Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rain in Georgia - in Paris and Lisbon


What are the lyrics that Gene Kelley sings in the 1962 musical movie "Singin' in the Rain?"

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above ...

No, I don't have a glorious feelin' about all the rain we have had in Georgia.  This year the spring was sunny and bright as usual but, starting in late May, the rain came.  Saturday May 18, 2013, was the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears - the starting of the removal of Cherokee Indians from their homeland in Georgia and other states in the South.  This event was celebrated in New Echota State Park, in Calhoun, Georgia, about 47 miles from our home.  In 1825 the Cherokee national legislature had established a capital there called New Echota.  There is a museum, several original and reconstructed buildings.  I'll have a post on all this later.  I'd like to return first to take pictures because that day it was pouring rain most of the time.  We sat huddled under a tent listening to the dignitaries, and several Cherokee elders chanted, also under a tent.  (Click on collage twice to enlarge.)

It seems that was the start of the rain.  It rained almost every day in June, in July (the 4th of July fireworks were rained out here) and in August.  It does not rain all day long, but it does rain sometime during the day or night.  I have collected many umbrellas along the years - I bought some, some were gifts and others were obtained as a bonus for buying an item.  For example I obtained my red Burberry large golf umbrella when I purchased some Burberry eau de toilette years ago.  It is the largest umbrella I have and the one my husband likes to use to go down to the mailbox.  I just saw on eBay that one is for sale as a "rare, vintage" for $300, so we better take good care of ours.

I have another red umbrella, a folding one that was a gift from Avon when I purchased some lotion.  Here it is below with other folding umbrellas.  I decided to open it and, of course, my cat Cody had to come and see why.

In Paris a folding umbrella is a necessity as it rains quite often.  I always had one in my purse going to school, or later going to work.  I did not carry a camera then so I don't have pictures of rainy days in Paris but here are some paintings showing Paris under the rain.  On the right is "Rue de Paris" by Gustave Caillebotte, French (1848-1894) and on the left "Femme au Parapluie" by Louis Anquetin, French (1861-1932.)

The French word for "umbrella" is "parapluie" from the Latin "pluvia" (rain) and the combining form "para" meaning against.  The French actress Catherine Deneuve obtained her first major movie role in the 1963 film "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg."  It was the first French musical, entirely sung.  It became famous worldwide and received several prizes.  This year the city of Cherbourg, in lower Normandy where the film was made, is celebrating the film 50th anniversary.

Colorful umbrellas might encourage one to be cheerful as it can be quite gloomy walking in the rain in New York as shown in Childe Hassam's painting "Rain Storm, Union Square" American (1859-1935.)

or in Paris as shown in Edouard Leon Cortes' painting "Place Vendome in the rain" French (1882-1969.)

Black and white photographs show the somber and dark sides of the rain quite well as in the four vintage photographs below, from well-known photographers.  Top left is Paris 1963 by Andre Kertesz, Hungarian-born American (1894-1985) next to Quai du Louvre by Rene-Jacques, French (1908-2003.)  Bottom left is Rue Muller 1934 by Willy Ronis, French (1910-2009) next to Passants dans la Pluie by Brassai, Hungarian (1899-1984.) (Don't forget to click twice on the photos in the collage to see better.)

The sun makes me happy and the rain, after a while, sad.  Some people are used to rainy weather, such as in Washington State where it rains often.  My blogging friend DJan, whose blog "Djan-ity" I have been following since 2009, goes on weekly hikes with a group, very often under a mist or rain.  She shows beautiful rainy pictures of her walks in the mountains.  Here are several that she let me use - please go to her blog to see many more (click on her blog name above.)

I do not take many pictures in the rain.  This week I took one of the skies toward Atlanta from my doctor's office, on the 5th floor.  Below there were several Canada Geese grazing in the parking lot, which earlier had been flooded.  I also have a picture of a music event that I took earlier, under the rain.

When I went to my doctor I used my large beige Portuguese umbrella.  Several years ago we went to Lisbon, Portugal for a week.  It was raining as we went to visit the famous Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.  I bought an umbrella in the gift shop to use later on our hike to St. George Castle.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is an outstanding museum located on 17 acres of beautifully landscape gardens.  It is one of the largest private collections in the world.  The collection was built during 40 years by Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, an Armenian born in Turkey (like my father.)  As a young man Calouste went first to Marseille, France, then to King's College in England where he obtained a top engineering degree at only age 19.  Later he helped found the Turkish Petroleum Company (later Iraq Petroleum Company) and was the first industrialist to exploit Iraqi oil.  He was the person who negotiated the oil concessions from Saudi Arabia to US firms.  His 5% share made him one of the richest men in the world.  He left $70,000,000 and his 6,000 art collection to Lisbon to start a foundation.  He died in Lisbon in 1955, age 86.  His collection includes many masterpieces such as Greek coins and a vase 2400 years old, Japanese prints and European art by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Houdon sculpture and unique pieces by French glass maker Rene Lalique.

