Friday, July 31, 2009
There were no doubts what day it was Wednesday in Waynesburg, PA!!! Wednesday was Rain Day and as it has done on July 29 for 111 of the last 135 years, it rained. It started raining early and rained most of the day.
To be a success, it must rain on Rain Day. We got rain early and that meant all the pressure was off. The first few drops of rain officially fell at 5:26 am and were reported by a Waynesburg patrolman who was on routine patrol.
"What a great day," Waynesburg Mayor Blair Zimmerman said as he sat in the borough office fielding calls from people wanting to talk about the weather in Waynesburg. But even the rain failed to lessen the enthusiasm of the crowd which, attending a celebration called Rain Day, surely didn't expect sunshine.
"We've had a real good turnout, and the crowd seems to keep growing," the mayor said early in the afternoon. "Everybody seems to be having a good time."
The rain also meant Zimmerman won the traditional hat bet, which this year was made with Miss America 2009 Katie Stam of Indiana.
Stam had already sent Zimmerman a hat in advance, apparently knowing the odds were against her, Zimmerman said. He sported the pink ball cap throughout the day.
A pageant is held every year for Miss Rain Day...a big event in Waynesburg. This years Miss Rain Day is Miss Emily Block.
Miss Rain Day 2009 and her court
This statue in Hoopers Park on High Street in Waynesburg is dedicated to Rain Day.
For the annual event, High Street was blocked off to traffic and vendors and local organizations set up booths along the curb offering food and merchandise. Bands, dancers and singers performed on the stage set up on the county courthouse steps.
It gives local churches and organizations that set up booths a chance to showcase what they do and maybe make a little money. It's also a good place to see people you haven't seen in a while and at least for a day "puts Waynesburg on the map."
McKenzie and I had a fabulous time walking around town in the rain. We would have had a good time without the rain also. We watched the dancers and singers as they performed on the Rain Day stage and checked out all the booths. McKenzie had her hair braided intertwined with many ribbons and beads and her face painted but didn't want any of the food from the venders. We did get bottles of water...the only thing I saw that was remotely healthy...skipped on the funnel cakes, hot sausage sandwiches and other "street or fair foods"...very high in grease, carbs and nasties. I was so glad as the smells were even a bit nauseating at times for me. But we did watch the pie throwing contests, husband calling contests (which really made McKenzie laugh even if she didn't fully understand it), kids on skateboards contests, and the list goes on and on. Not all the booths were funny, food booths nor were they all fund raisers as there were booths from the Humane Society, Abused Children, Education, Fostering Programs, the Future of Coal, etc. Church groups were giving away Bibles, craft tables were set up where you could paint an umbrella, color pictures, etc. or purchase crafts made by local artisians. Even our local newspaper had a booth where you could purchase your newspaper for six months and get a free "Rain Day" umbrella. A money machine was set up and for a fee you could get in the booth and see how much money you could grab in a set amount of time. The only draw back on this was you also had to slide the money through a slot during your allotted time but you got to keep any money that was in the slot when your time ran out. The streets were very crowded but we did talk to many people including Mrs. Moninger who at 101 years young was still attending Rain Day. (I have known Mrs. Moninger since I was a little girl visiting my grandmother.)
Rain Day umbrella contest
Rain Day had its start in 1876, when a farmer casually mentioned to Waynesburg druggist William Allison that it always seemed to rain on his birthday, July 29.
Allison was intrigued by the statement and began keeping a log of the weather on July 29, which has continued to this day.
In the beginning, Rain Day was only observed locally. It was simply a day when bets were placed on whether it would rain or not in Waynesburg on July 29. At midnight, residents would begin a vigil at the courthouse wall to watch and wait for the first few drops to fall.
That changed in the 1930s thanks to the efforts of John O'Hara, a Waynesburg news reporter, who began sending accounts of the events to newspapers and radio stations.
His articles attracted national attention to Rain Day. Rain Day bets, traditionally a hat bet between local residents and traveling salesmen, became more far-reaching, and included celebrities such as Bob Hope, Jack Dempsey, Johnny Carson, and Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu.
