Ain’t Got No Rainbarrel

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 backyard, 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 playmate, 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.

For some reason, it delighted me to sing this song because I did indeed, HAVE a rain barrel and a cellar door. But it did not please me more than the rain barrel I now possess.

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