Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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Texas Drought

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on July 21, 2009

Since it’s on the top of everyone’s mind in Texas these days, I thought I would ramble on about the drought and how it has impacted our lives.

Many discussions this spring were about our next – first black – President, the oppressive question of whether we are in a recession, beginning depression or what, the fail of the banks, loss of homes, jobs, the reversion to home gardens and more. We didn’t think it could get worse – but maybe it has. With record heat and record lack of rain, conversations are shifting more to rain – or the lack thereof. Our little area in the Hill country of Texas is suffering from over two years of drought with less rain in a 24 month period than we usually get in ONE year. Many of us optimistically sat back and said, well, OK – the economy is going to hell but I can fall back on my garden and some of the old ways and we’ll get by.

It’s not happening. Oh sure, some of us got our plants in early – and lost them. Some waited, and got a little late start with a very short harvest season, only to have the weather defeat us at every turn. From drought  to havoc reaking storms – we can’t win for losing. I too was hoping to have a wonderful summer and fall harvest, only to have to stop watering and battling the heat and basically give up. I lost a lot last year – garden, fruit trees, wild flowers and natural grasses. This year I am losing even more. Sure, I have an abundance of some things – peaches, peppers and zucchini to name a few. I may even have an abundance of pears this fall if they don’t die off like they did last year. But we can’t water the garden anymore, only watering enough to keep our trees alive; living by the phrase ‘let the yellow mellow and only flush the brown down’; and making sure the clothes are worn more than once before washing.

To top it off, our family is still suffering from being unemployed – and the unemployment benefits of the state (a whopping approx. $10,000) has run out. Still no jobs on the horizon, all though that could change if BOTH of us take on another minimum wage job. That would make – oh – about 4 jobs I have. I’m scrambling to accept every bit of work I can get no matter the pay or the job. I have to cut down on my charity and volunteer work, which makes me feel like I am letting people down.

So, to sum it up – the drought is not just about rain, although upmost in our minds here. Not only are our lawns drying up – but jobs, writing opportunities, spirits, political support, religious beliefs and more. The soul of our nation is in a drought. I grew up in a society where it was polite to talk around the dinner table about the weather, family, crops, etc but never to discuss religion and politics in mixed company. Now, it’s all so mixed up in our minds that we can’t HELP but talk about it all. Someone give me some GOOD news for a change?

Above all – don’t lose your sense of humor. If you can laugh at yourself in the worst of times, sometimes they can become the best of memories when you get through them. That’s not macabre – that’s survival.

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2 Responses to “Texas Drought”

  1. Sharon said

    Oh, sweetie, I know you don’t want to hear this, and I wish I could send you some of our rain from Pittsburgh. We are drowning! Some cosmic jokester must have erected invisible walls in the stratosphere that keep the weather currents isolated in zones…

  2. Hey Rhonda! Funny, Rudy and I were saying last night that we always thought we could count on the local organic farm for food if our little garden gave out, but even they have shut down their farmstand for a few months to recuperate. All of a sudden, the supply disappeared. I wish I could come up with a magic wand to find jobs for you two.

    I thought we’d get rain today, but so far, I haven’t seen it!

    best,

    bc

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