Do You Ever Stop To Watch The Rain?

Do You Ever Stop To Watch The Rain?

When was the last time you wondered at how the rain falls, or felt it patter on your skin?

Do you ever stop to look at the rain, to watch and wonder at the way it falls? It is easy to get used to rain and forget to notice or enjoy it. When it starts to rain, we often run inside as quickly as possible, shut the door, and wait until it’s over.

A few days ago, as we parked our car, it started to rain hard. Instinctually I ran inside with everyone else, but then I thought: when was the last time I watched the rain? I walked over to the window. Everyone else was busy making dinner.

I looked up and watched how the rain fell from the clouds. It was as if there was a hole in the sky, a leak, letting all these little droplets through. The wind blew the clouds, low lying, and fluffy grey; they hurried past. Occasionally a gust of wind pushed the rain making it fall at an angle.

It was amazing all that was happening. The rain came in waves, heavier or lighter at times, pushed back and forth by the wind. Drops hit the new green leaves of the little maple tree out front. Every drop would make the leaf bounce when it landed. The rain was dancing with the tree.

No two rainstorms are the same; they last for different amounts of time, some are gentle trickles, others are downpours. Each storm is a unique performance put on by the sky. There is singing, dancing, colors and sounds, all arranged in an orderly fashion.

Have you ever been on a lake when it rains? It’s funny because when each drop hits the lake, it makes a splash. Water from the lake bounces to meet the other falling drops, and soon you can’t tell which water is which, it is all blended in a thunderous roar of water.

These performances are far from two dimensional. There are more than just sights and sounds to enjoy. Have you ever smelled the air when it rains? Some people love the earthy smell it makes. The rain falls on the ground releasing an earthy aroma, and the air often gets cooler too making it feel refreshing.

Often, we try to avoid rain, so we don’t get wet, but every once in a while, it’s good to let it fall on your skin, to feel the rain’s soft patter, or even get soaked.

When was the last time you enjoyed the rain? If you haven’t lately, then stop and enjoy it.

Watch how it falls, feel it, smell it, taste it, dance in it, wonder at it like you did when you were a child.

Watch how the trees and streams dance in the rain, how the clouds fly by.

Listen to the rain’s song, its gentle gurgles, and its loud roar.

Listen how the thunder sings along, with its long rolling bass notes.

Every once in a while, we need to enjoy nature’s symphony, her magnificent performance put on just for us.

Cover Image Credit: Corrinne Brubaker

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The 10 Best Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds For College Kids

For if you just aren't a cat person but still want a low-maintenance pet.


Every pet requires care and attention, especially when it comes to dogs. As a college student, you may live in an apartment with minimal space for a dog to run around, and you may not be able to dedicate most of your time to a dog. While you shouldn't own a dog whatsoever if you're not able to take them for a walk at least twice a day, some dogs have a lot less energy than others and don't require as much attention and grooming. You may opt for a small dog breed thinking they're better with smaller spaces, but often certain small breeds need even more exercise and space than big dogs. A general guideline is to find a mature, low-exercise dog with a low-maintenance coat.

1. Basset Hounds.

Maximiliano Ignacio Pinilla Alvarado

Basset Hounds are the best pets for college students because instead of being anxious while you're at school or work, they just do nothing but eat and sleep. They're the perfect couch potato dogs and need minimal exercise, unlike the rest of the breeds in the hound group. On top of that, they're extremely loving and obedient!

2. Bulldogs.

American, French, and English bulldogs are all great low-maintenance pets. They have all the personality in the world, but they don't require extensive exercise and don't need to be brushed. As long as they're played with at least once a day, they're happy puppers. They're also the perfect size for apartment living. Bulldogs do experience health problems more than the average breed, so be sure to have money set aside for the vet.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does require grooming, since they're so small and easy to groom, it won't cost you more than 5 minutes out of your day to do a thorough brushing. They're mellow yet playful people-loving dogs and are perfect for beginners. Get ready to give and receive affection, because these lap dogs love to cuddle.

4. Greyhounds.

Juan Gomez

Most low-energy people avoid Greyhounds, thinking they require a lot of exercise. While they do require daily exercise, it doesn't take a lot to satiate them. As racing dogs, they love to run, so taking them to a field and allowing them to run for 10 minutes during your daily walk will help them get rid of any excess energy. In the house, they're very mellow dogs that like to lay around a lot and they don't bark very often. They also have short hair, so they don't require brushing.

5. Boston Terriers.

Boston Terriers are very adaptable to apartment living. Playful yet mellow, this non-sporting breed only requires a moderate amount of exercise. You might even find that they start panting up a storm during walks before you start to break a sweat. They also don't require any brushing and are very easy to train. Plus, who doesn't want a dog that's constantly wearing a tuxedo?

