Sunday, May 29, 2016

Between the Raindrops

Most of Missouri has had torrential rains this past week.  John and I drove down to Farmington in a downpour last Tuesday.  We took some back roads, which was probably a mistake, as they were covered with water.  We were, however, able to drive over them safely.  Over several of the days we were in Farmington it continued to rain.  Somehow I always managed to find a dry time to get out and walk.  And one day, when there seemed to be no break in the rain, I grabbed an umbrella and walked in the rain.  We left Farmington Friday and stopped at St.Francis State Park, hoping to take a hike.  Trails there were too muddy to hike on and the Big River was quite swollen and overflowing its banks.
On our return trip home I suggested to John that we stop at Thies farm to see if the strawberries were ready to pick.   The rain had stopped momentarily and there were people picking in the fields.  I grabbed a flat and joined them.  Dark clouds were threatening rain overhead, I kept telling myself that I was crazy.  But I could see that many large red strawberries were hanging off the plants; people who were coming in from the fields informed me that they were quite tasty.  There were puddles of water in between the rows, soon the water was seeping into my shoes.  I picked about ten pounds, it was worth every uncomfortable moment!
I would say that over the past 40 years or so I have not missed an opportunity to pick strawberries, and the strawberries this year were well worth the picking- very delicious!  Funny what a lot of rain can do!
Saturday the sun shone, and I could do some serious walking.  John and I joined my sister Julia and husband Cal for a volksmarsch at Jefferson Barracks Park.  I was more than ready to walk the required 10 kilometers!   The park is the site of two county parks, a National Guard Base, the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, and a Veterans Administration Hospital.   According to historical markers along our route, Jefferson Barracks is a now decommissioned military post which has influenced almost two centuries of  American history.  It was established in 1826, some of the older buildings still remain in the park.  We passed by the Laborers House, constructed in 1851.
Part of our walk took us along the Mississippi River, which has been important to the military post over the years.  Supplies were sent from here to forts along the upper Mississippi, as well as to southern posts located in Baton Rouge and  New Orleans.  It is hard to believe, as we walked over the rolling  hills of the park lush with green foliage,  that it was once such a busy fort.  During the Civil War years it had one of the nation's largest Federal hospitals, other times it was an army engineer base, a cavalry post, national mule headquarters, and served as an induction and separation center, as well as a basic training center.
I think that the picture above is quite fitting for this Memorial Day weekend,  it is a cemetery which I saw along our walk.  We now have had a couple of rain free days, which we are trading for some very warm days, but I am glad that I no longer have to dodge raindrops!

No comments:

Post a Comment