A Little Fall of Rain

January 20, 2010 - 11:43am -- swingbug

Jesus, the sky is falling.

We here in the Central-California-that-is-referred-to-as-Northern-California-for-reasons-that-defy-all-mapping-logic are not used to this thing called “weather” really. We expect sunny days in the summer, a bit of rain in the winter, and once every ten years a single dusting of snow that melts as soon as it hits the sidewalk. Our expectations are typically met. But this whole torrential rain with 60 mph winds and thunder and lightening thing? Pretty rare for us. We’re all cowering in our houses right now praying the power doesn’t go out because if we lose the wireless connection, god forbid, you know?

I feel like a louse for even complaining about wind and weather when there’s something like nine million people suffering in Haiti without food, water, or medical attention due to natural disaster.

This outside my window? This is not a natural disaster. This is just nature. It’s much needed rain and snow replenishing the water supply. Always on the verge of drought and with a water system that’s taxed to the max on a good year, Californians should be jumping up and down at the window ledge, shouting, “Hurrah rain! Go team!”

That being said, I left work early because the wind over the causeway could get a speeding ticket and unlike Worf, I do not think today is a good day to die. We’ve had to keep the office door locked to keep the storm from coming in and yesterday a ginormous dumpster blew across the parking lot, into my co-worker’s car and on past on its way out to the street. It could be in North Dakota by now. Any midwestern readers out there? If you see a big green dumpster rolling by with a road map, say hi for me.

I guess we all have our operating scales of normalcy, and for those of us native to the area, this storm is an outlier. In this land where 65ºF justifies a scarf and a sprinkling of precipitation is “a good rain,” this thing going on right now is damned near a typhoon. Perhaps we’re spoiled. Perhaps not. Maybe you folks out there in far away places wouldn’t like our summer heat or a 3.5 on the richter scale would have you quaking in your boots while we all looked around and went, “Earthquake. Huh... What’s for lunch?”

Who knows.

What I know is there is a pond eating my backyard that nearly justifies the christening of “Lake DeArmond.” If a smaller version of the Lock Ness monster pops up next to my birdbath, what do I call him? Dessie doesn’t work for me.

Now that I’m safe at home and not white-knuckling the freeway drive, the storm looks a little safer. Here with my hot cocoa, a warm piece of zucchini bread, a fluffy cat looking for a lap, and the piles of laundry I’m studiously ignoring, my world feels more contained and orderly.

People aren’t really cut out for this. Not anymore. You watch cows and horses in a field on a rainy day and they’re doing what they always do: putting one foot in front of the other, looking for more grass. You see people on the same day, and we’re huddling under layers of synthetic fabric, clutching rain-proofed domes, and dashing from one roofed and heated structure to the next. It makes me wonder how bald frail little mammals like us made it to this point in our evolutionary road at all.

The storm is still raging, and I’m going to have to go back out into it sooner rather than later. My kid needs to be picked up from school and I’m running on the assumption that I can get there without throwing a couple of oars into the back of my subaru. Wish me luck.

Stay safe and dryish.


Did I mention hail? There’s hail.

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Yes...very, good, very succinct. I'm linking to this post on my blog, as you said everything I'm thinking re this day and it's weather.

Submitted by Megs on

I totally hear ya on this whole storm thing, today was cRaZy!!

Definitely a day to curl up with pets, snuggle into the couch with a sock to knit, and a good movie to watch.

Alas I missed the hail part...

Submitted by Megs on

and now I have Les Mis in my head.

don't you fret. Misour Marious, I don't feel any pain, ....

Wow. I have to read blogs to get the weather report from back home. It's easy to say that you should all be jumping up and down, but I've come to see that California just isn't built for weather since it's not something you normally have. Why put a lot of money into houses and infrastructure to protect against something that happens once in a generation? And since it isn't built for it, it seems twice as bad when it happens. Just look at southern England with the snow! They're totally overwhelmed by a few inches, even though that's not much in relation to a lot of other countries.

So, enjoy it while you can because even worrying about it is thrilling when it happens once in a generation!

Submitted by alisonh on

Scrabblequeen got me here, and what a treat! I love your post. And I love those boots--I so want a pair.

And yeah, Californians don't know weather, and they sure as heck don't know how to drive in it. (Shuddering at the thought of any of them trying to do 101 or 880 at 75mph in a snowstorm--they would, too.)

And yet after over 20 years here, here I sat in my house today, not going to the post office because, there's, you know, RAIN out there! After moving here from snow above my head. The little one wanted to play on the swingset. I looked out the window from the second floor and told her, Try to find it first.

You can't make me go back there. Except, maybe, you know, to visit.