Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Cows are Calling for Rain

I usually take a back road on my way home from work. It cuts out a nice chunk of stop-and-go traffic and provides me with some “download” time. On that road you’ll always find cows grazing in a field. And every time I pass those cows I always check them out to see if it’s going to rain that evening.

I grew up in a little town in southern P.G. Co, MD that many call the country. I guess it kind of is seeing as how there are no stop lights, no major retail stores and no fast food restaurants within a 10 mile radius from the heart of town. If that isn’t proof enough that it’s the country, there is a small country store that many of the locals frequent. In that little store there is a deli counter were you could once get a pound of homemade link sausages for breakfast, a pound of bologna & cheese to make sandwiches for lunch, a couple of thickly cut steaks for dinner, and a double scoop of butter brickle ice cream for dessert. Great memories.

But I digress.

My mom always traveled the back roads to get where she needed to go. I don’t know if it was because she loved the scenic route or if she had highway-a-phobia. But if we needed to get there, she was going through a maze of country roads that was going to land her on the highway the closest to her destination. Used to drive me bananas. And I vowed to myself that when I started to drive, I’d only take major roads and highways. My only exception is if it’d save me time from sitting in traffic – I don’t care if the speed limit is 25mph, as long as I’m in constant motion, I’m happy. I HATE sitting in traffic.

It was on these back roads that we’d pass the fields that had the cows. More often than not, the cows would be standing and grazing. But about 10% of the time, they’d be lying down. And every single time we’d pass a field with cows lying down, my mom would say, “It’s gonna rain today”.

A classic old wives tale - if cows are lying down, rain is soon to come. I never once questioned her theory and had usually forgotten about her prediction before we’d even reached our destination. So if it did or didn’t rain, I really don’t recall.

Last week while taking my back road home, I approached that field of cows as I’ve done dozens of times before. They were all standing and grazing; good, no rain tonight. But this day, the moment I passed them, it started pouring rain – cats, dogs and little people – as my aunt says. I had to laugh out loud at the timing of it all.

Either Mom’s theory is dead wrong or those cows didn’t get the memo. I’ll believe the latter because moms are never wrong.

What old wives tale do you recall or believe?

With love, Lisa

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