Above is a portrait of Calouste Gulbenkian as a young man.  Above him is a painting entitled Quilleboeuf, Mouth of the Seine by Joseph M. W. Turner, British (1775-1851,) top right is Two Women Asleep by John Singer Sargent, American (1856-1925) center is Still Life with Melons, Claude Monet, French (1840-1926) and bottom is Portrait of Madame Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, French (1841-1919.)  Below is a pendant by Rene Lalique, French (1860-1945.)

It stopped raining in Lisbon after our first day then it was easy walking and sightseeing during the rest of our stay.  It would be easy walking on our road too, but so much water is not appealing to me.

Maybe if I used my Paris umbrella, I could imagine that I am walking in the rain in Paris?  I don't think so.

It's better to stay inside and read or watch Mitsuko, my kitten, taking a peek outside from the window sill.  The shade loving plants have done well under the rain  - even though some pots are water logged, and the weeds have grown so tender and green that we get a daily visit from a bunny.

 Insects like to be indoors too I think as I watched a scorpion in my sink this morning when I went to wash my teeth.  My husband picked the scorpion up and placed it on the front porch among all the plants.  The Caladiums have been growing quite well, but my figs are still small and green - usually by now I am making fig jam.

In the back yard, apart from a couple of foliage plants, the flowers have drowned.  You can see below how pretty were the violet Torenia in the spring, and the pot now is full of water - flowers all gone, and not a pretty sight!

As I am writing this, Tuesday evening August 20th, it is still raining.

Since I started with a song, I'll finish with another one.  It is a rainy night in Georgia tonight ... and it sure feels like it's rainin' all over the world!

A rainy night in Georgia, a rainy night in Georgia
Lord, I believe it's rainin' all over the world
I feel like it's rainin' all over the world ...

- from Brook Benton's song






42 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

We have spent so long in drought (and so often) that I am always pleased to see the rain. A seven year drought which finished two years ago wreaked havoc on the countryside and the wildlife. We had a good year - and are now back to below average rain.
So each and every post DJan walks in the rain my eyes turn a little greener.
Love your garden - and the cat in the umbrella too. Another eclectic delight of a post. Thank you.

Kay said...

Oh my goodness! You really have had a whole lot of rain! We've had it only in spurts and was even having a bit of a drought which was not good at all. We actually need more rain right now. People don't carry umbrellas much anymore here in Hawaii. They just figure it'll stop if you wait long enough. I do love your umbrellas though.

Nadezda said...

What to say about rain? We here have it often too. This spring and summer I was very happy: there was not rain some weeks, it's unusual. I remember this movie
"Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" , I think it was one of the first French films here. I liked the songs and the actors, the music of Michel Legrand.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

A perfect song to end this wonderful Post about Rain...And all the wonderful photos and paintings you shared of Rain, all over the world...
"The Umbrella's...." was just on TCM last week---one of the August Under The Stars was a whole 24 hours of the beautiful Deneuve...I remember when that film came out and I LOVED it then---it was great to see it, once again.
I LOVE all your Umbrella's...but particularly your Paris Umbrella....And the one that your husband uses to get the mail...I LOVE a Big Big Umbrella...!
This was, as always, a lovely lovely post....!

gigihawaii said...

Well, I sure hope it doesn't rain when we are in Paris, October 2014. We will be on a special culinary cruise on the Seine.

Marianne said...

I had no idea there could be so much to say about rain! Love the pictures, especially the black and white ones, which are so atmospheric. We have rain today but do need it, after a very dry summer. The plants are loving it.

DJan said...

You might find it strange that some of us here in the Pacific Northwest are actually looking forward to the return of the rain. It's been way too long and everything is dry and brown, just the opposite of what you have been experiencing. The post made me look forward to the return of the rain! It's a beautiful post, as usual, VB. Thank you for mentioning me. :-)

Frances said...

Vagabonde, your homage to the many faces of rain was fun to read, and as always I loved your photographs.

I am sorry that Georgia had such a wet summer. It seems that you all were on the other side of whatever jet stream kept our part of the world baking in heat and humidity (or is it braising!)

Your umbrellas are so varied...nice that each has its own provenance.

I do hope that your garden will have better conditions in 2014.

That scorpion's appearance would have totally freaked me out. Much nicer to see the little bunny.

xo

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have read about the rainy summer that the south has been having this year. Although I enjoy a rainy summer day, having it constantly dampens the spirit and adversely affects my mood. Your colorful umbrellas, though, are bright and cheery and a way of chasing off some of those blues. Hopefully, autumn will be kinder to you.

