bunt sign

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Just when I was about to go back on my first resolution and start complaining about the weather again, the rain stopped! And the sun came out! Briefly, late in the afternoon, after it had rained all night and all day and turned my yard into a mud bog and my whole neighborhood into a wetlands. Not that I'm complaining, because I said I wouldn't.

Earlier, I was officially creeped out by the all the rain (not a complaint, but come on, too much is too much already). I'm used to driving out to the road down the muddy driveway, but once I get to the pavement, I don't want to deal with standing water any more. I've lived out here for almost two years, and this is my second winter in this house, but I've never seen the ditches running so full and fast as they were this morning.

The water poured over the road in a couple of spots, but the real deal came when I got to a blind curve and had to cross over the double yellow line to keep from driving though about two feet of water. There were a few other low spots, but that was the worst. The ground is saturated, the ditches are full, and at that time it was still raining steadily. I didn't know if I'd make it back home again, because there was no place for any more water to go.

I'm lucky, I guess. There was so much flooding in Sonoma County this morning that they had a special news crawl on the local TV channels, telling us what roads were closed. Most of the other routes I could have taken to get in or out of here were flooded, so I'm not just lucky, I'm really lucky. I made all my errands and got back with nothing more serious than driving on the wrong side of the road where I couldn't see what was coming the other way.

It looks as if we might make it to Saturday before we get more rain. That'll give the ground a chance to dry up a bit. It'll also give me a chance to find something else not to complain about.

If this is as bad as it's going to get this year, we'll be fine. On the other hand, we just finished the wettest December since 1955, and February is usually our rainiest month. The folks who live along the Russian River aren't even worried yet. They'll save their sandbags for the real floods. (And sandbags don't sound like a half bad idea here in the swamp right now.)

good for growing rice

Just off my back porch: think I'm going anywhere?

I'll survive this winter, just as I have all the other winters. I've never lived where it snowed, but I guess I'd survive that, too. It'd just be different. I'll take the gray skies and soggy ground a few days a year, in exchange for the perfect days that start around the first of May and stretch out to the middle of October. Every day isn't perfect, but they all have bits of perfection in them. Even in the winter, it's rare for the rain to stay around as long as this series of storms — and it's only been a week.

The birds know. You'd think they'd have had enough wet weather, too, but here was a sparrow this afternoon, as soon as the rain stopped, landing delicately on the rim of the birdbath and then unceremoniously plunging into the cold rainwater. It stayed twenty minutes — okay, maybe ten — splashing around and ducking its head under. The storm blows over, and you move on to the joys you know are waiting on the other side. Do it now, because the clouds are still out there.

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