raining on the inside today


it rains inside today.

the roof is leaking.


the third time isn’t always the charm,
as we now know.
hubbie’s blown off the roof three times,
hoping, hoping, hoping
that would remedy it.

but it didn’t.


over on facebook, terri st. cloud bestows “a thousand points” on me for professing my determination to treat this inside rainstorm as creative fodder. even if i knew where to cash those 1k points in, i wouldn’t. i need all the fortification i can get today.


i try to make something of this,
try to find meaning,
a drop of humor would be fantastic,
but so far,
that’s the one dry spot in my life today.


we have a small kitchen – which is fine given that i do not like to cook – but that means there aren’t nearly enough pots and bowls to go around as collection basins. let a drop hit a ceramic bowl, and it splashes and splatters, sharing its wetness far outside the edges of the bowl. let a drop hit a plastic storage bowl (when i do cook, i like to cook in quantity for the leftover value), and it makes a lightness of sound or a decided thunk, depending.

drops falling into the metal pots let their presence be known, creating a veritable parade with their arrival.

i make music
from the rhythmic
drops of water
pouring in from the ceiling:
when a drop hits the towel he spread out,
there’s a deadened plop.
not much personality there
if you ask me.
it is a symphony of sound,
this rain falling on the inside,
not my favorite kind of music,
but it is
and so i deal with it.

the dog, who happens to prefer a fresh bowl, considers this great, huge fun.

the cats, at first intrigued, bore quickly.


we are down to vases now.


i try to think of it as a zen garden.
i am not successful.

i say to msyelf,
“at least it’s not
thundering and lightning
on the inside,”
my self is not amused.


it does turn things inside out, that’s for sure, and were i more like my mother and her mother, i’d have lots of happy plants now, gleeful to be receiving real rain instead of water from the faucet.

watching for the drops is like looking for a rainbow, i decide, and i can’t quite stop the smile when i see that elongated flash of light zooming past me at the speed of gravity. i am surprised at how something that conjures images of clean and fresh, something that looks like a streak of mirror on its way down, looks so reddish brown in the container.

one big drop lands and immediately breaks into many smaller droplets causing me to imagine that raindrops forced off their natural course mate with beautiful cherry hardwood floor to create families. (prolific mating, i hasten to add.)


i shift into experimental mode and rip strips of soft white cloth to put inside the basins. will they dry beautifully stained? maybe they’ll become prayer flags. maybe they’ll become part of a larger cloth. maybe they’ll be woven together with other clothes to create a textile landscape. i am surprised (and maybe even a wee bit saddened) when the thunking stops as raindrops, that can feel like small torpedos as they fall, hit the soft strip of cloth silently. it is thin cloth, quickly saturated, yet its softness, its ability to catch and hold quietly and tenderly, remains.


is it significant
that the inside rainstorm
is right in front of the door,
i wonder.
and i set about
trying to
make something of that.

my determined creative fire
is impervious to water.

i have often said that i hope that before i die, i’ll live in a house with a sound roof. i am saying it again today. repeatedly.

what is it about a leaky roof
that unsettles me so?
there’s something
i’m supposed to learn
it’s been a while
since i’ve
lived under a roof
that didn’t leak.

what am i missing?

what am i supposed to learn?

where is the metaphor in all this?


the funny thing about a leaky roof is that where the rain first enters isn’t necessarily (or usually, for that matter) where it seeps through the ceiling. rain can slip past the roof at one end of the house and find its way through the ceiling at the other end of the house.
it meanders,
this detoured rain water.
there’s no direct route,
no logical, shortest route,
no concern for making good time.


he gets home early,
the husband does.
i think he’s come
to fix the roof.
“i got laid off today,” he says.
and the ceiling
hits the floor.


Note: This actually happened yesterday, but there were children to call, emails to send, reeling to do last night.


  1. Angela

    Oh, Jeanne, where to begin? The plants. The music. The cloth. The poetry. The muse at work in every moment. The ending that is a beginning.  Love and gratitude to and for you.

