Friday, May 13, 2016

the rain is in

Lucy Van Pelt had a sign for it.

You all remember Lucy -- from Peanuts? Rather than a lemonade stand, she ran a psychiatric booth with a sign on the front declaring "The Doctor is" in or out.

Well, I am not Lucy Van Pelt -- and I certainly am not Charles Schulz. But the house with no name has an in/out sign, as well. Or something similar.

After I bought the house, I started collecting some of Edward Gilliam's abstract expressionist paintings. If you would like to see most of the collection, you can see it in the good life.

All of the paintings are sheltered -- with the exception of one. It dramatically hangs in the stairwell to the second story.

Rather, it hangs in the stairwell when the weather is dry. When it rains, the painting comes down to announce that the rain is in. I guess you could say I try to avoid the rain in abstraction expression staying mainly in the plane.

Early this morning, our weather season changed. We have had only two rain showers that I can recall since the hurricane blew through here in October. That is about normal. Winter is our dry season. And dry the place was looking.

For the past few weeks, my neighbors have been setting fire to small patches of grass, fields, and whole hillsides -- keeping alive the dubious tradition of slash and burn. That is always a good sign that people believe rain is on the way.

And rain it did this morning. Not in torrents, but it was enough that the raindrops slamming on the laminate over my shower chimney awoke me.

A small roll of thunder woke Barco up.  It was his first. He barked and then went back to sleep ignoring the remainder of a quite spectacular thunder and lightning show.

But, for now, it is over. The puddles in the courtyard and the upstairs gallery are already evaporating.

Every year when the rain starts, it amazes me how quickly the hills can go from a burned-out brown to a verdant jungle. Usually, within a week.

It did not take that long for the soccer field, where Barco romps, to green up. Barra de Navidad sponsored a regional soccer tournament a few weeks ago. The field then looked as if the teams were playing in the sands of Morocco.

This is what greeted Barco and me this morning. Within hours, the grass had started to perk up.

The arrival of the rain is always welcome here. It usually starts just as the weather shifts into its hottest and most humid months. Rainstorms, ironically, drive down both the temperature and the humidity. Temporarily.

For now, though, the painting is going back up in the stairwell. The rains will become more common, but today is a day to enjoy the sun and Edward Gilliam's work.

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