Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Days

    I was doing some landscaping yesterday. There is nothing quite like an afternoon of landscaping/gardening to make the body hurt. And it's that good hurt that lets you know you treated your body to a good workout.
About halfway through the work, it started to rain. I had known that there was chance of rain of all day – thunderstorms actually – but I didn't care. I wanted to get this project done; so, I kept working. As I was carrying sod from the back yard to the front yard, I stared thinking about my childhood and how I spent days just like this one summer over twenty years ago.
    We loved it when it rained heavily. At least, that was, during late spring and throughout the summer. Those days we would play in the rain during the storm and the following day.
     While the rain was coming down, we would run up and the down the neighborhood from my house to Andy's house – a distance of about five houses. We didn't use the street though. That was far too conventional. We would swim like dolphins in the open ocean. Instead of the open ocean, we had ditches that filled to the top with rain water.
    The yards were set-up like this – The grass ran from the front of the house to the street. About three feet from the street, the yard started to slope downward at roughly 25 degrees. Then, a foot before the grass met the street, the yard rose sharply to meet the street. The street sat a foot and a half about the ditch. This created the perfect channel for water to build-up during heavy storms. This is when we would run from Andy's yard down to mine. It was dive, stand-up, dive, stand-up until we it made to my house. Then we would reverse direction.
     The best was the next day, after the rain had stopped. We would head down to the creek (pronounced crick where I'm from). The creek was fed, in part, by the ditches in which we were swimming the day before. The creek, on a normal day, ranged from six inches to four feet deep depending on the spot. After a heavy rain, it was no less than a foot to a foot and half deep. We would get into inflatable vinyl two person boats. That's when would cruise down the creek letting it take us at whatever speed the creek wanted. We didn't go far. The total trip was about a mile; but, it was an experience I will never forget.
     These are the days I love to remember.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I have been a writing in some form or another for many years. The first story I remember writing was an Elementary School assignment about a fishing expedition I had with my school friends. It was a true story about how I caught a bed spring. It was one of those "What did you do last summer" assignments. What I remember most about that story was how I confused the teacher. I had written: "I caught a spring." She wasn't sure what I meant by that. I learned an important lesson from that story - don't skimp on the details.

Maybe that's what has helped me become an excellent Technical Writer (My Opinion of course). You need a certain level of detail when showing someone how to use software or a piece of equipment. But, you don't want to much detail that you bog down the reader. So on that note, we will end this post for fear that I may bog you down with too much detail with my thoughts on writing.