A Frank Conversation With Mother Nature About the Rain

Me: Baby Cakes, I want to talk about the rain. There’s been so much of it.

Mother Nature: Frank, what the hell are you saying? Malcolm is the only man on the planet allowed to call me “Baby Cakes.”

Me: My name isn’t “Frank.” I’m speaking frankly.

MN: I thought only Frank could speak frankly just as I’m the only one who can speak mother naturedly.

Me: English is a strange language.

More rain today

MN: Look, Toots–I hope it’s okay to call you “Toots” for old time’s sake–global warming is tangling up the planet’s cycles of heat and cold, rain and sun, and Coke vs. Pepsi.

Me: The rain, though, is keeping me from mowing the yard. Soon, the grass will be so high I’ll tear up the mower trying to cut it.

MN: Your writer friend Smoky wants you to get sheep to handle the grass cutting duties.

Me: Sheep, quite frankly, are just too sheepish.

MN: That sounds like something a guy named Frank would say.

Me: The thing is, sheep are more expensive than a lawn mower.

MN: That’s probably true. Nonetheless, I’m working hard to get the planet under control, and that’s not easy to do when–too put it frankly–so many people don’t mind p_ssing in their own pools and s_itting where they eat.

Me: Well said, Baby Cakes.

MN: What time do you get off work?

Me: I’m married. We can no longer meet behind the barn like we did when I was in college.

MN: Barns have changed since then, what with the hay being made a mess with pesticides and GMO tinkering. Maybe you can do something about that. Next time you update your blog, say something about the clowns who think climate change doesn’t exist, that fast food is really food, and that mayo should be slathered all over a hamburger.

Me: If I say something about climate change, will you give me a sunny afternoon and evening so I can mow the yard?

MN: Toots, I’m working on it. If only you weren’t married: we could make beautiful weather together.

Me: Aw, shucks, Baby Cakes, you’re making me cry.

MN: Me, too, and my tears are what you call rain.

Me: Oops.


Malcolm R. Campbell’s new short story is now live in Kindle, Kobo and iTunes.


Springtime means trying to start the lawn mower

During the cold, wet, seemingly endless winter when more people than not are discontent, dreams focus on springtime and sitting in the sun and leaving the windows open.

First sign of lawn mowing season.
First sign of lawn mowing season.

I think about the lawn mower.

Later on I think about hot Georgia afternoons and start looking for the first signs of autumn’s more civilized weather. After my wife and I finished planting six more flowering trees, we wandered over to the riding mower out of curiosity.

It started on the first try, bless its heart.

Now that we’ve started the lawn mower, the grass has suddenly gotten the idea that it should grow like there’s no tomorrow. I know there’s going to be a tomorrow: I saw it in the weather forecast which said, “Warmer temps just perfect for lawn mowing.”

Now the grass looks like we’ve never bothered to mow it and in a rural area where people often use combines to cut trim their front yards, it gets kind of hard to go outside during the day time in the grass is tall enough to bale.

Naturally all the gasoline cans were empty. They’re full now and the car smells like the BP station.

I’m almost ready to sit on my riding mower with an ice bold beer in the cup holder and dream of snow and old man winter.


AtSeaBookCoverMalcolm R. Campbell’s navy novel “At Sea” is free on Kindle March 18, 19 and 20.

Ice Bound in Jackson County Georgia

Snow and Shadows
Last weekend’s snow in central and north Georgia dumped six inches of very celestial powdery white stuff on our small town. A few hours before it all began Sunday night, I saw the mayor at an event at the Crawford W. Long Museum and asked if the city was ready for the winter storm.

He indicated we would attack the streets with our personal shovels and spades. So far, nobody’s shoveling off our street. The problem really isn’t the snow. It’s the freezing rain and freeing drizzle that came down on top of the snow. The traffic around metro Atlanta is a chaos of wrecks, jack-knifed tractor trailers blocking the interstates, and cars in the ditch.

At least, metro-Atlanta has sand and salt trucks and plows. We don’t. So, we are more or less ice bound even though the ice is probably less than a half an inch. Yesterday, the temperature got up over freezing for just long enough to begin creating slush, slush that froze solid last night making the roads worse than they are.

Footprints next to a slick driveway
We’ve been making do with whatever groceries happened to be in the refrigerator from last week. The vat of chili has been tasty, but were running low on wine, candy and doughnuts. The snow has brought a lot of birds to our feeders, giving the cats something to watch out the kitchen window.

After living in northern Illinois, I feel somewhat awkward being snow bound and/or ice bound with less than a foot of snow. A friend who got hit with 14 inches of snow says that we’re just lightweights down here in Jackson County, Georgi.

Possibly so. We’re staying warm, though. Wasting time on Facebook. Reading more. Being ice bound is conducive to working on my next novel. Goodness knows, I can’t escape from it right now. As the words pile up, I can feel virtuous about my dedication even though the weather ought to get a mention on the acknowledgments page of Sarabande when it comes out later this year.

Thank you for all your help, Mother Nature.

Ah, a locomotive’s horn: well, at least the trains are running.


Learn more about my novel The Sun Singer via Vanilla Heart Publishing’s book club extras!