“The sun will come out, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun…” Yes, friends, back in the mists of prehistory (AKA grade school), yours truly was in a presentation of the musical Annie. To this day, I find myself singing some of those songs at certain points in my life.
And indeed, the sun has come out. I was having my doubts last week. Normally I am a pluviophile, a lover of rain, so to speak, but by Wednesday, I had started feeling vaguely ill whenever I heard drops hitting the roof. During the periods of torrential downpours, I found myself holding my breath, hoping to stave off any flooding through sheer force of will.
As you can tell, it didn’t work. We got up on Wednesday and looked out at massive flooding in our yard and horse pen. There wasn’t much to do but wait for it to subside a bit, and sure enough, we got the call for school cancellation. My son went next door to play with the neighbor kids but ended up getting put to work hauling waterlogged items out of their flooded basement. The water was receding, but as always, not fast enough.
Then, oh joy of joys, I happened to look up and see both horses standing in the front yard, happily munching grass.
My daughter and I tried to push them back to the pen, which wasn’t quite as flooded by this time. The horses were none too pleased with that Idea. We finally got a halter on one of the spooked mares and tied her so that they’d stay close. I went next door and asked to borrow the kids, and what happened next was one of the closest things to a miracle I’ve ever seen. My hubs and all 4 kids swung into action bringing round pen panels up to a dry corner of the yard.
Trip after trip carrying the heavy panels, the kids worked quickly during a lull in the rain. They were bringing panels almost as quickly as I could arrange them, creating a corral under some sheltering trees. In almost no time, we had the pen finished, horses safely put in, and hay and water supplied. (Remember that square baler we were so tickled to get? If we hadn’t have had those square bales, getting the girls fed would have been a much larger hassle.) After they finished at our place, the kids headed back next door to continue helping there.
Later that afternoon, exhausted from the excitement and not a little bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work it was going to take to get things fixed up and cleaned up, I just felt numb when I heard the rain start to fall again. I saw movement outside the front windows again. I glanced up, halfway expecting to see the horses out again.
The sight that met my eyes instead was nothing less than amazing. There stood my son, wearing my big black galoshes, the heavy winter coat he had on dripping water from the hood that covered half his face. The uncovered bottom half of his face was wreathed in a big, beaming grin. In each hand, he held a bedraggled tomato plant, root ball still intact.
You see, Scott had bought and planted our tomato crop for this year last weekend. The garden had been inundated with rushing, muddy water, and we had, somewhat sadly, written off the tomatoes as lost. I stepped outside into the rain. ”What are you doing?” I asked, mouth agape.
“I’m saving tomatoes, Mom,” he replied happily. And save tomatoes he did. Time and again, he ventured down to the ruined garden, always stopping at the window to show me that he’d found more. By the time he stopped, not only had he found all twelve of the tomato plants, he had replanted them in my front flower garden. Beamingly happy and dripping wet, my son had saved our tomatoes.
And, through the rain, we learned a little more just how blessed we are. Scott got the water out of our basement (and the deep freeze and water heater are still operational!). We’re all safe, the critters are all fine, we have amazing neighbors who are always willing to help, and even offer us a place to put the horses, and we even still have tomatoes.
I have the feeling that, for the rest of my life, I won’t be able to eat a tomato without thinking of my tomato-saving boy. And of course, the memory of the rest of that day will probably come *ahem* flooding back too. As always, may your life be peppered with good people and good memories, and remember to take all the rest with a grain of salt.