So, it’s been raining here pretty steadily all day. Chicken and I went to take the dogs to the park and found that all the walkways near the little stream were flooded–as Chicken told the dogs, “It’s a Chihuahua death trap there, guys, and we want you to live!”
So, super short walkies, obviously no shimmies, and rain and rain and rain.
Sacramento is used to rain–before climate change, it had a ten year flood cycle. Every ten years it flooded. Every twenty years it got Biblical. Right now is the first time in twenty years that’s felt Biblical.
When I worked at Natomas, they had to wait to get clearance to build more in the area– they were afraid of the levee breaking. Apparently, after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Natomas was rated in the three most likely places to flood. I’m not sure if the levee was shored up, or if the seven years of drought made people dumb, or if money changed hands, but they’ve been building up a storm out there– so far, nothing bad has happened.
But Natomas is really close to Rio Linda–a.k.a. Levee Oaks, which may sound familiar to folks who loved the Keeping Promise Rock books. One of the things that prompted the big flooding scene in that book was that Rio Linda floods ALL THE TIME. One year, my friend was looking for horse property and had an appointment to meet her realtor at a house in Rio Linda. The realtor canceled, my friend went anyway, and the house was UNDER WATER.
Because that’s Rio Linda.
One year, when we lived in Sacramento–close to where Fair Oaks turns to J Street, but a few blocks over–we got a call from Mate’s mother. She wanted to know if we were okay. Her call woke me up and I was like, “Uh, yeah, Dee– we’re great. How’re you?”
“Amy, have you even looked outside?”
“Nope. Looks sunny out there!”
“Have Mate turn on the news.”
And right there was a picture of our block. Our set of fourplexes were the only ones NOT under water. Lucky us.
In 1986 a series of SUPER DOOPER SHITTY decisions ended up with my friend and I driving on a flooded road on the shittiest night of the year. Her distributor cap got wet because the car was up to its hood in water (and NOT as she maintains, because a good samaritan stopped to drag a picnic table across a flooded bridge, which I helped with) and the car eventually stalled and we walked the three miles to the place her horse was being stabled. The whole thing that set us off was that a number of horses drowned at Cal Expo (where there’s horse racing sometimes) because nobody had let them out of their stalls, and she wanted to check on her horse. I’d told my parents I was staying with her–and didn’t want to admit to doing anything so bumfuck stupid as walking three miles in knee deep flooding, barefoot, so, while my folks’ house was a mile away, we just kept walking to make sure her horse was okay. Damned animal was fine.
Anyway–I remember rain.
I’m going to give thoughts of safety to everyone, man or beast, outside tonight, and wish everybody inside a snug, warm, safe house. I”m going to hope that we all stay dry and that the rain finds a place to go that wreaks havoc on neither man nor road.
I’m going to quietly remember that although there will always be things like work and stress and things I MUST DO TODAY OR ALL WILL BE LOST, there are ALWAYS forces bigger than myself out there, and they need to be respected.
In this part of California, where drought can break you and rain can wash away the pieces, we know how to respect the rain.