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May Wristband Day save us all.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano 

At this point, I've pulled out all the stops and I've lived dangerously.

I've left deck cushions out and driven away from the house with the market umbrellas open. I put clean laundry outside to dry and left it there unchecked for hours. I neatly lined towels up along the deck rail. I opened windows. I left the sunroof open and car windows rolled down. I left the grill uncovered. None of it worked.

On Friday, I did the previously unfailable thing -- I got the car washed.

And still, no amount of careless behavior in my sad, desperate attempt to cause it to rain has worked. All the things that have guaranteed rain in the past just aren't working now. It's been so long since we had a real, good soaker rain that I almost forget what that's like. My yard is a dry, brown, shredded wheat-looking mess. My trees are crying these crunchy, star-shaped bits. I've heard walnuts a quarter of their normal size are falling in some places. Gardens are shriveling up. Places (not Columbia City) are running short on water. Wetland areas are drying up. Don't believe me -- look at the swampy area north of The Dock on SR 9 across from the Kroger plaza. Our prized Independence Day festivities will be a fair bit less festive now that fireworks have been postponed and no campfires are allowed.

More seriously, this thirst for rain is becoming a focal point in life for a very large segment of our population. Public prayers have mentioned rain. Everyday greetings on the street tend to have some mention of the condition we're in. Farmers lives in our rural community are turned upside down and people are on the verge of meltdown -- financially and because of the amount of stress this is putting them under.

It's seeming hopeless, but I still have hope. There are a few upcoming dates that have always held the promise of rain -- the first of which is tomorrow. Indeed, "Wristband Day" at Old Settlers Days always brings rain. It may be nature's way of ensuring that kids get their money's worth of rides that day by limiting the number of brave souls willing to get soaked and keep on riding. Whatever it is, I'm hoping it works this year. Instead of groans, it would bring cheers.

If that doesn't work, we still have Whitley County 4-H Fair week. It always rains on one of those days. I don't remember which one -- it just does. It always does. Actually, I don't know if it did or not last year because I missed the whole fair basically. Yeah, I was having baby Eliza. It could have been snowing outside and I wouldn't have known!

So this rain thing...I want you all to know I've done my part. I'm sure you have too. This can't go on forever -- but let's hope the drought of '12 ends soon.


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