#039;Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day …#039;

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day. We want to go outside and play. Rain, rain, go away."

These lyrics were prevalent in my childhood. When it started to cloud up and rain was imminent, you could hear the voices of children chanting this song in unison. You probably still can today.

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The last two months, though, I haven't been able to get this little jingle out of my head. I have caught myself singing it to myself on numerous occasions. In fact, it is driving me crazy.

Sometimes, you need a little inspiration to write a weekly column. When you are trying to make small talk, what is the first thing you usually bring up? The weather, of course. So as I looked at my options for this week's column - and seeing as how the weather has actually been something to talk about, that's what I decided to write about.

According to statistics compiled by the Charleston, W.Va., office of the National Weather Service, May 2003 was the wettest May on record since records were first collected for this area in 1897. May's rainfall was 9.67 inches, topping the old record of 9.26 inches, set in 1974.

June is not looking any better. Through Tuesday, 4.2 inches of rain were measured at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. - already near the normal 4.5-inch precipitation level for the month of June.

Rain is something that we need, but this is getting ridiculous. Countless ballgames have been cancelled. Some lawns have gone unmowed for weeks. Roads have flooded. Earth has even moved. All because of more-than-usual rain.

As I write this column (at about 3 p.m. Thursday) I am listening to the sounds of thunder crashing and rain pounding on the roof. It looks like yet another of my son's baseball games will be cancelled. Will his season ever end?

I get up every morning and turn on the television to see what kind of weather to expect. Here lately, I haven't been watching the news to see if it is going to rain, but to find out at what time, how much and if any thunder and lightning will be accompanying it.

Still, I manage to drag myself out of bed and get ready for work, rain or no rain. I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. As I leave, I wonder if I should take an umbrella or, perhaps, a pair of swimming trunks.

I'm pretty sure the sky is still blue and the sun still shines from time to time. Just not around here.

Like a lot of people, after last summer's

drought, I thought I would never complain about rain. But, why does it have to be one extreme or the other?

I'm glad I'm not a farmer. Usually in May and June, farmers are praying for rain, but this year, they are praying for it to stop.

Last year, it was too dry, but now it has too wet and cold for some crops.

I just got a call from my son and, yes, his game is cancelled - again. But, that's not surprising. He's had more of his games played as make-ups than on the dates they were originally scheduled.

Now, it looks like he will be playing on Saturday (his birthday). So much for the weekend plans. They would have probably been scrapped anyway - because of rain. The forecast isn't calling for any rain from Friday until next Tuesday, but I'm not buying it. I'll believe it when I see it.

It is getting to the point I cannot remember what it is like when it doesn't rain. It hasn't quite rained for 40 days and 40 nights straight, but I can't help but wonder if Noah is building another ark and gathering up animals two-by-two.

"Rain, rain, go away …"

Shawn Doyle is managing editor of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445 ext. 19 or by e-mail (shawn.doyle@irontontribune.com).