It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
Dec. 31, 2010
Southern California is a land where the local news will cover a temperature reading that dips below 68 degrees as breaking news. The weather here is glorious. Today, we have lemons on our tree in the backyard. We can eat outside on the patio any month of the year. What I’m saying is that we’re spoiled.
On the occasion that we do get a few sprinkles of rain here and there, my 4-year-old son and I will put on our rain boots and head to the puddles in front of our house to look for worms. We scoop up the worms one at a time and toss them on to our lawn to “save them from drowning.” Last week it rained. It rained more after that. Then the rain took a deep breath and let loose with a torrential downpour.
We live on a dead-end street with no storm drains. During a light rain, the street in front of our house grows a puddle. During a heavy rain, that puddle becomes a small pond. During The Amazing Downpour of Last Week that pond became a raging lake. Perhaps it is unusual for a lake to be raging but our ad hoc lake had waves and white caps.
The water’s edge stretched from the bottom of our front porch to the front porch of the house of our neighbor Caroline, across the street. Our yards and street were submerged. As I watched the water level rise, it was coming dangerously close to flooding our garage and sneaking into the crawlspace under the house. Our station wagon was parked in the driveway and would never make it out.
I texted my husband at work: SOS. COME HOME. NEED SANDBAGS. I don’t know why I suddenly took on a telegram style of texting, but it seemed appropriate at the time. My darling husband showed up within the hour slugging sandbags across our next-door neighbor’s yard wearing church shoes and his business casual outfit.
It was my job to haul the bags across our yard and place them strategically around the back fence and sides of the house. I found out that sandbags are heavy and that 20 sandbags are really heavy. After steadily working through the rain, we high-fived each other. We were somehow able to prevent house and garage flooding and got a ridiculous arms and abs workout in the process. Many in our area were not so lucky. It was an exciting afternoon, but I’m ready to get back to the slimy thrill of worm catching.
—Lisa is a former comedy writer for television. She now writes about her funny family at her blog Smacksy.com.