Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


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

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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