Thursday, May 8, 2008


I always associate May 8 with rain. On May 8, 1979, when I was 12 years old, we got an outrageous amount of rain in Tampa. It remains Tampa’s single wettest day, with close to 12 inches of rain. Our yard turned into a lake, and the lake advanced on our house menacingly. Broad, extravagant puddles remained for weeks.

We had a septic tank because we lived in the country, and when it rained like that, we had to stop using water because the septic system couldn’t accommodate it. No clothes washing, no dish washing, no showering. Even flushing the toilet was risky -- but obviously, that’s a risk we had to take. I don’t remember specifically how we managed after May 8, 1979, but I’m sure all these precautions were involved.

Interesting how a single event can define a day forever: Dec. 7, Sept. 11 and, for me, May 8!

(Photo: Tribeca, April 2008)


Anonymous said...

It's rainy here in DC today, too. I love rain, though, not 12" in one day thank you very much!

Stay dry.

Love the pic!

Anonymous said...

We had a septic tank and we lived in the city (in the Florida panhandle otherwise known as the "Redneck Riviera"). I just assumed that's how everyone lived until I moved North and learned there were other ways to dispose of waste. I was long gone by May 8, 1979, but I wonder how my parents fared.

Anonymous said...

we're having a wet day here in cleveland here on may 8th!!

it is most interesting to think about which days stick in our brains...thinking about this the days that pop up for me are:

november 22, 1963 - jfk's assissination. we lived in memphis at the time. what remains with me besides the tragedy of the event was how all the adults I saw that day were crying - men and women, white and black. the nun who taught my 3rd grade class, who until then scared me was in tears, no longer scared me after she told us what happened and how we were going to be released from school early. the other thing I remember about that day was my mother was so upset she couldn't cook so my family went to mcdonalds for dinner - and this was the FIRST TIME my family went to a mcdonalds. I wonder if this partly explains why I have a micky d's avoidance?

july 20th 1969 - when the eagle landed on the moon!

as far as childhood dates those are the two where I remember the smallest of details from the day - one great tradedy and one great sadness.

then there is the year 1968 - which I associate with great sadness - for that was the year that mlk and bobby kennedy were assassinated - however, I confess I only remember the month when they were killed and not the exact date like with jfk.

I think I remember the eagle landing's date because it's so close to my birthday.

Anonymous said...

May 8th was always a happy day in childhood but now it's a melancholy date. It was a favorite person's birthday and we always went overboard making gifts (drawings and poems) and baking a cake, decorating etc etc . It was always a big deal.

It's also International Migratory Bird Day, so happy Bird Day to You.

Anonymous said...

No rain for us today and for the next couple of months. May 8, is my brother's birthday, though.