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Opinion: Waiting for the rain

The weather this week has been sunny, but according to the weather app on my phone, the rain is supposed to return on Sunday and Monday.

It feels like it has been so long since we have had any appreciable rain that people have forgotten how to drive in it. Don’t go splashing through a puddle and expect your brakes to work, no matter how much fun it is.

It doesn’t matter how much it rains in the valley; what counts is how much snow accumulates in the mountains.

The Madera Irrigation District’s ability to deliver water to the farmers this summer is what counts.

Cali gets about 278 days of sunshine per year according to DuckDuckGo. We are spared the horrific weather felt on the East Coast.

The year we lived in Nashville, it rained almost every day during the summer. I had never seen rain in the summer. The heat wasn’t too bad, but the humidity was killer.

I often think of the road not traveled.

The only time in my life when I lived somewhere other than Madera was the 10 months we spent in Murfreesboro, a suburb of


My father’s younger brother, Joe Warren Hill, had a successful insurance agency. He called and convinced his older brother, Claud Conley, and my dad, Oliver Ralph Hill, to move to Tennessee and join his agency.

It was the 1967-1968 school year. My brother Brian stayed in Madera to graduate with his class, and the rest of us moved to Murfreesboro.

Uncle Joe had two houses picked out adjacent to his, and we were all supposed to live happily ever after. My father already saw the writing on the wall. He knew working all day with his brothers and living next door to them was too much togetherness.

He chose a smaller house with almost no commute to the office. Living near my uncles and their families was more than Daddy could stand.

We went to a lot of parties at Uncle Joe’s and Aunt Betty’s house. I vividly remember an argument my dad’s sister Francis and my Uncle Joe had.

One minute they were arguing about a box camera borrowed and not returned. Then the quarrel turned to Uncle Joe’s favorite rant, the fact that Daddy hadn’t come home for his mother’s funeral.

Dad’s reasoning was since he didn’t come to see her when she was alive, he saw no point in coming to her funeral. He took us to the cemetery to put flowers on Jenny Mama’s grave. Daddy freaked when I stepped on it.

I’ve been back a few times since my favorite aunt and uncle, Nada and Pete Kirk live there. One year my cousin Lori took me to Graceland for my birthday.

It is ironic I wanted to come back to Madera because I missed Pete and Nada and their daughters Kary and Lori. Now they live near Nashville, and I am still out here.

I knew they would move as soon as Nada’s mother passed on and we spent as much time with them as possible.

Any travel money I have in my budget will be spent on a trip to Nashville. Pete and Nada are the closest things I have to my parents. I miss them terribly.

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


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