Tag Archives: Texas Tundra

Not complaining about the rain

As a boy, the rain drove me batty.

I grew up in the dank, damp and sometimes dreary Pacific Northwest, where it rains three or four days before you ever notice it.

Now that I’m older and now that my wife, one of our sons and I live in this so-called semi-arid region I refer to as the Texas Tundra, you won’t hear me complain about the rain we’ve been getting of late.

More of it is falling tonight. Even more of it is expected through Friday and perhaps over the weekend.

You won’t hear me gripe. Nope. Not me.

I know the sun will return in due course, just as I (more or less) knew we’d get the rain we’ve all sought through prayer.

These things run in cycles.

Our playas are full. McDonald Lake — which is just about a mile north of us on Coulter, is practically overflowing. I saw some video of fish that had ended up on the street next to the lake. Now that’s weird.

The closest thing to a gripe I’ve heard has come from cotton farmers who need to start planting their crops, but cannot do it because the ground is too wet.

Be patient, folks. The sun will return.

Oh, and the drought? It’s still with us.

I’ll guess that Amarillo’s daily water use gauge is down … considerably. That, too, is a good thing.

Ode to spring: I'm glad it's arrived … finally

People I meet as I go through life occasionally comment on their favorite season of the year on the Texas Tundra.

Surprisingly — to me, at least — most of them seem to prefer the fall. Leaves changing colors. Our landscape brightens just a bit. The cooler days. All that stuff seems to appeal to many people.

Me, too.

But this is my favorite season of the year. Bring on the spring, man.

The terrain out there can get pretty bleak in the winter. We’ve had a good bit of snow in these parts during the winter of 2014-15. For all I know, more might be on the way. Hey, it’s only early April.

It’s the renewal aspect of the season that I find so joyous.

Those bare trees are beginning to blossom. Some of them go from naked to “fully clothed” in green seemingly overnight. That’s all right. The greenery is a sign of that spring has sprung.

It also has a good bit to do with my faith. We’re going to celebrate Easter tomorrow along with billions of other Christians around the world. We’ll go to church, listen to the pastor praise the new life that Jesus promises us. We’ll sing joyful hymns celebrating The Resurrection. We’ll have a nice dinner later in the day with family and friends.

Indeed, Easter is all about renewal and rebirth.

It’s all around us.

The signs of spring are unmistakable. They’re quite welcome in our home. Very soon, summer will arrive. Temperatures will rise and, oh yes, we’ll commence the gripes about the triple-digit heat and wish dearly for the return of autumn.

My friends and acquaintances will cherish autumn’s arrival and say, once again, how it’s their favorite season of the year.

Me? I’ll just wait for next spring.

First things first. I plan to enjoy the current spring to the max.


Puppy tales, Part 11

What a glorious mid-winter day on the Texas Tundra.

Indeed, days like this occasionally make me forget we’re still in the grip of winter. After all, didn’t The Groundhog tell us a few days ago we were in for six more weeks of it? Not around here, Phil.

So, with that my wife and I spent the morning trimming perennials, raking leaves that fell several months ago, clearing out the back yard as we prepare for spring.

We also listened to a canine cacophony from next door and across the alley that separates us from our neighbors to the south.

What does this have to do with Toby the Dog, our little bundle of excitement?

He didn’t make a sound while the three neighbor dogs yipped and yapped incessantly at my wife and me — and at Toby as he traipsed along the fence; I’m thinking he was baiting the neighbor pooches. Nor did he make a sound while we all listened to the much bigger dogs across the alley. For the record, we have another dog living on the other side of us, but she’s a very well-behaved mid-sized pooch.

No, the only sound Toby made this morning was to yip just a little bit at a neighbor kitty that’s a frequent visitor to our yard; once in a while she ventures into our home, apparently when Toby and Mittens (our very territorial cat) are looking the other way.

I know some of you out there own small dogs. Ours is a little one. However, take it from me: When he decides to bark — which isn’t very often — it usually is for a reason, such as when the UPS guy or the Fed Ex guy delivers something at the front door. And when Toby does let loose, he sounds a lot larger — and meaner — than he actually is.

Today? Virtually nothing came from him while the chorus was erupting all around us.

Good job, Toby.