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I love rain. Running was my outlet of survival during my college days. There was no better way to release my frustrations, stress and worries. I ran most days in the cold, in the heat and in the rain. My favorite time to run was when I was suddenly showered by a downpour just when I was hot and sweaty. The coolness of the rain was so invigorating when I ran. I'll never forget the offer for my boyfriend to walk me across campus under his big golf umbrella. But the offer came after I ran across campus in a downpour and entered my dorm room dripping wet. Even when I worked as a gardener I enjoyed the rain. My outdoor work caused me not to care about getting wet in the rain. When my children were little we would go out in the rain and splash in the puddles. We had fun. Often I wish I still could splash in the puddles, run in downpours or listen to the rain splashing on tin roofs but life has a way of keeping us so busy that we often miss out on these simple pleasures. Now I just think about these memories and smile.

I have learned to enjoy the simple things in life. Whether it's rain, a small place where I live, a limited budget . . . I have tried to make the most of these things. Maybe I haven't had money to travel across the country but I have had the ability to spend time in nature, spend time with my kids and I have had opportunities to make my tiny place into a special place for everyone to enjoy. I have learned to think outside the impossibilities of my circumstances and to find ways to make things work. My hope is that we will all learn to be thankful for the little things in our life, even the rain.

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