The winter, with all its rain and cold temperatures, reminds us how it once was. We could always expect a wet winter until recent years when the drought dominated.
With all the rain and the drop of the thermometer, I have been enjoying my fireplace more than ever.
The only thing lacking is a tin roof. Rain on a tin roof, a stimulating fire and a book -- that is a memory I'll keep.
We mostly deplore the abundant and excessive rain we have had in recent weeks, but we are not going to complain because we remember how critically short we were with water only a few months ago.
We have to know that it will be dry again. Weather cycles are predictable in their constancy. Irrigation rigs in south Georgia will be called on to bring life support to crop production. We know the Chattahoochee won't accommodate three states that have no interest in a judge being impartial. Not even Solomon could bring fairness to a decision on water if a drought returns.
In early January near Hawkinsville, I saw plentiful cotton in the fields. "Why so late picking the cotton?" was the first question to a friend.
"Too wet to get the equipment in there," was the response.
Recently on a swing through south Georgia, the roadside ditches were filled, the trees in the branches had water "up to their knees," and creeks everywhere were overflowing. It was so bad that quail were loath to take flight. You had to clean your gun and your boots at the end of the day.
Farmers were having a challenge turning over their land to prepare for spring planting, which will be the next concern. For the fields used for winter crops, the water is washing away anything that has sprouted like Vidalia onions.
Farmland that has not even reached the fallow state is now, in many cases, submerged in water or has enough wetness that the big tractors cannot operate without bogging down whenever they encounter soft spots.
At least we don't have California's problems. Mudslides from land where there, not too long ago, was concern over wildfires. It won't be long before we will be hearing about overflowing rivers in the Midwest, then when the rain eases up, here come the tornados. Looks like we need to quit insulting Mother Nature, or do we need to put those rocks back on the moon?
Upland, we haven't had it so bad. Anybody with a construction job might see it differently, however, and those who enjoy golf have been restricted to putting on the carpets of their den.
Rain is like baseball. You never know when your team will score a dozen runs in a single inning and then play one day where it couldn't buy a hit. Wouldn't it be nice if your team could space its runs out over a season to the best advantage? Same with rain. We have had enough lately, but lurking in our minds will be the concern that come summer, we will be begging for a thundershower.
In the meantime, I am going to stay by the fire and enjoy books from friends. It's not Thanksgiving, but when the weather keeps us inside there are comforts to appreciate. Losing a tree is sad, but there is good news: There's plenty of firewood for winter.
The weather outside is frightful, but the roaring fire and a book are so delightful. Not exactly the lyrics with which you are familiar, but when the rains threaten and tempt us to design an ark, just remember when we were dryer than a dictator's eyes and appreciate that a fire and a good book with soft music in the background is not a bad way to endure winter's slap across the face.
Loran Smith is affiliated with the University of Georgia and can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.