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Greenpoint: Staying cheery despite all the rain

Greenpoint: Staying cheery despite all the rain

Quite a stretch of inclement weather
Greenpoint: Staying cheery despite all the rain
At least the lettuce is enjoying the rain.
Photographer: Margaret Hartley/For The Daily Gazette

“When will this rain ever end?” has become a common greeting at work, followed by a few minutes of commiseration about rained-out soccer games and soggy shoes.

I’ve been trying not to complain. I did though, on that morning I tripped over a fence and landed in a mud puddle, necessitating a quick change of clothes before work. I complained bitterly, in fact, in some fairly salty language.

When I mentioned another day that we’d had an inch of rain overnight, a colleague not normally known for looking on the bright side said, “Well, think how much that would have been if it that were snow.”

I guess he’s right. It could be worse.

As a rule I like all weather, and I’m trying not to be glum about all the rain. I don’t mind walking in rain — if I’m wearing rain gear. I’ve been making good use of both my raincoats, and keeping an umbrella handy at work.

And I try to enjoy the different varieties of rain — the soft mists, the gentle drizzles, the steady, earth-nourishing showers. The never-ending deluge is a little over the top, even for me, although I kind of enjoyed our hailstorm.

I’ve lived in rainy areas — the Pacific Northwest, for instance — and learned that you can’t let it stop you. There’s a lot you can do outdoors in the periods between showers, or in light rain. We’ve often gone hiking in the rain, being careful to choose the mountains that aren’t treacherous when wet. We’ve gone swimming in lakes and the ocean in rain too, as long as there was no threat of thunder and lightning. As my daughter pointed out, we were going to get wet anyway.

We are lucky that our gardens drain well and our seeds are coming up, if slowly. What’s already up is also growing slowly — the peas will be late and the beans are just emerging. On the other hand, we’ve had great germination with carrots, and the lettuce is magnificent. We’re planting small plots, and even those that are way behind are small enough that we’ll catch up with a couple of nice days.

And everyone’s in the same boat. Corn planting everywhere is far behind schedule. Hay cutting is off. Every farmer I know is addicted to the radar, and complaining about the circling blob of red that seems stuck right overhead. Every gardener is worried.

My sister planted her beets right before a hailstorm, but they’re doing OK. My neighbor complained that she put two tomato plants in pots three weeks ago but they are exactly the same size they were when she planted them.

“That’s just on top,” I told her. “Underneath the soil they’re putting down lovely roots and once the sun comes out, they’ll burst out and up.”

“You say that every year,” she told me. And she’s right, I do. I’m sure my tomatoes are doing the same thing. And so are all the other plants that seem like they’ve stalled in the past three weeks. Two days of sunshine and they’ll catch up, and have that deep moisture they need to survive dry periods later this summer.

Because you know we’ll have those too. There’ll be a stretch of hot, dry weather when everyone will be scanning the sky and the weather forecasts and complaining. “When will it ever rain,” they’ll be asking each other, and I’ll try not to complain, even if it means watering the carrots.

Greenpoint appears every other Sunday. Reach Margaret Hartley at [email protected] or @Hartley_Maggie on Twitter. Opinions expressed in Greenpoint are hers and not necessarily the newspaper’s.

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