Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

July 15, 2013

Tidbits: Maybe there's a silver lining to these storm clouds

Remember being a kid and timing when it was time to get out of the bath by when your fingers and toes were wrinkled up?

Right now, I'm feeling like my whole body should be shriveled up just like those fingers and toes. It's rained and rained and then, just when you thought it was done, it's rained some more.

According to Crossville meteorologist Steve Norris, Crossville is 14 inches above normal in rainfall and precipitation for the year. In fact, more rain fell in the first week of July than the area would normally get for the entire month.

That's led to some waterlogged ground being unable to support large trees, dams releasing water as quickly as they can to relieve pressure on the structure and several instances of standing water covering roadways.

I had to have my car serviced recently and I wondered, could they convert my four-wheeled vehicle to something suited for amphibious travel? During a recent gullywasher, I had to stop and turn around three times just to get from one side of our fair city to the other and make my way home. Amphibious travel would have been great! It would also have been nice if other motorists hadn't been so annoyed by my reluctance to go driving through a puddle.

I've heard many complaints about the weather, many being voiced by those spending the summer home with kids that are spending their days indoors. While many kids enjoy sitting indoors these days, playing their video games and computer games, many parents still like to kick the kids out for a little while each day to make them get some fresh air, get a little exercise, work off a little of that energy and to give them a few minutes of peace and quiet. Others can't believe it's already July and their skin is as pasty white as it was back in the dead of winter.

It was suggested that, to improve moods with the soggy weather, we start calling the rain liquid sunshine. But as Mr. Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," you can call the rain whatever you want but it's still wet.

But perhaps taking a step back can help us find the silver lining to those rain clouds that just don't seem to want to leave our company any time soon.

First, less time spent washing your car. I, personally, don't believe in washing a car when there's rain on the way. Just park it outside to get rinsed off. If you were to wash it, you know there would just be mud you'd have to get rid of later.

Then there's those flower beds. If they haven't drowned, you're probably saving a small fortune on watering all those beautiful flowers this time of year.

I read recently that we could even find a little more savings on electricity, with TVA running its hydroelectric dams more than usual for July.

"It's free fuel that falls from the sky," TVA spokesman Travis Brickey told the Knoxville News Sentinel. The agency that manages the Tennessee River system is spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per second from its dams in an effort to reduce the water held in reservoirs.

Hydroelectric power generation is up 40 percent above what TVA had planned for the year, and customers should see those savings in September.

I'm certainly not going to complain if whoever is doing that rain dance would knock it off already, and when it does, I promise not to complain even once about it being too hot. But, there are some good points to our rainy weather, too. Try to remember that should it keep raining on your parade.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014