The second installment in this piece is entitled: “Field? There’s a soccer field? Where?”
Alternate title: The Sidewalk River
And finally, the piece fretfully called: “Hang in there, bridge!”
This beast of a washed out gully is usually dry, and occasionally a trickle any small child could hop across, or adult could take in stride. By morning the water had all drained away, filling our aquifer, engorging the Colorado, making its way to the Gulf. No one here complains about the rain. Not after last year. Instead, children run barefoot from their homes once the danger of being swept into storm drains has passed. People gather on concrete bridges to watch the water rush underfoot. Everyone is grinning, ear to ear, cameras in hand. Why? Because this year, those thunderheads are unzipping their buckets of sky water. This year, the trees are going to survive. This year, the fires don’t have a chance. This year, the farmer’s do. Before last year, the record of days in a row over 100 degrees was 21 days, last year was 27 days in a row over 100 degrees. Total days over 100 degrees? That record was 69 days (set in 1925 and tied 2009, I believe.) Last year? 85. Three months worth of triple digit days. We also tied our hottest day ever at 112. The heat may not have been so bad had it not been for the complete lack of rain. It rained for four days in January, 2011. It didn’t rain again, not a single drop, until the first week of June. When it rained perhaps 20 drops. (The sidewalk had spots about 18″ apart, that dried within a minute.) It didn’t rain again until September, when it rained, so much so that I took pictures!
(yes, those dark spots are all of the rain we got.) Nothing again until November. The drought last year was the worst drought on record. Not by a little bit, or even a medium bit, but worse than the 2nd worst draught by more than double. Even with our rain this year (plentiful and glorious as it is!) we have yet to recover. They predict it will take years to recover. Nevermind the loss of trees, wildlife, and those who lost land, homes, and lives in the fires. The evacuations reached within 4 miles of our home, but luckily the winds shifted.
So we’ll take the rain. Every single nourishing drop. And this year, the complaints about the heat have ceased already. August will be a scorcher, but that’s ok. August is supposed to be a scorcher. Today is the first triple digit day in weeks and with the perspective of last year still fresh in our minds, we are each grateful for the last few weeks of 90s and thunderstorms.