Something that I've wanted to add to my garden for a long time is a barrel for collecting rainwater, but, for one reason or another, it was a project that always seemed to get postponed. Finally, this month, I sensed an opportunity. Bob's birthday is in March and I went to work convincing him that what he really, really wanted for his birthday this year was a rain barrel. I may have mentioned in passing some of the astronomical water bills that we received last summer, and, suddenly, he was surprisingly amenable to the idea.
He picked out the style of barrel he wanted - strictly utilitarian, of course. He decided to go with a 50 gallon barrel to begin with, because it would easily fit the space we had and we could always add more if we liked the outcome.
The barrel was delivered a few days before his birthday during our last heavy two-inch rain. I lamented that we did not already have the barrel installed so that we could collect all that wonderful water, but no use crying over spilled water. A few days later, Bob installed his birthday present under one of the downspouts on the back of the house and we waited for another big rain.
But our weekly downpour didn't come this week. Instead, we got just a trickle of rain on Wednesday, barely 0.1 inch. Thursday morning, I decided to check the barrel. I wasn't expecting much, because the rainfall we'd had was not much more than a heavy dew. I looked into the barrel and my eyes almost popped out of my head. It was two-thirds full of lovely water! If 0.1inch of rain could do that, what could a two-inch rain do?
I couldn't wait to tell Bob the good news, but I got busy with other things and later had to go to my book club meeting and didn't see him until later. Almost the first words out of his mouth were, "Did you check the rain barrel?"
"Oh, yes," I said, "I meant to tell you..."
He interrupted me with, "IT'S TWO-THIRDS FULL OF WATER! I just ordered a second barrel!"
I think this may be the best birthday present I ever got him. He may even like it better than the lawn furniture that I've given him over the years.