News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

May 10, 2011

MS. TAKES: Spring has sprung a leak across the Midwest

TERRE HAUTE — It’s not as if I’ve been marking the days off the calendar, but it certainly feels as if we are well along on a repeat of that 40 days and 40 nights thing.

Maybe it’s not yet time to stockpile the makings of an ark, but it wouldn’t hurt to enter the phone numbers of a few lumber yards into your speed dial.

Even the old jokes have ceased to amuse: “Great weather for ducks!”, “I’m growing webs between my toes!”, and “Check the north side of that tree. I think the moss is beginning to hang!” I’ve lived enough years to remember when the whole country was asked to pray for rain. If that order went out this year, somebody overdid it. Enough already!

We passed a field on our way out to the Family Sports Center the other morning. Ducks were swimming in a newly- reated “lake” in what was a corn field last year. My Best Friend allowed as how the ducks would not have to hold their breath to dive down for a snack and they could probably see the bottom, but still.

I hope the farmer has planned a crop for this year with a short growing season. The old saying that corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July will be a laugh this year. We will be lucky to have the fields plowed and planted by then if this keeps up.

I’m fond of rain. Better that than a blistering sun, but it would be nice to see a bit of blue sky and reassuring to know that the sun is still up there. It hasn’t made many appearances this spring. I can’t remember the last time I saw a full moon. Maybe Christmas?

I am hoping that Saturday night was the parting shot of what Grandma used to call “Jupiter Pluvius.” The hail and high winds will serve me as a farewell. Community Theatre, in the final weekend of their final production of the season, “God’s Favorite” had opened the roof vents to clear the smoke from one of “God’s” appearances. The actors were pelted with hail and had to shout above the tumult outside. If that’s the way God treats his favorites, we are in big trouble.

I’m ready for spring. I do not want to leap from winter into summer, although if the forecasters are right, that’s what we will be doing this week. But, if that’s what it takes to dry things up, I’m game.

I do hope we will get a rain before Labor Day, but a little moderation, please.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to

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