We are getting gentle rain in Northwest Florida. I am on the porch, watching it fall. I love rain. We have been quarantined for 45 days, and I am going crazy. So the rain is a friend.
Maybe I like rain because of what it represented when I was growing up. See, the people I come from never stopped working. Not even on holidays, weekends, or during the World Series. It was always work, work, work. The only time they ever took a break was when the preacher was about to bury them.
Unless it was raining.
And this, I suppose, is why rain will always be special to me. Rain makes me think of days passed on the porch. The only time my father and mother would sit on the porch and refrain from blatant yard work was during a good rain.
My mother would be sewing something. My father would be shirtless, like a hick. He never wore a shirt at home. His people never wore shirts, either. He
hated shirts. One time I asked my father what life was like before I was born, and I’ll never forget when he said, “We used to walk around naked all day.”
I don’t think he was telling the full truth because my mother was a hand-raising fundamentalist who did not believe in nakedness. If she could have had her way, I would have showered with my clothes on.
My mother’s fundamentalist food was always particularly good on rainy days. This is because my mother would bust her butt in the kitchen since she couldn’t bust her butt outside.
She had these gospel records she would listen to while she would be frying something. Or a gospel radio show she would have playing, where Baptist quartets sang songs that only men who were castrated could sing.
Her food was legendary. That’s another thing about my family. We grew up breaking…