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Charlotte Lankford: Thankful for rainy days

A couple weeks ago we were blessed with a torrential downpour of rain. Betty Jo Brooks, 85, sat by a window watching and listening to the rain — and creating poetry.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD, For The Oklahoman Published: August 12, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, we were blessed with a torrential downpour of rain. Many of us were moving between homes and offices, cars and stores, carrying umbrellas and doing our best to stay dry. What we most remember about that day was that we were “in it” and trying to get “out of it.”

But 85-year-old Betty Jo Brooks (friends call her BJo), from Midwest City, had a different experience. She sat by a window, watching and listening to the rain — and creating poetry. She shared it with me, and I asked to share it with you.

Outside: It’s raining. Different size drops, here and there, everywhere. Inside: It’s damp. Lamps give out light but not warmth, anywhere. I sit in a chair and never want to move from it. I gaze out the window looking for a rainbow. It’s not there but if I stare long enough, will it come to my rescue, make me chase what I want that doesn’t come to me?

I have a bowl of popcorn in my lap, buttered. There’s a book in my hand. I leaf the pages. They are old, familiar to me, dear to recollect. Can my favorite author revive me, revisit me, renew our love affair ’til again it’s full blown?

Outside: It’s muggy, sky lined in varied gray tones. Inside: It’s cool, comfy and calming to the restless.

I close the book, then close my eyes and listen to the sound of rain on a tin roof from long ago. I feel the depth of the rain falling on that memory when I danced on Bermuda grass ’til my toes turned green and I gathered a ton of earthworms to take home to Mother.

BJo says she grew up in East Texas and remembers loving every rainy day that came her way.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at


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