I remember rain . I really do . It’s the wet stuff that used to come down from the sky when I was a kid . I haven’t seen much of it in the last few years in Arcadia . But I do know what it is . It drops down from clouds . But , you already knew that , I’m sure . I know that other people in the world have a much wider perspective on most things than I do .
Well , today I am sitting in bed at my computer jotting down a few paragraphs about rain , because it’s raining outside . It’s been raining all night and will be raining all day , and will be raining most of tomorrow and into the following day . That weather prediction comes from my laptop computer . Everything’s in there . This laptop may know everything there is to know .
Oh , but I’m not in Arcadia now . I hear they’ve got a heat wave going over there . Fire danger is high and several fires have already started in dry California .
Wildfires , sad to say , are a fairly common occurrence in southern California . The hills around my childhood home were aflame even back long ago when I first went to Europe . Embers were floating over the neighborhood and landing on random rooftops . Roofs were all made of dry wood shingles in those days . Some local roofs were set ablaze . I suggested to my mother that I call off the trip when the two of us were standing outside the house and watching the floating hot embers and the spreading flames on the hillsides . What if the house burned , or she would have to evacuate and I was over in England ? Mom wouldn’t hear of it , though , of course I should go , and so I went .
Two years ago ( or was it last year ? ) when Ada and I were in Poland , the mountains near our little cabin were burning . My cousin contacted us with the news . About five miles northeast of our place , the forest was ablaze and the flames were spreading quickly in the wind . The wind however , lucky for us , was moving away from our small community , and by the time the fire was extinguished , no structures ( as far as I know ) were burned .
A few years ago the hills above our Arcadia house were burning . Fire helicopters were busy dumping water . I watched a large fixed-wing aircraft during the days hit the flames with fire-retardant in long dramatic bombing runs . The wind , again , might have changed at any time and made the scene a bigger disaster , but it didn’t .
I got caught in the rain yesterday afternoon . I had gone out because the skies were sunny . I had taken an umbrella with me , because the computer told me that scattered thunder showers were expected . I was wearing sandals since the temperature was in the mid 70s F. and not my waterproof boots . I thought that the weather predictions might have been faulty .
And then the rains came pounding down . I ducked under a shop overhang and hoped that this was an isolated cloudburst that might wear itself out in a few minutes. . Oh , was I wrong !
And the wind began next , pushing the rain toward me in solid sheets to make it difficult were I to attempt to get back to the apartment . I hid , therefore , with a few other poor souls caught outside at that moment , behind a building . The building blocked the force of the rain . The booming of thunder began about then to emphasize the ferocity of the storm .
I waited , watching the no-man’s land length of sidewalk that I would have to cover to get home . It was completely covered in a pool of swiftly moving water .
So much for delicacy at this point ! When the wind shifted a bit and dissipated somewhat , I made my move . I re-opened my umbrella ( bought it yesterday ) and slogged on through the water . So much for the sandals ! I had to step into water that was ankle-deep in several places . Sometimes , you gots to do what you gots to do .
I made it home in one piece and not completely soaked . The two boxes of tissues I carried in my backpack got a little wet , but the tissues will be okay . My sandals will need to take a few days off to recover from their near-drowning . My shirt’s been hanging in the bathroom overnight and is drying steadily . My backpack has to dry a little more , too . The umbrella ( bought for 20 zloty in the Tiger store [ about $5 ] ) hangs proudly near the front door .
This little rain story most likely rings a few bells with most readers . Well , you are from areas of the universe where rain is a familiar visitor . Remember , though , that there has been almost no rain in Arcadia for the last five years . Rain to me is a novelty . Days-long thunder storms even more so .
I’m listening to the heavy rain pound the window ledges and race through the gutters right now . A message from the rain gods , I guess , to let me know that there are other things in this world than what I’m familiar with . Okay , I get it .
I’m not pining for the dry hot southern California , though , or the wildfire dangers . Maybe we could make some kind of compromise . Get the best of both worlds . What about that ? Does somebody know somebody ? Who’s in charge ?