If you want it to rain in ND…
If you want it to rain in North Dakota, schedule a big outdoor event in June.
I can see you over there nodding your heads, all of you who have decided, against your better judgment, that it was a good idea to get married against the backdrop of an old barn under a very finicky North Dakota June sky whose only promise is to drop a big thunderstorm with winds from the perfect direction to render umbrellas useless and pool up in the corners of that giant expensive tent you rented to keep dry only to dump the contents on your mother-in-law’s salon hairdo as she stands in the framed opening greeting relatives.
Yup. It’s happened to you, I know. And if it wasn’t a wedding, it was an outdoor festival, art show, carnival or concert you planned for months, hoping for one of June’s good days to enjoy the great outdoors with a deep-fried Oreo.
And you were feeling confident because the weather has been so great lately, lots of sun shining and fluffy cloud days. Especially Wednesdays. Wednesdays in June when you’re stuck in your office cubicle looking out your window and dreaming of a pontoon ride on the lake always have the best weather.
So you thought, sure, we’ll invite 50 artists to our park with only the thin fabric of the little tent they brought with them to save them and the 700 highly breakable ceramic sculptures they brought with them from the 50-mph winds.
Or maybe you thought a little outdoor music might be nice on a Saturday night on the street in your hometown. So you booked your favorite local band and checked the weather app every few hours for 10 days, convinced the 90 percent chance of rain they predicted would surely blow over into Sunday. And that’s what you told the band as the sky turned black behind all the expensive sound equipment they just finished setting up on Main Street. Was that thunder? Lightning? A hailstone that just hit the drummer in the head? Ah, don’t worry, it’ll blow over! Clear skies on the other side of five minutes, that’s what you said for a good hour before moving the band inside to the Legion Club.
In the meantime, the bouncy houses you rented for the kids blew down to the next county, and the grandma who came to watch her granddaughter perform as the opening act is front and center dressed in black garbage bags and checking her watches.
Oh, there’s nothing better than a North Dakota summer, and I like a good early summer rain storm to help the hay crop as much as anyone. But every year I wind up strumming my guitar with a questionably safe amount of rain splashing off my face on a small-town stage under a rumbly June sky somewhere in my home state. And if it’s not me singing while trying not to get electrocuted, it’s me promising someone else it’ll blow over.
But we only have like five minutes of summer up here, so June it is! Rain or shine, giant hailstones or 50 mph winds. I hope you grabbed your trash-bag raincoats and enjoyed.
Jessie Veeder is a musician and writer living with her husband and daughters on a ranch near Watford City, N.D. She blogs at https://veederranch.com. Readers can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.