6. Shiba Inus.

Christal Yeun

The Shiba Inu has become a very sought-after breed, and with good reason. They're basically cats in a dog's body. Finicky, independent, and mellow; the Shiba Inu is the perfect dog for an owner who doesn't have a lot of time and attention to devote as long as they're properly trained. The Sheeb can be unfriendly around other dogs and new people, but they're extremely loyal to their family. Although they're great for college living, they may not be the ideal breed for someone who has never owned a dog due to their stubborn nature.

7. Havanese dogs.


Don't let the long hair of this pooch intimidate you, their coats are easily maintained with a daily 10-minute brushing and an occasional trim at the groomer's. Unlike most toy breeds, havanese dogs are generally mellow and not very yappy, so they won't annoy the neighbors like a chihuahua or pomeranian. They're also generally very friendly to strangers and other animals.

8. Pugs.

Mink Mingle

Pugs are a great breed for everyone, but especially people who don't have much time to devote to grooming and training. They have a medium energy level which can be satisfied by being walked only a couple of times a day. They are very playful and affectionate, so be prepared to have toys on-hand when you are at home. Pugs can suffer from health problems due to breeding defects, so make sure you have a savings fund for the vet if you want this breed. Pugs can live alone, but prefer the company of other animals. The perfect excuse to get more than one pug!

9. Bullmastifs.

Bullmastiffs are a large dog breed, but since they're usually just laying around anyways, they don't need a big space with a big yard. These dogs on average require a minimal amount of exercise and are loving, but not very playful. Having a bullmastiff is like having a human friend; they're loyal companions but won't take up all of your time and energy. They're also very protective and easy to train as guard dogs.

10. Dachshunds (Short Hair).

Niki Sanders

Dachshunds, also known as wiener-dogs, are one of the smallest breeds in the hunting group. Short-Haired Dachshunds require no brushing and are moderately active dogs. They're the perfect size and exercise level for apartment living, on top of the fact that they're just so adorable. Make sure your dachshund is properly trained though, as they can be fearful and sometimes aggressive towards strangers and other dogs.

These are some of the 10 best breeds of dogs for college students, but if you want to know more about different breeds, the most trusted resource is the American Kennel Society's website.

Even low-maintenance breeds require the basics, so don't think that getting one of these breeds won't still be a big responsibility. Having a pet is like having another person to take care of, so make sure you at least have some time and money set aside for daily walking, cuddle/play time, and vet check-ups. Despite the big responsibility, they're the perfect companion to help ease your nerves around exams and they're completely worth the hassle! And remember to adopt; don't shop.

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Everything You Need To Know About The US Virgin Islands Post Hurricane Season

My first visit back to Americas Paradise since the devastating hurricane season

For those that may not know, the USVI, along with other Caribbean islands, were hit with not one but two category five hurricanes. Hurricane Irma devastated these islands, leaving families without homes and jobs. As less than two weeks later, Maria came through. The aftermath of these were absolutely horrible.

Visiting these islands post hurricane season was very eye-opening. A beautiful place I was once lucky enough to call home. I did not know what to expect when I got off the plane. I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. The way the community on these islands came together was truly something special. The island overlooks the blue waters, however, now the blue tarp roofs are in place all over the island. They are temporary fixes but it was devastating to see how many houses were severely damaged by this natural disaster. Lives will forever be changed for these families in Americas Paradise.

There were many healthy changes I have noticed since the last time I was in the islands. Paper and metal straws have been a huge change and it really helps save the sea turtles and other aquatic animals in our backyard. This simple change is a great step in the right direction. This is another great way to save the planet in a small way that will one day make a difference. I always noticed that many people are bringing their own reusable ceramic cups to save on the plastic waste. A few popular brands down there are Corkcicle, Mizu and Ocra tumblers. Most bars and restaurants are selling these now! I adore mine from The Longboard in Saint John! It is crazy how one person can make sure a difference in the environments and sustainability standpoints.

For my morning coffee and tea drinkers some local coffee shops and cafes give a small discount for those who bring in their own coffee mugs! This is a great way to receive a discount on your morning cup of joe and help with the environment!

Seeing these changes first hand, really seem to making a big impact on everyone who is living in the Virgin Islands. This is a community who have really come together during this hard time, rather than pull apart. This devastating hurricane left people without homes, water and food, however, some restaurants made sure their community was fed. Giving away meals every day until people were able to get back on their feet again. It has been a long road to recovery but this community is coming back stronger than ever! Keep these tiny islands in mind, and come visit every once in a while! It is Americas Paradise after all!


Cover Image Credit: Brittani Marceno

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