Margaret said...

I'll take Paris rain OR shine any day! Lovely post ... and adored "Rainy Night in Georgia"!

valerietilsten59.blogspot.com said...

Vagabonde,
What a fantastic post. I read it twice.
The rain we had last winter was very bad here.. floods aound the country.
At the moment its still wonderful summertime..and warm days.. but they will gradually get less as the months tick on. I do not like winter.. i love the wam of the summer days.
You sure have had some heavy rains there.
Love that you visited the Gulbnkian.. Sarkis Caulouste Gulbenkian.. was a wonderful generous man. He left a lot to the state..
Lisbon can still be interesting on a rainy day. Do you know... I dont own an umbrella.
super reading and great presentation....val xxx

Jeanie said...

Well, I'm not fond of the rain but I am VERY fond of this post! Umbrellas are a wonderful shape and I love all the paintings and photos you shared! It was nice to see Cody make an appearance and is that your sweet new girl looking out the window?

Really, this one is a delight -- I'm bookmarking it for a nostalgic return some day!

Z said...

Marvellous post - sorry about the rainy summer, though. It's been hot and dry here most of July and August - that's English hot though, so not scorching!

David said...

Vagabonde, Here in East Tennessee near Knoxville we've had about the same weather as you have had... We are 18" plus over normal and we had our usual annual rainfall total by the end of July. You certainly have been to some great places in your travels..! Great photos as usual... We have 2 umbrellas in each car plus we have a big one to go out and get the mail. I've lost more umbrellas than I can count. We didn't retire to the Northwestern US because of the constant rain. Mother nature has proven that she is in charge! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Things and Thoughts said...

Un post extraordinaire et savoureux, tant de choses a se dire sur la pluie qui n'arrive jamais chez nous!J'aime le temps pluvieux, c'est curieux alors, j'ai enormement joui de cette riche publication chere vagabonde!
Bisous!
Olympia

Reader Wil said...

Merci de votre visite et commentaire. Les parapluies sont très intéressants et quelques parapluies sont très uniques et jolis. Merci.
Wil, ABCW Team.

Mae Travels said...

Your collection of rain in art is magnificent. I love the one by Gustave Caillebotte (slight typo in your text) and also love the photos you chose of Paris in the rain.

I guess things are a bit backwards in the US this summer -- we spent 3 days in Seattle recently under glorious sunshine.

Ann said...

i love the rain..i just don't like having to go somewhere in it...too many bad "rain drivers" here in southern California!!(probably because we don't get a lot so people don't think about slowing down and putting some distance b/w themselves and the other cars). i love the smell of the wet earth and trees and flowers with the rain,and after!
enjoyed this post so very much..the photos are fabulous!!
LOVED the video!!! Rainy Nifght in Georgia has long been a favorite of mine!!

Jim said...

Hello VB! Thanks for the 'nudge' today to get me over to 'your place' so I could read this most enjoyable post about rain, umbrella, wonderful works of art and great cities!
I don't mind the rain at all but I guess I would start to shrivel up with all the rain you have been getting in Georgia! Maybe a dry autumn is in store for you. Let's hope.

Cloudia said...

More an art installation than a mere blog post! Most enjoyable.



Aloha

Nadege said...

Please, send the rain my way! At least, with all the rain you have, the landscape is very green and you don't need to water but I am sure you are tired of it. Hopefully, fall will be gorgeous! (I love Gustave Caillebotte!).

katy gilmore said...

Hi Vagabonde, I loved all the paintings and umbrellas in this post! Here in Washington state, by the way, we've had weeks of sunshine. I'm sorry you have had too much rain!

ELFI said...

billet formidable... toujours en admiration des peintures et photos diverses...

Thérèse said...

Rain is a must as are umbrellas :-)
Fun post to read.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I hate it when the rain just never stops. I am here praying that the forecast is right and that we will get rain tomorrow, the garden is so very dry!! Watering from the mains does not come cheap.

Love this post. Have a good weekend, Diane

Lowell said...

I don't know where to begin this post is so rich in photography and commentary and delicious in the subject matters. You have a thing for umbrellas. They are fun to photograph. I enjoyed this post so much and will be returning to it again and again to savor all the material you've included. I didn't spend much time in Paris but from the first it felt like home and you've increased my yearning to return.

We've had rain almost every afternoon for many weeks...lots of rain. Might have something to do with climate change.

Merci beaucoup !

Arti said...

This is an exquisite post. I've enjoyed your detailed personal account of rain, umbrellas, and encounters. I remember in Woody Allen's film Midnight In Paris, Owen Wilson's character Gil loves rain in Paris. While we might frown on too much rain, someone like Gil might find it the reason to live there in Paris. Have you seen that movie? BTW, I just saw Allen's newest release Blue Jasmine, and it's very good. This time, not Paris, but SF. ;)

Arti said...

