August 22, 2009
It's raining today. I've never really liked rain. It confines me and that is frustrating. I fully understand the need for rain. As a child I embraced it because it meant tin tubs would fill with rain water which meant I would not have to tote-yes I said "tote" water from Mr. Lovette's house. You try filling a foot tub with water and toting it back and forth to fill big tin tubs for washing clothes and bodies. Both of which could serve multiple cleaning purposes. The occasional hair washing, dish washing and of course, rinsing out the night bucket also know as "slop bucket". For those whose mental filing cabinet is void of information about "night bucket". it is akin to the night chamber of old. You've seen them in the old movies...the forerunner to the commode! Yes, it is a fact. I grew up in a house that did not have indoor plumbing. The very astute might have deduced that from the whole "toting water" bit. Needless to say, rain was multifunctional. I guess you need more 411 about the night bucket. This might stretch your creative mind a bit, but work with me here. I must build background knowledge. Hmmm, it might be challenging if you have never seen a lard can. I'm not sure they make them any more. Anyway, visual learners, image a gallon can filled with white, cold, lard ( fat from a big old slaughtered hog or not so big pig-check out that rhyme-melted to make cooking grease), recycled to become a toilet! The grease was used to create greasy meals and once emptied a perfect container. Some bright person thought it would be perfect for nightly functions. Who in their right might wanted to trot outdoors in pitch dark down the path to the out house??? Bring on the night pot. Except for a few flaws that are oft to appear in modifying products. There was always the risk of slicing a piece of butt meat when sitting! Of course, the can opener did not double as an edge smoother! Jagged tin edges had a tendency to a bite when flesh is pressed into the can's rim.
As I said, rain is multifunctional. There were those great evenings when I was lulled to sleep to the sound of raindrops hitting the tin roof covering the dilapidated two room house. The rush to put down pots to catch rain that found its way through the holes was always a "rush"-quite a play on words don't you think? And lastly, I am almost ashamed to say... I loved the smell of fresh rain and warm Florida sand. So much so that on occasion I have been known to sample a little taste. I'm attributing it to a vitamin deficiency of some sort.
The sun is poking its rays through my blinds and the patter of raindrops falling on my roof is gone. Warmth is sneaking in to remind me it's still summer. I respect that! I shall rise and enjoy the day. Thankful to be alive to hear the rain and feel the sunshine, remembering the days that shaped who I am today.