    • whollyjeanne

      Oh yes. The muse is demanding overtime pay! And you’re right about the ending being a beginning. Funny how that happens, eh? xo

  2. Meredith

    I wasn’t expecting that ending at all. I’m holding you and yours in my thoughts and prayers. May this trying time be short and easily overcome.

    • whollyjeanne

      It was a surprise ending for me, too, Sugar. Do so appreciate you wrapping us in positive energy. All will be well. And all will be well.

  3. Square-Peg Karen

    Oh, dear dear Jeanne – OH! I wish I could walk over and give you a huge hug — and make some tea (or stiff drinks, your choice).

    And then, I don’t know — maybe we could sew a big fricking quilt for the roof (waterproof, of course – I’ve got loads of that waterproof lining for drapes due to a bad day measuring). Like commenter Meredith said, I did not see that ending coming. I feel your pain here (could be due to the fact that I’m going thru something similar, but it more than likely is due to the fact that I always FEEL your writing – you know how to write to touch the heart.Sending thoughts and prayers and wishes for peace (and a way to make sense of it all, but then – maybe that IS peace).  

    • wholly jeanne

      Oh Sugar, you, too? We must talk backstage and soon. (Something I’ve been wanting to do anyway.) And who knows – maybe we’ll book a date to sit and stitch. Heaven. That would be sheer heaven. Thank you so much. Your friendship means the world to me.

  4. jo miller

    Oh!  I just hit my head and am breathing for you, for your husband, your children – for me. so that I can help.

    I was reading this entranced,held in awe-sitting up straight- because this is writing – I love,adore and would hold you up on a pedastal, if you would allow me–we both know that doesn’t work; for very long.for either party.  🙂
    I was lost in your story, I was eating up every word – this is writing-this makes my heart beat, my pulse races, my muscles tighten.  I love this. I let the words. the sounds, the sights the feel wash over me.  this is a sublime way to feel, to feel joy.  this is how I savour life.  the magic – how you can look at one thing and see a whole ‘nother dynamic.  I was feeling passion – I was feeling – I was giving thanks – for the weaving of these words – how I could not keep up with the images and feelings – I scrolled back  ~  had not hit the ending yet.- hit the soft strip of cloth silently-meanders,detours, no direct route,no concern for making good time, no logical shortest route-what is it about a leaky roof – trying not to be plot driven, but to stay in this moment ` this gift. this awesome metaphor of life.
    and i hit the final paragragh and like you, I thought, oh how thoughtful ; He came home to check.
    I love you. I will help as best I can. I cannot absorb, so do not pretend to tell you platitudes.  I must say that ‘and the ceiling hits the floor’ is brilliant 
    A wise person told me that you cannot do it alone.  and to ask for help.  We are here, probably lined up.  Allow yourself time with your family & do your thang!  know that I am here  millejoa@gmail.com  jo miller   this would make a great movie – all these Southern gems do  –  Whom would you like to play you?  xo

    • whollyjeanne

      Sugar, I am going to post a proper reply to your delightful, loving, incredibly affirming comment just as soon as my eyes quit raining. Thank you. Your words are balm to my battered soul. I love you.

  5. Anonymous

    Sending lots of hugs and comfort. As you’ve already said in later posts (since I’m catching up!!), you WILL be fine. You WILL make it. But that feeling of the ceiling hitting the floor, oh how it knocks the wind right out of you and shakes you down to your toes.

    • whollyjeanne

      Sugar, your hugs and comfort and support and attention mean so much. Those are key ingredients that go into insuring that I will be fine, and I thank you big.

      • Anonymous

        Well, I’m sending tons! And lots of pumpkin pie/hot chocolate/fireside Thanksgiving wishes too. 🙂

  6. ☆little light☆

    just catching up, it’s been a bit of a leaky roof week.
    Only 1,000 points?
    did you at least get sprinkles with those points?
    I am adding rainbow sprinkles…
    just cause…

    • whollyjeanne

      RAINBOW SPRINKLES? a woman who knows my heart. xo

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