Is it over?

It’s raining. I woke up this morning with raindrops splatting against the patio outside my window.

Of course, for most, the fact that it is raining is of very little significance, but for us here in the Central Valley of California it is a huge, immensely huge deal. That reminds me of Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” where she goes on at the snotty dress shop sales lady. Wait – let me see if I can find that clip.

Armed with my coffee and my laptop I came out onto the patio, to catch up on reading my blogging friends’ posts and watch the rain, despite it only being in the mid-fifties. That may not seem terribly cold, but I am presently wondering where my “typing gloves” (which always remind me of Sully off of Monsters’ Inc., because they are fluffy, green gloves) are that the boys gave me for Christmas, because my fingers are a bit numb.


Everything is so green and alive from the winter rain. The leaves on the Fatsia and the Philodendron plants are shiny, glistening in the early morning light. There is something so calming about the lushness of it all.  I sit here, with my fingers poised above the keyboard (which are presently gloveless – because I am too lazy to schlepp out to the car to find my “typing gloves”) and stare at the green.  I am trying to store this vision in my brain, for the long, hot summer which is quickly approaching.


I recently joined a book club, well, actually that is not completely accurate, my three friends and I started a book club. The first book we decided to read was John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  It takes place in Salinas, which is just to the west of us, over the Pacheco Pass.  In one passage, he writes about how the people migrating from the East always go into a panic when the rainy season is over and they are faced with months and months of no rain.  It is true, because as I sit here staring at the amazingly green garden, the freshly showered leaves, the delicate blossoms on the Rosa Banks and cherry trees, I know what is coming.  I know that the verdant lushness of the fields will quickly turn to a dry umber and the leaves of the trees will become grey and dull with the layers of dust collected over the long, rainless summer.

But Adam, looking out over his dry dust-obscured land, felt the panic the Eastern man always does at first in California. In a Connecticut summer two weeks without rain is a dry spell and four a drought.  If the countryside is not green it is dying.  But in California it does not ordinarily rain at all between the end of May and the first of November.  The Eastern man, though he has been told, feels the earth is sick in the rainless months.  (John Steinbeck – East of Eden)

As I sit here this morning, the silence broken only by our crazy neighbor shouting at her poor dogs, “What have you done, WHAT have you done?” over and over in her maniacal, Norman Bates voice – I wonder first, what is it that they (the neighbor’s dogs) have done, and secondly – is this the last rain we are going to see until November. I don’t have an answer for either of these questions.

Photo credits:

Sully –

7 replies »

  1. If it weren’t for the lack of sun in your neck of the woods, it would be a perfect place to live. Such beauty. I can’t imagine seeing flocks of eagles. I saw two once above the lake in our subdivision in Florida, and I was squealing with excitement. I doubt I’ll ever see them where I live now, but my dad has a cabin on 16 acres in Wisconsin. Maybe I’ll see some there when I visit some time.

    BTW, I can’t get over that I see seagulls here now. We never had them when I grew up here. I thought they’d fly south by winter, but I’m still seeing them hanging around. Funny how things both stay the same and change all at once.

  2. The excerpt you included in your post just reminded me what a wonderful writer Steinbeck is. What a great way to begin a book club. Incidentally, I’m now wondering what exactly your neighbor’s dogs had done.

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