Wet Times



                                                                         Wet Times 


                                                                       Mike Capron


The first time I remember it being wet was when I was about 10 years old. Daddy had to come get us out of bed in a flat bottom boat. Good thing we were in bunk beds. 


I have lived for the most part in the Chihuahuan desert. Being wet is seldom a problem. I was on a ranch close to Sanderson working when the 11 inch rain washed Sanderson away. That was a lot of water in a short time. 


Shortly after the flood of Sanderson, I was transported to the South Pacific and I learned about real monsoons and typhoons. We spent several days close to a beach on an island waiting for a typhoon to pass over us. Thanks to a poncho and some coconuts we got a little vacation time. 


While living in the jungles of the DMZ in south Viet Nam it was always a treat to get a care package from home. Some guys would get cookies but I told Mom not to send cookies as they would be reduced to crumbs by the time it got to us. I told her to send Bull Durham as cigarettes were available in C rations but usually old and not as tasty as Bull Durham. She did but the first carton arrived during the monsoon season. I am not sure how it got to me from the boat or plane that brought it in country, but by the time I got it, it was bright green with mold. I tried to smoke it. It wouldn’t light or burn. I kept it as long as I could but it never dried out enough to smoke. It was the monsoon and it rained for 40 days and nights. Everything was wet. You could dig a fighting hole and hit water at six inches of digging. No matter how far you dug it filled with water. 


Flash floods and draws running full of water, carrying boulders and water gaps down stream have always been a scene of amazement if you live in the desert.  While we lived at Salt Flat it was our source of entertainment. After big rains we would get a six pack of beer and go watch the draws come down.  That was back when fools didn’t last long. Some fool would drive up to a ragging draw that was carrying boulders down stream and would barely stop to inspect the possibility of getting washed down stream, before they gassed it across. most of the time they made it. We were cheering them on, but I doubt if they would have found much sympathy in our crowd if they didn’t make it. 


Our horses never had to learn to get their feet wet, much less learn to swim. I had horses that would throw a fit if you ask them to cross a mud puddle. I learned a lot about riding horses that duck and dive and suck back. I had several that I never did get there feet wet. I decided to make it necessary to learn about mud puddles. I let the water trough run over in the horse pen so it created a mud hole or better yet I built a little damn around the round water trough, so it was always full of water. We had some ducks that just loved it and used it for their duck pond. A friend gave me a Kelpie dog that was trained on ducks. He loved it also. He always had his ducks to work and you couldn’t go feed the horse without him bringing you the ducks and they would be huddled around your feet while you were carrying a half dozen morals to put on the horses. All of this was entertaining but the hard core puddle haters learned to drink out of the duck pond and never did get their feet wet.  It was always a big hoot to try to get their feet wet. I didn’t  need to make it too big a deal since it was probably wasn’t going to rain again in their lifetime anyway. 


Being a desert rat, water has always impressed me. We would carry slickers until they cracked and rotted behind our saddles. I never owned a pair of rubber boots. I appreciate the value of pumping water, even if it was just for drinking of people and livestock. I am a good plumber and know the value of moving water.  I ask an old man what the prettiest sight in the world was, he said it was a 60 foot tank full of water.  I know he is right now, and it is my favorite place to get a drink when it is pumping good. It will be the oasis on the ranch, that is if you live in the desert. I have never lived where their was a live running stream to water livestock. It has always been a heavenly sight to me, to see that much water running through the countryside. Huge bodies of water still hold my attention span for a long time. But to see how much water the good lord can drop in one rain shower tops them all. They don’t make math big enough to calculate the numbers of gallons that he has dropped on Texas the last 60 days. These are the wettest times I have ever seen. I have talked to several old timers and they agree that the last 60 days in Crockett county is the wettest ever. I know that there are still some dry spots not to far away, but it is hard to believe how much has fallen on Crockett County and surrounding counties since Aug 20. More rain has no where to go on the flat spots. It is standing clear and looks to be drowning the prickly pear and mesquite. But you won’t hear me holler Uncle, let her rain. I have seen too many dry days to worry about this country gettin wet for very long. 


 I am with Bob Reagan, when he said, “Give me ten inches, and let her drizzle until it dries up.”

I posted this about a year and half ago and It hasn't rained since.............I am ready for another rain .......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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