Ken said he still heard music from "uptown" when he left work at 11 pm.
(I even participated in the annual 5K Rain Day Walk/Run which was held last Saturday morning and which benefited Habitat for Humanity. )
Rain Day is a big event in Waynesburg or Rainsburg as it is called on July 29 each year.
Blessings and hugs to all who read my blogs,
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I called my family doctor yesterday morning and told the receptionist that both my legs had something strange going on with them and I thought they needed checked. She said that I needed to go to the ER as they had absolutely no openings and only one doctor working. I wasn’t hanging around the ER waiting for an unknown amount of time. So Ken, Christopher and I jumped into the car and went to MedExpress. After checking them, the doctor said it was “something vascular,” did lots of blood work, gave me a prescription of Clarenix, said keep them elevated and ice them as they are fevered to touch, and told me to follow up with my family doctor this week. I called and the first available appointment is Wednesday at 12:30. Strange looking though and my legs really burn on the inside, feeling like they are on fire just from about three inches below the knee down. The skin is actually smooth to the touch. This is not raised above the skin. They are not itching, it is not poison, a rash or hives or anything you would normally think of so I wait until Wednesday and see what the doctor has to say.
They did not keep me from walking in our 5K Rain Day Walk/Run however. I told myself I wanted to just complete it and walk it in 1 ˝ to 2 hours. This was a goal set to me by me…just to prove I could do it. I didn’t start out to set the world on fire; I just wanted to be able to complete it. My older daughter came down to walk with me just so I wasn’t alone. She wasn’t even going to register, she just didn’t want me to walk it alone. It was for a good cause…Habitat for Humanity so I went ahead and registered her and Christopher, my grandson. He ran it as did Richelle, Joe, and several of their friends. It was all about self accomplishment. My goals were set just for me and I wasn’t trying to win…just wanted to prove I could do it. I knew I would not be able to complete the 5K if I was running…there are too many hills involved and my back just doesn’t let me. I signed up as a walker and did not overly exert myself as the temperatures were just a bit warm (82*, I think at 9:30 am) and the humidity about 100% but it only sprinkled rain for about 3 minutes and not enough to even get wet. I did finish the walk and in just over half the time I had allowed. My time was just under 65 minutes and I placed DEAD LAST OVERALL!!! I accomplished what I set out to do and it wasn’t about placing (although last is a place); it was about setting a goal for myself and completing it. Goal Met!!! I have come a long way from being told by the doctors that I would never walk again to completing my first 5K!!!
On Thursday morning, McKenzie called me from Disney World and said, "Nanny I want to come home, it's not any fun down here." I told her she would be home in two more days. She said "yes on Saturday" and I told her to make sure Mommy and Daddy had fun for the next two days. To which she replied ok.
On the way home today from the 5K Walk/Run, I received a phone call from McKenzie..."Nanny, the plane is on the ground, we are in the car and on our way home. Are you coming over?" She is supposed to call me after they go to her grammies' house, get Sparkle and come back home. I am as glad to have them home as she is to be home, I'm sure!! I can't wait to see her!!!!
God who walks with me every step of the way
My family and friends who did the 5K with me for support
McKenzie and her family home from Florida safe and sound
The rain we did get after the 5K was over
Tomato cherries...ripe and ready to eat
More ripe strawberries on the vines...so sweet and delicious!!!
Having my grandson help me this week
Getting some decluttering completed and out of the house!
Ken who stayed at home this morning to wait for the Dish man to come and fix the cable...which he cut while trimming the shrubs
Too many blessings and positives to list but just look around...I see them everywhere all the time!!!
THANK YOU FOR READING MY BLOG AND FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT!!! I LOVE EACH OF YOU!!!
BTW...I started out at the very back of the group and stayed there. Next time, maybe I will start closer to the front of the group and see what happens. There will be a next time...on my birthday is another 5K for a good cause and I will be there!!! It will be a "trail 5K" and won't be done on pavement although a bit hilly also. Opinions?
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