Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Nobody Told Me About The Rain
by James Glaser
June 13, 2008

Now they tell me. Now they tell me that since I moved down to Tallahassee we have been in a drought. Every afternoon this past week there has been a torrential downpour. It started last Friday in the late afternoon. At about 5:15 the rain poured down for fifteen minutes, but by six o'clock you couldn't even tell it had rained.

Now the local people think the afternoon rain coming back is just great. It is true that the rain can lower the temperature from 93 to 75 in about 10 minutes, but when that sun comes back out, the humidity pegs the meter. In no time at all the streets are dry again, and many times you can see the water vapor coming off the black tar like steam.

Here is another thing nobody mentioned. Tallahassee is the 6th wettest city in America. I swear a plant can grow several inches in a 24 hour period when these rains and humidity hit. Now I would have to say it is tropical down here.

There is one nice thing though, the rain is warm. You don't feel a chill down your back if you get caught out in a down pour. In fact you can walk around like nothing is happening, other than you are getting soaked.

There were signs that I missed. Every grocery store has plastic sleeves to put your umbrella in while you shop. I had seen them for the last couple of years, but I never saw anyone use them. Then there is the fact that every clothing store has a rack of umbrellas, but I guess I thought they were for the sun. It never dawned on me that there was a reason that Wanda had three umbrellas.

For the last two years the streets and parking lots of Tallahassee did look dusty, but not any more. My parking lot at Railroad Square has never looked cleaner, and those new flowers I planted last week are almost twice the height they were.

In Northern Minnesota there is water in the ditches all summer, and in many of those ditches, ducks live and thrive. Down here, I don't think I have ever seen a stretch of road with water on either side, but I bet that is no longer true.

So, I am going to have to change the way I do some things. No longer will I be able to leave finished work or painted work outside to dry. The same goes for leaving car windows open or metal tools outside. Also if I want to work out doors, I have to plan to do that in the morning. Mornings seem to be dry. Saturday we are having a yard sale, and I am going to have to get some plastic to cover everything, because they tell me it will rain every afternoon now.

I think about this rain, and have decided it could be worse. The rain could be cold like up North, or it could turn to snow or sleet. I can handle walking in the rain if it is a warm rain, and if I have been working all morning in the 90 degree plus heat, a rain shower isn't so bad, because I am pretty well soaked already.

So, I have learned something new about the South again, and I bet there are a lot of other things people are keeping a secret from me. The summer rains aren't so bad, and I guess if the Southerners are happy that they are back, I'll have to adapt.

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