We’ve been in a state of drought for a long time. At least ten years. Maybe longer. It might be fifteen years by now. The years are slipping. This year hasn’t been quite as bad as last year because at least we got some snow. Not as much as we normally get, but some. Last year, we had mere inches where we normally had feet.
The drought broke the other day. I try not to worry about the water because we have a well and we are entirely dependent on the weather for all our water needs. I can only imagine how bad a farmer must feel when the rain doesn’t fall or falls at the wrong time. It must be terrifying.
It began to look like a storm was brewing many hours ahead of the actual storm. It had been thundering for hours with no rain. Apparently it was pouring in downtown Uxbridge just three miles north. When the wind came up, I figured the rain was finally going to fall. Sure enough, it did. As if the clouds were slashed open, sheets of rain poured down. The lights went out and the Wi-Fi went out. Sudden darkness and I had that momentary bit of wondering about where I put the matches.
Two or three minutes later, the lights were back. It took another half hour for the Wi-Fi to reboot. It was funny because with the Wi-Fi out, I could see every device our neighbors own. Who had which kind of iPhone, for example. Since I know everyone’s name, I could identify the location of each. There are only four houses close enough to appear on my server, so it isn’t complicated. I’m glad we don’t live in an apartment building!
I went to put some seeds out for the birds. It had cooled down by at least 30 degrees. This isn’t unusual weather for us. There is no “usual weather.” The first year I was up here (1988), by the end of April, it was 90 degrees and stayed in the 90s for two more months. You couldn’t buy an air conditioner and the little apartment I was renting was stifling. Good thing I was recently back from Israel. I didn’t mind the heat, though the humidity was bad.
This last heat wave was an airless heat. No breeze. Hot all day, hot all night. I think it’s called an inversion layer now, but then, it was just two months of triple H days and nights: hot, hazy, and humid. The sun never shone. it was gray all the time. That was my introduction to living in New England. Not what I expected.
Yet during this same period, we’ve had summers that were perfect. Comfortable, dry, sunny, warm, with just enough rain to keep the gardens green. We’ve had winters with 12 feet of snow followed by spring where it rained continuously through March as the snow melted. We flooded. So did all the towns nearby.
For the last ten years, we’ve had a variety of winters ranging from no snow to buried up to our chins. We haven’t had enough rain in a long time and the rivers have run almost completely dry. Some years, all you could see was the mud at the bottom. Not good fishing weather.
I’m pretty sure we had a summer last year, but I don’t remember it. We were indoors for all of 2020 and all the seasons seemed to be the same. Last summer was the worst. COVID was raging, the hospitals were full. Folks like us were being very careful. We didn’t know what the world would be like after the plague, but we wanted to at least be around to find out.
We made it. That’s the good news. The bad news? I’m not sure to what world we’ve made it.