October 5th, 2006

dream, thoughtful, quiet

First Rain

I'm from California.

This is a "duh, tell us something new, kat" moment, I'm sure, but I have to explain that in context. I am from California. And in California, there's a wonderful moment that I've taken to calling "First Rain."

A few years back, I went to Nova Scotia, to visit zibblsnrt. And in Nova Scotia, they had their fireworks for Canada Day canceled because of rain and fog. This was a completely foreign concept to me -- the one time the fireworks for the Fourth had been canceled was because there was a heavy north wind and high fire danger. The idea of rain in the summertime practically flummoxed me.

That's because out here in California, we have a very specific wet season and dry season. The dry season usually runs from about April to October, with some variation on either side. (I've seen it rain into June, and I've seen it not rain until December.) But about this time of year, the shift in seasons becomes obvious, the clouds roll in, and the rain begins to fall. It's a magical event, first rain is. It restores a sense of order to the universe. It also means that the hundred plus degree heat of the summer is safely tucked away until next year.

The rain is important to California because with a wet season and a dry season, we're reliant on the snowpack in the Sierras to keep us hydrated through another long season, and the failure of the rain to come means that we're probably going to have a slight problem the next summer. And sometimes this string of dry winters goes on for seven or eight years, and the reservoirs drop down to levels unseen, and things long forgotten get uncovered. I grew up in one of these droughts, and I remember quite clearly the day it started raining at lunchtime. We all piled into our fifth period class, excited and jabbering, and my math teacher looks up, shakes her head, and says, "You children of the drought, you don't even know what *rain* is."

That's stuck with me, and thus I've always felt more reassured when the rain comes. And last night I fell asleep to the sound of the rain dripping down from the sky and pattering against the ground, and was assured that all is again right with the world. And I fell asleep.
god i'm nuts, crazy, weird

A Californian's Guide to Winter

In my last post, I made reference to strange definitions of wintry things because here in California, we don't have winter like the rest of y'all do. So, for a bit of humor on this Thursday afternoon, I decided to share a few of them.

Wintry terms

The rainy season

What makes the mountains look pretty

What goes in your drink

What you do to a cake

A tasty frozen treat from Dairy Queen

A person from New England

Temperature below 70°F (21°C)

Temperature below 60°F (15°C)

Very cold
Temperature below 50°F (10°C)

Bitterly cold
Temperature below 40°F (4°C)

Can y'all think of any more? :)