Gratitude in a drought?

Hot, dry weather yields brilliant fall color – 2012

Are all these sunny, dry days good for us? Only in Iowa would someone even ask that question! I spent last week in California where no one ever questions “yet another day in paradise.” But here in Iowa, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

As the sunny, dry days stretch on, I look at my flower gardens, which I don’t water, and wonder how many of the plants I’ll lose by next spring. I look at my prairie, which history says can stand the swings of nature, and notice that the grasses thrived in the dry heat while the flowers were much less lush and brilliant. And all of the prairie plants were shorter.

The farm fields suffered painfully in the drought. I hated even to look as I drove by many fields of corn. The leaves were curled up and pointed to the sky, as though pleading for rain. When none came, eventually, the stalks wilted, turned brown and crumpled. Yields are way down and we’ll all feel the farmer’s pain at the grocery store in coming months.

At lunch today, a friend commented, “This area wasn’t made for perfect weather all the time.” He’s right. Iowa thrives with the change of season. We thrive when we have sun mixed with regular rains, hot days followed by cold days. We thrive when it all evens out.  This year hasn’t been like that. I joked when we were getting 70 & 80 degree days in March that we were going to have the longest summer on record. I didn’t know how right I’d be. I didn’t know it would be a California summer.

Looking past concerns of drought, I have to say a California summer in Iowa is beautiful – the endless perfect days, the ash trees turning gold. I’ve determined to be grateful for the beautiful weather, to marvel in the brilliant colors, to be outside as much as I can be. And to try not to worry that there’s no rain in the forecast for another 3-4 weeks. If then.

I will remind myself that in all things I can give thanks.

New California weight loss plan

An Edith Ann moment.

Remember Edith Ann, the little girl in the great big rocking chair played by Lily Tomlin on Laugh In? Yesterday I got to be Edith Ann. Or at least I got to sit in a very big chair and feel very much like a child.

A friend and I were driving down Arnold Drive south of Glen Ellen, California, and we passed this really big chair. I couldn’t resist. I whipped the car around and we went back. How often do you get a chance to sit in a chair like this?

Before that day, I’d been feeling as though I needed to lose some weight. Now I realize I don’t really need to lose weight. I just need to get really big furniture!

In honor of one of my favorite comediennes, here’s a clip of Edith Ann.