Rainy day Saturdays don#039;t have to get you down

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's Saturday and it's raining – still raining. Minnesota may have its land of 10,000 lakes, but in front of my house it's the yard of a zillion puddles.

Earlier today I was slipping and sliding on a dirt road slick as glass, hoping to avoid kissing the ditches.

I found myself pining for a sou'-wester and a pair of wellies. Looking like the Gorton's fisherman would have been worth it to dodge the endless stream of liquid sunshine.

Staying curled up in bed with a good book and a warm cat would have suited me just fine, but work called out to me.

So, I threw on my comfy, just in-case-I-do-get-in-the-ditch clothes and went into town this morning to share in the Mardi Gras festivities at the library. I was happy to see some parents and grandparents had also braved the damp to bring the kids for a wonderful time (as always) with Miss Jean.

Indoor fun was certainly the way to go with a day like today.

Rainy days can be long ones if you can't find a way to amuse yourself. Fortunately that's never been much of a problem for me.

Growing up, I was often left to my own devices – my older sisters away at school, mother, busy with chores. No one really had to entertain me (or us, during the holidays and weekends when my sister Sara and I played together).

There was no computer for me to tap away on or use for surfing the Net, no 150-plus channels to watch on a big-screen TV.

We had three (sometimes – on a good, clear day – four) stations that we manually flipped through- what was a remote control? Records collected over the years, stacked on a turntable, also helped me pass the time on rainy days like today.

Yet, I don't recall being bored. I always had books, some of them my dearest friends, read over and over again. Like Jo in &#8220Little Women,” I would happpily curl up with an apple, a glass of milk and a good read.

There were my boxes of Crayolas and coloring books, and the endless sheets of notebook paper I also embellished with drawings of princesses and pirates and other fantastical figures that captured my imagination.

I mustn't forget my &#8220pony,” the one on springs that sat on the side porch. If the weather wasn't too windy and wet, I could bounce away for hours, the heroine of countless Western dramas and Arabian adventures that played in my head.

Indoors, the adventures continued when I took an old bedspread, draped it between the two twin beds, and created a tent. It was the perfect place to hang out with the essential provisions (a Hershey bar and a Coca-Cola in a glass bottle) and lots of imagination.

My Barbies (actually, our Barbies, a sisterly collection of the popular fashion dolls and all the wonderful outfits and assorted gee-gaws that went with them – those tiny high-heeled shoes, the miniature record player and records, the pearl-trimmed fur hat) helped me happily pass many, many rainy afternoons. And there were paper dolls, comic books, playing dress-up…no reason to be bored.

Rainy days aren't great for driving or picnics – but they are dandy in their own way.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.