COLUMN: Hopes for kinder seasons

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Rain, rain and flooded fields, covered roads and sandbags. It’s been a spring to remember, though a lot of us would rather forget the aggravation and, in some cases, damage caused by flooding.

The Ohio River, as of Friday, was continuing its retreat, but there were plenty of roads still covered. I’ve heard reports of people having to take boats to either get to work or to shorten what would be long commutes. A woman who lives in the Tobinsport area said last week her commute to Tell City is right at an hour!

High water has played havoc in many ways. In an ideal year, farmers would have commenced, and might be well into, spring planting. I doubt the first kernel of field corn has been planted in our county, though I have heard of some eager folks who planted sweet corn before the last round of storms arrived.

I guess there is no ideal spring, but unless Mother Nature begins cooperating, it will be a hurried and perhaps late planting season for farmers.

It’s not been just the rain that’s been a bear, but wind too. An April 19 storm ripped the small cupola and weather vane off of my garage in New Boston and downed a couple of trees. One was an old pine tree on life support after a past ice storm but I’ll miss an apple tree toppled that night more.

The damage could have been much worse. I could have lost my roof. I arrived home just a few minutes before the storm hit and one gust pushed open a rear door and I struggled to close it. I waited for the sound of my metal roof peeling back, but it held.

My house sits atop a hill in town and catches every breeze. That’s welcome in the summer but bone-chilling in winter. Neighbors at lower elevations in New Boston had damage, too, from missing shingles to vinyl siding torn away.

Low-lying county roads near home were still under water last week and they brought back summer memories of watching neighbors hunt for carp that roam the flooded fields, flopping often in the shallows. Bowhunting for carp is a sport growing in popularity, especially with Asian carp that jump out of the water.

I remember as a teen wading up to my hips in the water, a pitch fork in one hand. There were hundreds of fish all about me and I wondered about how many of the ugly carp there were exploring and flopping along the Anderson River. The number had to be in the thousands.

Those same fields are underwater again and in the middle of a busy last week, I pondered how much fun it would be to find a small boat or kayak and simply float over the few feet of water covering much of the land around the small river. Another time, maybe.

Right now, I’m simply hoping the rain stops, the waters drop and farmers can soon till those now-flooded fertile fields. In a few weeks, I hope there will be corn and soybeans growing. I hope there are no more floods this year. A mild spring and kind summer are what we need.