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We have two steps in the front of our house, and then, the path to the curb. There is a puddle that forms at the bottom of the second step, if there is a certain amount of rain. I know just how much rain has fallen by how deep the puddle is. I can see it through the glass of the front door. I do not even have to go into the rain to measure the rain, that is how reliable my puddle is. I can tell, to about a quarter inch, how deep the puddle is by a) how far it oozes onto the lawn and b) how much St. Augustine is sticking up through the surface. The puddle is my weather center, my gauge, my National Weather Service. In fact, people should call me for reports during storms, as I am on the front line, in the thick of it, right there in my foyer. I am the National Weather Service.

Last night, boy, we had a lot of rain. We had between two and five inches, according to the TV, and the other weather service. Pfffshaw. Two and five. That’s a three inch differential. That’s a differential the girth of a developing nation. We had 3.98 inches of rain, I knew, because my puddle told me so. Factoring in the run-off into the grass, based on the time required for super-saturation, and the evaporation rate of 76 degrees Fahrenheit, not to mention the cuttlefish that found their way to my front step, I knew that we had 3.98 inches of rain. Exactly.

Texas has extreme things, like weather, and peppers. The peppers here are like grenades. Anyway, the weather is so extreme that people I know in other states hear about it. Sometimes, they hear about it before I do because here, nobody is really inconvenienced by it. They do everything they would normally do, even if the winds are blowing their cars off roads and into creeks. It’s just the Texas way. I heard tornadoes were coming when my mom called from Florida to tell me they were coming. When tornadoes come, I can tell how close they are because I have an 80 year old live oak tree that doesn’t move unless the winds reach 51 miles per hour.

The sun just came out. My puddle has receded. At its deepest point, it is 1.47 inches. And the temperature is 59. I know, because of the degree of brightness reflecting off of my car. When it is 63 degrees, the angle…

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