Thursday, August 31, 2017
showers of blessing
Summer is the rainy season in Barra de Navidad.
Or, so it once was. Last summer left us very short of our annual rain. And it appeared we were heading down that same arroyo this year.
But two storms have done their best to catch us up. The first was the remnant of hurricane Franklin as it stomped across Mexico a few weeks ago (gone with the wind) leaving downed trees and umbrellas in its wake -- as well as inches of rain in the streets. And the fields; where it was needed.
Then came Lydia. And I do not mean Groucho's tattooed lady. This was our latest eastern Pacific tropical depression/storm that sashayed up the coast on her way to Baja. She was far enough offshore that we did not have high winds. But she was close enough to give us some much-needed rain. Twenty-four hours of it.
The amount of rain is hotly debated on our local message board. Running from two to six inches. The pail on my upper terrace had about six inches in it. But it is certainly not a scientific instrument. Let's just say it was an adequate amount.
I am a little fuzzy on time. On Tuesday night I was laid low by some sort of bug. It could have been something I ate. Or something I encountered on my daily rounds.
Whatever it was, I had the classic symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and one of those stomachaches that would have qualified me for John Hurt's role in Alien. It was bad enough I went to one of our local pharmacy-owner doctors, who, upon hearing my symptoms, prescribed a large bottle of Pepto-bismol.
I have had enough of these episodes to know this was not something that called for an antacid. So, she pulled out a blister pack of far more expensive tablets. And, yes, for all I know, they were Bepto-pismol.
Because I wisely spent the day in bed yesterday while it was raining, I did not get around the neighborhood to see how much water was washing down the streets. But I did wander around this morning.
Let's keep this in perspective. This is not Houston. Houston is suffering a weather tragedy. Barra has experienced the opposite -- a blessing of rain. A blessing that turns our little laguna into a respectable version of James Joyce's "snot green sea." It looked far more Celtic than tropical this morning.
And the blessings come in several ways. The first being the most obvious. Our local farmers needed water in the fields -- even though the rains would have been more beneficial if they had arrived earlier. Our local cucumbers have been so deprived of water they could substitute for rubber novelty toys. And we all needed the water table to be replenished.
My favorite benefit is heat relief. When it started raining on Tuesday night, our temperature plummeted into the 70s, where it has remained. That will soon change. When the sun comes out.
And that is when we will pay back those blessings. The rain will evaporate into the heat and we will once again live in our permanent sauna for another two months. But it was nice sleeping for two nights without either fans or air conditioning in my bedroom.
What was not pleasant this morning was the number of places on my walk that are still blocked with water. Walking in water does not bother me. I am made of sterner stuff than that.
The bother is what is in the water. Our sewer system is rather primitive. As was once true in all cities, our sewers carry both toilet flushings and rain runoff. When it rains heavily, the runoff overwhelms the sewer system (often blocking it with sand) causing the effluence that was once enclosed to mix with the runoff in the streets. When the sun comes out, our streets will have the unmistakable aroma of a Venetian canal.
However, on the whole, the rain is always welcome. Even when I discover new leaks in the house.