“The farmer has to be an optimist, or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” – Will Rodgers
It’s absolutely bucketing outside – the kind of rain that recalls the old ‘cats and dogs’ idiom; the sort that keeps you from attending a yoga class you’d virtuously scheduled into your day for fear of getting ‘soaked to the bone’ while racing from car to studio, and the type that commands warm socks and your favorite hoodie as the only acceptable attire.
For those of you that do not live in Southern California, and for me, previously, at various (well, most) points in my life, this kind of rain is usually a bummer. Maybe it’s just that you tend to remember these sort of negative things, but in my memories, heavy rain – or any bad weather, really – has an unfortunate tendency of picking up just as a plane carrying your best friend touches down for a weekend visit, or on the very weekend that you were planning a backyard fete. You know what I mean – inclement weather always seems to happen right at the wrong time.
But this time, that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re settled into our new house in Santa Barbara, the last of the scuffed-up and tape-heavy corrugated boxes have been broken down and hauled away, and we’re having our inaugural rainfall. Not just any old rainfall though – a rainfall that has been hoped, prayed, and danced for by anyone and everyone in the state of drier-than-bone-dry-California (and my Mother, way across the country on Cape Cod, who has been anxiously watching the storm crawl across the doppler for the better part of a week!)
Here in unusually hot and sunny California – and particularly in South – we’ve managed to get ourselves in a real predicament as far as the water supply is concerned….or complete lack thereof, I should say. Upon the first fat drops hitting the roof you could hear a collective squeal of joy, and when you live on an avocado farm – one that has become increasingly sunburnt and parched under this ultra-sunny Winter sky – a few days of much needed soaking feels like hitting the jackpot.
Of course a few days of rain will do anything but solve the drought – it’s a huge help, that’s no question – but we are doing everything in our power to conserve, conserve, conserve around here. That means a 5 gallon bucket in the shower to catch the first few chilly minutes (which in turn gets dumped on the roses), being aware of and reducing the flow when washing dishes and brushing teeth, setting dishwashers and washing machines to their express settings (read: faster and still totally adequate), and recalling the old hippie mantra, “If it’s yellow….”
Crunchy stuff, right?