16 May 2009

Saturday, in the park...

Well, I am not in the park, but I have that song stuck in my head. LOL. We had sunshine coming in through the stained glass windows and making beautiful rainbows in our bedroom this morning. But then it started raining while the sun was shining.

Rain while the sun is shining is an interesting phenomenon. People all over the world have different ways of describing this event. Some call it a sunshower. Others have sayings that have various references to the devil or to animal weddings. References to the devil seem to be the most common. Those appear to have originated in the area of what is now Hungary and Germany, but are quite common in the United States, particularly the American South. I grew up in Louisiana hearing, "The devil is beating his wife."

Here are some of the various devil sayings:
"The devil is beating his wife."
"The devil is beating his wife with a broomstick."
"The devil is beating his wife with a frying pan."
"The devil's behind his kitchen door beating his wife with a frying pan."
"The devil is beating his wife and the angels are crying."
"The devil is beating his wife around the stump."
"The devil is kissing his wife."
"The devil is having a parish fair."
"The devil is having a fair in hell."
"The devils are getting married."

Many cultures had animals getting married when this occurs: rats, bears, jackals, tigers, leopards, monkeys, and foxes all apparently marry. Witches are also claimed to be having their nuptials when rain comes down during sunshine. At least a couple of tradition have hyenas or wolves giving birth at this time. The precipitation is also referred to as pineapple rain or liquid sun.

All of these have been passed down from a time when people needed logical explanations for what they considered unusual occurrences in nature. (Though while the devil and his wife may have been logical then, it seems rather fantastic these days.) Now these sayings live on in our language as colourful folk sayings. If you'd like to see which phrases are used where in the United States, click here. Scroll down the page and you can see them mapped out.

So for whatever reason, this morning the rain came down while the sun was shining and I just enjoyed the experience. (And btw, this is one of the best times to look for rainbows. Mine in the bedroom were from the prisms in the stained glass windows, but I'm sure they were outside, too.) Now the sky is quite grey and rain is threatening.

All this weather stuff does have a point! Abbey and Donnie are on their way home from DisneyWorld. The first thing they are going to do when they get back to town is pick up Sophie from my sister Sally's house. I am thinking this should be sometime around noon. Once Sophie has gone home, Sally is coming over here. She, with the help and assistance of DD#2, is going to see about getting my pots planted. I have a couple of tomatoes, a couple of sweet jalapeño peppers, a number of herbs and many nasturtiums that are going to grow in pots here in town this summer. As I cannot have my hands in the dirt, I can't garden at the farm, nor can I plant these myself. So I am excited!!!! Container gardening is a good thing.

After the gardening is taken care of, Sally is going to take me to the farm. Because of all the storms and rains for the last month, it's been several weeks since I've been up there. The asparagus beds are calling. I know we should have both green and purple asparagus ready for picking.

And luckily, the sun is now peeking through the clouds.
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1 comment:

Margie said...

I'd love to know your favorite ways to prepare asparagus. I've been loving Anne Burrell's raw asparagus salad. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/asparagus-pecorino-and-red-onion-salad-recipe/index.html.