clear that the sounds of the storm were moving away as the cold front progressed through the county.

        There is something quite refreshing about the air and the favorable breezes we feel after a strong thunderstorm has passed through our community. There are the peaceful sounds of birds chirping as they return to their perch. The cows pass through the pasture as if their desire to eat wet grass is greater than the dry grass of earlier in the afternoon.

The evening felt like fall, and as I stood and listened to my surroundings, I remembered that the next day would be the first day of autumn. The extended forecast is for autumn-like temperatures for the next week or so. Yes, they definitely were right about this weather changer. For now, I will not miss the 90° temperatures and the humidity that makes my coveralls turn dark blue from my own perspiration. After all, autumn is my favorite season of the year!