The Upside of Drought

December 1, 1970, was a warm day in southern Kentucky. Typically, the high temperature for that time of year would have been in the thirties, maybe low forties. During a warm spell, it might hit fifty. Still cool enough for a jacket, for sure. That year, though, the temperature was in the upper sixties. I remember thinking that morning, “Man, this is the first day of December and I’m doing the milking in my tee shirt.” Of course, I wasn’t literally doing the milking in my tee shirt; I was wearing a tee shirt and doing the milking. I was also wearing jeans, socks and shoes. But enough of this tedium on behalf of the overly literally minded. On to the topic of the weather.

Ours has been lovely so far for December. Eerily lovely.

While our lows at night have dipped below freezing for several of the first five days, the daytime highs are tripping the fifties, even the sixties. And this is a couple hundred miles north of southern Kentucky. We had a few flurries of snow a week or two ago but all this sunshine and warmth is a bit bizarre for northeastern Kansas.

November, here, is supposed to be a long month of dismal days, gray and drizzly. Our average monthly rainfall is close to three inches. We had less than a tenth this year as we near our third consecutive year of significantly below normal precipitation. Yet, we are much better off than the rest of Kansas and a good bit of the nation.

But, being the resolute plains dwellers that we are, we steel ourselves as best we can and brace for yet another day of gorgeous weather. November was an ideal October, with lots of pleasant sunny days with low humidity. Bike riding weather, horse riding weather, long walks in the hills weather, perfect nights for football weather. Deceptively delightful weather.

It is a tricky thing in this world: praying for rain and longing for days and nights of slow drizzle while admiring and enjoying the bounty of our blessings. It is an odd and ironic thing to appreciate the low heating bills and the miles of pleasant driving while remembering that every gorgeous week prolongs the drought, brings us closer to greater severity.

What will be also odd, ironic and challenging will be to appreciate the cold snows that spell some relief. Indeed, the Lord moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. One of his greatest is teaching us to rely upon him in all things, in all ways.

Even on the most beautiful days.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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