Ramblings– Singing in the Rain

Today is one of those drenching, steadily raining days. As I was sitting in my rocking chair sipping my morning tea with all the dogs sprawled around me, Acadia purring on my lap, and the rain splattering on the window, I watched the soggy squirrels and damp birds and thought about how thankful I am for our warm, dry house. And then the niggling thought that I ought to take Ramble for a walk before crating him when we go to church disturbed my peaceful musings. I rationalized that it’s rainy and slippery (there’s lots of ice in the yard from last week’s ice storm) and that I could take him later. But I knew I’d be equally reluctant later and, besides, we’re planning to Skype with all our children this afternoon.

With a sigh I put down my mug and Acadia leaped from my lap to the windowsill, where she could continue watching the birds and squirrels while staying warm and dry. I bundled up, put on my Muck shoes, and leashed up Ramble, who showed no reluctance to go out in the rain. Deciding that the yard is too hazardous for walking even with Microspikes, I loaded Ramble into his car crate and drove to a nearby dead end to park and head out for a walk. I took Ramble out, closed and locked the car, and headed down the road.

And then it happened– my pluviophile’s nature {Pluviophile (n.) a lover of rain;someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days} suddenly stepped to the fore and soared with joy as the rain streaked down my face and my Muck shoes splashed with each step. Ramble walked contentedly by my side as we splashed through puddles (I love splashing in puddles and figure I might as well have fun while getting soaked), he looking around at this new place he’d never been, me musing on everything that came to mind and feeling free and full of peace and joy. We walked and splashed for two miles, returning to the car thoroughly soaked and wonderfully refreshed. And now Ramble is sleeping soundly in his crate and I am about to warm up with another steaming mug of tea before I head to church.

Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, * 
    all winds and fire and heat. 
Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, * 
    praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, * 
drops of dew and flakes of snow. 
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, * 
    praise him and highly exalt him for ever. (from the Book of Common Prayer)


Ramble is wearing a Perfect Pace Halter here. When I take him for a long walk I often use a head halter and give him a bit more freedom in how he walks. When I use just a collar I expect him to stay right by my left side. As it is, he usually walks right beside me anyway (but I am getting him used to the head halter for when adolescence strikes).

Sketching in the Rain

I love rain! The pattering sound works solace for my soul. For an introvert it’s also often more peaceful walking in the rain, because so many people stay inside, leaving the road or trails to me and the few other people who don’t worry about melting. When I was running track or cross country in high school, I usually finished third or fourth in races– unless it was a rainy day. Then I often won, because I found the rain invigorating, while most of the other runners were psyched out by it.

I also love sketching, but it’s not always easy to blend the two. A couple of weeks ago I was sketching wolves at the Wolf Center when it started to rain, and suddenly my pencil ground to a halt on my paper. The paper in my sketchbook was heavy enough to stand up to getting rained on, but it turns out that graphite pencils don’t work on ordinary wet paper. No problem; I switched to a watercolor pencil and continued to sketch the wolves. That worked okay, but I really prefer the finer lines and detail I can get with my trusty mechanical pencil with .7mm or .9mm lead or with my favorite– a Ticonderoga No. 1 (extra-soft) pencil sharpened to a good point.

When I came home from that sketching session, I did a bit of research and found the “All Weather Sketchbook” by Rite in the Rain. My order arrived last week, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a rainy day, so I could test it out. Today fit the bill, with heavy rain off and on all afternoon. I hurried out with watercolor pencils to draw the remaining colorful trees in our yard– I really love the soft look of fall colors on a rainy day. At first that worked beautifully, but as it rained harder, my drawing liquified and ran off the paper (onto me). At that point I pulled out my Ticonderoga pencil to sketch a tree that has already lost all its leaves. It worked wonderfully! This paper is really cool and stood up to getting heavily soaked. And now I don’t need to take weather into account when I schedule sketching trips to the wolf center or zoo!

Sketching in the rain
Sketch on Rite-in-the-Rain paper