It's been very humid for days. Not particularly hot, but muggy. Everything feels damp and sticky: the salt refuses to pour, I never really feel dry after a shower, and my t-shirt sticks wetly to me after just one lap around the neighborhood with Rosie, even though it's only 9 AM. Now I expect that kind of humidity in July and August, but at the end of September it's a bit unusual.
When the humidity became rain -- lots of rain -- it wasn't a great surprise. However, folks in Letcher County do wish that the timing had been a little different. This week and especially this weekend are our annual Mountain Heritage Festival, with booths, crafts, food, carnival rides, and a parade. It all still happened, even the parade, rain notwithstanding.
The college always gets a booth in the center of the festival, and faculty volunteer time to sit in it, to give out information on the college, greet old students returning for a visit home, and welcome potential new students. My stint was from 11 AM to 2 PM today. I always volunteer to work during the parade; unlike many of my colleagues I have no children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews to watch for in the parade.
The rain never really let up the whole time. A small river of water was streaming from the bank above the booths, and ran right through ours, emptying into a huge mud puddle right in front of our table. But people gamely ploughed right on through.
My friend Madeline shared the shift with me. When we weren't conversing with the folks passing by, we had plenty of time to chat. There's not much time for conversation at school. We're either preparing for class, rushing to class, in class, or working with students from our classes. So even though my office is right next to Madeline's, we rarely have the opportunity to just talk about ourselves and life. Today, we discovered that we were in graduate school, at the University of Kentucky, in education, with offices and classes in the same building at in the same years (1975-1976). Comparing notes, we learned that there were a half dozen people that we knew in common, so surely we must have encountered each other. Yet we don't remember each other. I'm glad our paths recrossed to give us another chance.