Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best Perfume

Rain is grace;
rain is the sky descending to the earth;
without rain, there would be no life.
John Updike

Is there anything that smells better than a much-needed rain? It's better than any fragrance bottled by a celebrity and sold for exorbitant prices.

I was going to impress everyone with the why and how of this wonderful, enticing aroma. And then I found out there really is a word for the smell after a rain: petrichor (PET-ri-kuhr), a noun, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

Petrichor is from oils given off by vegetation, absorbed onto neighboring surfaces and released into the air after a rain. So says Matthew Bettelheim at Nature's Laboratory, Mount Shasta, California.

Now there's a little something to talk about at the dinner table today.

We were in Oklahoma this weekend for a wedding (more on that later). But we came home to rain and cooler temperatures. Hallelujah! We got 1.10 inches on the County Line Sunday afternoon.

It was a timely rain. Though plenty of variables still exist for the milo crop, my personal crop consultant (AKA my husband) says a rain at this time should boost bushels, since it helps the head of the plant fill with grain.

I vote for that!

When I was looking for rain quotes, I thought this one from Thomas Haden Church best applied to life on the County Line and for farmers everywhere:

"I love going to the feed store and drinking coffee and talking about how much rain we need."

Just insert the proper location (co-op of your choice, AmPride, Joan's Cafe, the Byers mechanic shop, your local convenience store, etc.). You fill in the blank.

Randy filled in the blank this morning by going to breakfast at Joan's Cafe in Stafford. He tells me he eats oatmeal with raisins, so I don't think he's going for the breakfast. I think he's going to learn how the County Line fared in the rainfall total tally.

So my wish for you today: I hope you're able to go to the location of your choice and talk about how thankful you are for the rain. That means you got some.

And my other wish for you:

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind be ever at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And the rain fall softly on your fields.

And until we meet again
May God hold you
In the hollow of His hand.

An Irish blessing

(The photos illustrating the Irish blessing: Road at Elm Mills, Barber County, KS, July 2010; a sailboat in Sausalito, Calif., March 2007; our niece Emily, Summer 1999; a milo field on the County Line; a friend and her baby, February 2010. The leaf photo was taken in a mud puddle in our yard on Sunday.)


  1. Kim, this brought tears to my eyes! So glad you finally got rain, and that you had the perfect photos for the Irish Blessing. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Marcia! It's sometimes a scavenger hunt to find (and remember WHERE to find) some of the photos I know I have somewhere!