Each summer when I was a youngster, my mother would buy a large box of popsicles. Once they were frozen, we could have as many as we wanted, but there was one catch, each box had to last for two weeks. When they were gone, we would have to do without until time for the next box.

You would think my siblings and I would have been smart enough to ration them out. There were four of us. Doing the math, we were each entitled to 15 popsicles, or one a day. If we ate more than one a day, we’d have to do without until time for the next box. 

But we weren’t that bright, and we didn’t stick to our allotments. We went after those delicious frozen treats like hogs at the trough. It was basically first come first serve, eat as many as you can, winner take all. Most of the time they didn’t even last a week, and we would spend the next week wishing we hadn’t been so greedy.

It seems that Mother Nature has the same problem. Every year she’s given a certain amount of rain to spread over our world. It’s totally up to her how and when she uses that supply. 

It reminds me a lot of the way we handled our popsicles. 

It would make sense for her to ration out her rain supply. She could use a little here and a little there, spread it out and make it last until time to get more. She could look for the areas that need it the most, and find just the right times and places to share that bounty. 

That’s what she should be doing. But just like with our popsicles, she gives no thought to the days ahead and pours out her rain like there is no tomorrow. 

Since the first of May, she has dumped more than 17 inches of rain on this area. I have no doubt that she’s had a lot of fun during her recent rampage. I am sure she’s enjoyed watching all the rivers, streams, and lakes overflow and flood several states.  But like our popsicles, there will be a price to pay for her over-indulgence. 

Summer will soon be here, and by then, we’ll all want rain for our yards and gardens and farm crops. But Mother Nature has already “eaten all her popsicles” and everything will be bone dry. 

Right now there is water everywhere. Everyone wants the rain to stop, and it finally did. But she unloaded again this week, and I’m pretty sure she has more stashed away.

You see, as a child not only did I eat more than my share of popsicles, I would always hide a few back. I would stick them underneath other items in the freezer so they wouldn’t be found. I was very creative and found ways to keep them well hid. 

When all of the popsicles were gone and my brothers and sisters were lamenting over the empty box, I’d get into my secret stash. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I enjoyed the look on their faces when they saw I had popsicles and they didn’t. 

I think Mother Nature does the same thing. We think all of her rain is used up, but you wait and see, she has some hidden away. We all know exactly when she’ll bring it out, right during the wheat harvest, the bluegrass festival or the county fair. I can see it now, when it’s time for the fair, she’ll wait until all of the carnival rides are in place, and then she’ll let us have it. About half way through harvest, she’s going to soak us all but good, and she’ll turn the parking lot into a mud hole for the bluegrass festival.

Mother Nature has a bit of a mean streak. I think she enjoys the look on our faces when she pulls water from her secret stash and starts dumping it on us once again. 

But she does have one major advantage. We can’t get even with her for her misdeeds. My siblings eventually found a way to get back at me. They presented their case to my parents, who saw to that I paid dearly for my selfish greed.  

I spent the rest of the long, hot summer doing many of my brother and sister’s farm chores. Mom and dad bought them a new box of popsicles, and I was not allowed to have a single one. 

I haven’t wanted a popsicle since.

CourierTraveler reporter John Shelman can be contacted at (620) 442-4200 or reporter@ctnewsonline.com.

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