When I was a child I spent a lot of time in Storm Lake, Iowa with my grandparents Floyd and Alice Klinzman. They lived in a grand old house, with loads of oak woodwork, two big porches, and a white picket porch swing.
In the spring, the sticky purple scent of my grandfather’s iris blanketed the back yard, which was also host to a full to the brim, wooden rain barrel for splashing in, and a cellar door worn so smooth it could be used as a slide. As I played in the yard among the grapefruit sized heads of Grandpa’s iris I often sang this song.
I’m sorry play mate, I cannot play with you
My dollys got the flu, boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoohoo
Ain’t got no rain barrel, ain’t got no cellar door
But we’ll be jolly friends forevermore.
Felipe made our rainwater collection system by sawing a pvc pipe in half horizontally, which he wired to the roof and downspouted into a 55 gallon barrel. When the rains come I ask expectantly, after the first big downpour, “Do you think it’s clean enough yet.”
He generally makes me wait for 3 big rains, and then…
The morning of the fourth deluge, we go outside and plunge our mouths into the velvety cool waters of heaven. There is no water more satisfying. Continue reading