From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rain Showers in Christian County, KY

Life in Christian County, Kentucky...



Rain cloud over Hopkinsville, KYWe had some showers across Christian County yesterday evening and today. The rain was "spotty," which means some areas got a little rain and other areas didn't get much. I've heard about rain amounts from two-tenths of an inch to half an inch.

We had rain here at the house, but I don't know how much. If I see Willis, our Mennonite neighbor, I will ask him. He keeps his own weather records, and I'm sure he'll have a full report not only of how much it rained in our micro-area, but also of how much it rained in various other parts of the county.

That's Hopkinsville's little mall in the background of the photo. You can see how dry the grass is. It probably shouldn't have been mowed so close to the ground. We have some places in our yard where the grass is just as crackly.

The rain has moved out of the area now. I read on the Hopkinsville weather report that the barometric pressure is rising. The weather will be clear until Saturday when we'll have a slight chance of rain again.

Weather Forecasting

Reading about the barometric pressure made me think about my parents. We had a round barometer that hung in the back hallway. Mama and Daddy checked it several times a day to see what the air pressure was doing. When the barometer's needle dropped sharply, it was an omen of an impending weather event. A big drop in air pressure was particularly alarming in the winter, because it usually meant we were going to get a snowstorm.

Both my mom and dad had an ingrained habit of noticing what the wind was doing. At any time, either one could have told you what direction the wind was blowing from. If the wind's direction changed, they knew where it was now, how it had moved there, and what type of weather was likely because of the change.

Like many country people of their time, my parents were pretty good amateur weather forecasters, using their own observations, a few basic weather instruments, and their knowledge of common weather patterns.

Weather predictions weren't as accurate or extensive back then -- that is, during the 1950's and 1960's when I was growing up. The first tornado forecast was issued in 1948. The first computerized weather model was made in 1950. It used 25,000 punched cards. 24-hour forecasts were first issued in the early 1950's. Meterologists first saw photographs of the earth's atmosphere from satellites in the early 1960's. Now we take all of these things for granted.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.