Thanks for your reply to my Q. left on my blog. From what you said about The Butler, I now have second thought about seeing it. I don't mind a film being totally fictional, but if as you said, the truth is just 5% then why called it 'based on a true story'? This one sounds like manipulative of audience's emotions and sympathy. While I'm all for equality of all races, (I myself being a 'visible minority', yes, there's such a term here in Canada), I don't like movies that sensationalize, patronize, and tear-jerking. For this reason, I didn't like the movie 'The Help', for I feel it falls into this category, albeit I was delighted to see Jessica Chastain got an Oscar nom. She's one of my faves. ;)

Trying to organize some thoughts to write a review on Blue Jasmine. A definite Best Actress Nom for Cate Blanchett. She could even win it. I'm going to Toronto in Sept. for the TIFF, eager to see some good films. Maybe a couple of posts on that occasion.

Again, as always, I appreciate your visits to Ripple Effects and sharing your thoughts. Even though we may sometimes have differences in views, I value your insights.

The Solitary Walker said...

Although I don't always comment, I read all your posts, Vagabonde, and find them informative and endlessly fascinating! This one is no exception.

Magic Love Crow said...

I am sorry about all the rain you have been getting! At the beginning of the summer, we had tones! Now, we are in a dry spell! Haven't had rain in over 2 weeks! Love your umbrellas! I have to say, your cat peaking around your umbrella is priceless! What a cutey! I can't stop laughing! That face!!! Big Hugs, take care ;o)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Great post! I am always enchanted with so much variety of photos and issues on your posts. It worths many visits for sure!

Al said...

What a rainy post, with lots of nice rainy photos and recollections! The only rain we ever get here is from late-day thunderstorms, it almost never rains otherwise, but those can be very intense, like the other night when we had 2.5 inches of rain in a very short time.

EG CameraGirl said...

Rain can be soooo beautiful!

Hilary said...

Oh my, that's a lot of rain. We're in need of some this week. I'm sure you wouldn't mind sharing. I love all of the umbrella photos.. and did a double take when I recognized DJan's group. Your kitty is just adorable and Rainy Night in Georgia has always been a favourite of mine. Enjoyable post throughout. Merci.

Friko said...

This post is an amble all over the world and many subjects. Quite delightful ! I imagine you sitting in the house, wistfully watching the rain and letting your mind roam along the highways and byway of you thoughts, hoping for the sun to come out.

Rain is what we too get in large quantities. It makes me feel quite miserable.

Snowbrush said...

I found this to be a delightful post. I woke up today to find that western Oregon had gotten its first rain since last Spring. Every year, it is almost daily rain (it is daily clouds) for months followed by months of drought--always too much or too little. As we start into the rainy season, I'm trying--as always--to maintain a good attitude, and your post helped.

Jono said...

Very nice to find you. I love the greenness that only comes with rain. It is a small price to pay and can be easily dealt with.

Vicki Lane said...

Yesterday and today were our first days without rain in weeks. Since we're on a mountainside, we don't get the standing water but the rain meant that we didn't have a very good tomato crop this year.

When we took a waling tour in England about six years ago, it drizzled on us every day -- but we still had a fine time.

I love all the umbrellas -- something kind of magical about them.

Retired English Teacher said...

Wow. Where do I start? I loved seeing your collection of umbrellas and learning the history behind each one. Great post. So much information and beautiful photos.

Miss_Yves said...

Un thème très artistiquement traité!

Je prépare une série de petits billets sur ce sujet et plus particulièrement sur la ville des parapluies!

stardust said...

This is my favorite post of yours so far, vagabonde. Of course, sunny days easily make me feel cheerful, but when it comes to photography, I prefer wet landscape to dry one. Your rain photos are so wonderful. I think wet, airy factors like rain, mist, fog, frost or snow are easier to express mindscape in the landscape. Having said that, almost my photos in the blog were taken when it was not raining as my camera is not waterproof.

Excuse me for my delayed response to your comment. I haven’t noticed the fragrance of the flowers of Japanese Crape Myrtle but when I checked about it, I found the yellow part of the center emit faint refreshing fragrance. It seems to depend on the time as the flowers bloom for about three months.

I also enjoyed your latest post.

Yoko

Perpetua said...

Another fascinating post with glorious photos, Vagabonde. being English I'm of course used to plenty of rain, but this year we've had rather less than usual and it's been a dry and warm summer, quite unlike yours. I never thought I'd read a post which said that it was cooler in Georgia than in Wales! I do hope the rain stops for you soon and you have a beautiful autumn.

PS I never use umbrellas as I get so tired of wrestling with them when it's windy. It's a raincoat for me.....

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