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Reflections on a rainy spring

While the rains this week made it look like what passes for winter in the San Joaquin Valley, spring officially arrived at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

When I was in school, we got a lot more fall rain than we have the last few years. I remember October and November as soggy wet months that led to cold and foggy Decembers and Januarys. I would get all excited if there was frost on Christmas because I had heard Bing Crosby extoll the virtues and magic of a White Christmas from the time I could walk. I always thought frost on the ground was as close to snow for Christmas, as Madera would ever get.

Our corner of the San Joaquin Valley once had serious fog in the winter too. In the mid-1970s living in the Dixieland area, we could go a week or more without the fog burning off. Now the ground has been dried out to the point that those long foggy days are mostly just a memory.

This latest round of magic March rain has dropped a considerable amount of precipitation. I found myself wanting to just watch it rain. It seems like such a long time since we have had anything close to long steady rain.

Springtime brings explosions of colors as flowers and plants bloom. People with green thumbs can practically grow rose bushes out of rocks. It helps that the master gardeners I know seem to love working in the soil and making things grow.

Houseplants have next to no life expectancy around me. If I come into possession of a plant, I save its life by finding it a home somewhere else.

One year at the chamber’s Business Extravaganza, I won a beautiful orchid as a door prize. I felt relieved when I traded it to Lois Yakligian who grows them. She had won a margarita set complete with stem glasses, mix and tequila that she didn’t want. I don’t drink tequila so I gave the basket to a guy whose lady friend likes margaritas.

One way to view it is I ended up going home without a prize at all. But I did get the fun of having my name drawn and winning a prize. That is usually the best part of winning a door prize drawing for me.

I once tried growing cherry tomatoes in a planter box on my patio. I bought potting soil, plant food and bedding plants. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a watering system and they all died when we were on vacation.

California has many problems and our leaders in Sacramento often seem more the problem than the solution. Our state has great soil for growing both food and foliage. A lack of water and water that is cost prohibitive is by far one of the biggest impediments to growing the food that feeds the world. I understand the government regulations are quite heavy concerning chemical use and labor costs.

Too much of the water and land needed for agriculture is being developed into residential housing tracts. Once taken out of production, it almost never reverts to farmland.

And yet I get in trouble anytime I dare to mention population control or my support of Planned Parenthood.

I often wonder how long it will be until we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors, our most vital natural resources depleted. I know it sounds similar to a plotline for a novel or film on Armageddon or dystopia.

That is why I get so frustrated with the resistance to reproduction instruction for youth. Kids are becoming sexually active younger and younger which is a major travesty. Girls age 10 or 12 should be playing with dollies not having actual babies of their own.

Daycare centers on high school campuses are sad enough. I hope someone is counseling these teen mothers and fathers to keep them from having more than one child before they graduate high school.

Needing daycare centers on middle school campuses doesn’t seem that far in the future if society doesn’t get control of its kids.

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Have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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