It was so dry, and only just the middle of July, that the leaves on the buckeye trees had begun to turn brown and fall to the ground. They lay in two parallel lines on either side of the creek valley road and swirled in the windy wake of our truck as we passed by.

The ground in my garden had become so parched that it was cracked, and even my usually flourishing squash were beginning to wither. The creek itself had dried up so that there were places where we could cross to the other side without having to step over any water at all. The smaller rocks made a clinking, chime- like sound under our feet as we walked along the dry bed. I wished for rain.

The dry weather, though, did have its good points. There was no need for Greg to mow, and we were able to catch up on many of our outside projects. We finished off setting the stone work on the front of the house, and when finished, stood back, ever so pleased with the result of our labors. I cleaned out the little chicken coop, where I have homed my most recent batch of now gangly feathered birds.

I will move them into the main chicken coop sometime in the next week or so. I pruned some obviously dead branches off of the fruit trees, tended my garden, organized our ever-growing pile of scrap metal and fed the ever-hungry burn pile, set for lighting sometime in the not too distant future. Still, I wished for rain.

Granted, many outside chores remained on my to-do list, patiently waiting for my attention, but the weather was hot, and I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it would be to sit back and relax on a cool wet morning. I imagined sitting in my rocker on the front porch, second cup of coffee by my side, listening to the soothing patter of the falling rain. My wish came true.

The first day, I enjoyed that leisurely cup of coffee on the front porch, and when my coffee was done, I cleaned the whole house, top to bottom. I awoke the next morning to more rain and another leisurely cup of coffee on the front porch, and when that cup of coffee was finished, I cleaned the entire basement, which is really more of a hobby room than a basement.

Greg and I each have a 10-foot wooden bench, where we can work on our various indoor projects, such as Greg’s vintage clocks and my mostly vintage marbles.

I first dusted the marble display wall that runs along the front of the house, and then I moved back to Greg’s wall of clocks. I finally mopped the smooth concrete floor. I do sweep the floor almost daily, but I rarely mop, and when finished, I found myself wishing for sunshine. It had been good to clean and stay inside for two days, but I was ready to get back outside. But alas, the third day I awoke again to more rain.

As I savored that second cup of coffee, I wondered what to do with my day. There was nothing left to clean, except perhaps the parrots’ cages, so I decided to give them a good deep cleaning. As I worked and talked to the birds, it occurred to me how lovely the clean house would look with sunshine pouring in through the windows. The parrots agreed, though the longer I cleaned, the one repeatedly asked me what I was doing. I repeatedly responded that I was still cleaning, but my response did not seem to satisfy him.

It was not until I told him that I was wishing for sunshine that he finally fell silent. And now, later on, in that third day, the sky is still overcast, but the rain has finally stopped falling. I check the forecast, and there is only a slight chance of rain tomorrow. I smile. I will happily forgo that second cup of coffee to get back outside. The first thing I plan to do is weed the gardens, before the day gets too hot, and then I find myself smiling again, imagining how easily the weeds will pull, the ground softened by the thankful rain.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at