Monday, December 15, 2008

Rainy Days

When I was a kid, I used to love the rain.

At school, it meant indoor activities. Sometimes we wouldn't do ANY work and would just talk or play little games.

I remember even playing indoor spelling baseball. The teacher would give us a choice of difficulty level (1, 2, 3 or 4) and we would have a time limit to correctly spell a word on the chalkboard. If we got it right, we would go to another corner of the room depending on the difficulty of the word. If we made it home, we could pick a prize out of the "prize box."

The darkness outside would make the classroom environment exciting. Riding the bus as it blew through puddles and soaked the pedestrians was a great way to end a fantastic school day.

At home I would make origami boats and float them down the gutter until they got stuck under the tire of a curbed vehicle (most likely driven by someone's wife ;) or I would just sit in the kitchen watching the water pile up and splash in the corner of our backyard walkway.

I remember my mother's answer to my question regarding the origin of rain. She told me that it was God's tears. Even at this young age, that answer seemed highly unlikely and illogical. It only served to confuse me and I believe eventually played a significant part in the process that led me into the atheist life I would eventually come to lead in my teenage years.

The idea of a crying God devastated me. I locked myself in the bathroom, stood on the toilet and stared out the window. This was my safe place. Our bathroom window faced a wall and you could barely see the house next door. I like this window during rainy days because you could stare out of it looking up at the sky, protected from the raindrops by the screen. You could "smell" the rain. I distinctly remember the scent being a combination of grass and metal screen. I'm sure I ended up with a dirty nose more often than I can remember.

Now an adult, as a homeowner, commuter and family leader, my simple joys have been eradicated.

I still like the rain. I still like the smell as long as you aren't anywhere near garbage or pavement but I worry.

I worry about the roof on my home. Water erodes roof tile.
I worry about the flooded roads and hydroplaning. Water hates cars.
I worry about the driving skill of all those people in SUV's that pretend they can handle like sports cars. Humans think water is weak.
I worry about my dog. He doesn't really know how to take care of himself in the rain. Water likes plants, sill dogs, not so much.
I worry about my wife. She drives really well and very careful, but the people that work near her do not. Neither do the engineers behind the crash-happy Metro link trains that pass right by her work everyday.
I worry about my brother-in-law that has to ride the bus and walk for two hours every day. Water hates students.
I worry about those fancy houses on the hills. Their million dollar losses will mean increased fees for the rest of us taxpayers.

I worry about global warming. Who's igloo is this raining on me today? We must hate water to do this to the Earth.


Douglas said...

I'm 62, have owned a number of homes, have had to drive in it among a number of people who didn't have a clue, yet I still like the rain. Unless I am playing golf.

Iris said...

1) Roof-You have a job that can pay for it if it breaks down. All roofs do eventually.

2) We should all drive careful. When it's time to go, we will go. Can't do anything about it. Enjoy your time here :)

3) Stay away from the SUVs

4) Dogs are meant to be outside. Even silly ones :)

5) She will be careful. ;)

6) Maybe this will teach him to save for a car? Or perhaps you can offer to buy him a really good rain coat?

7) If it's not the rain, it would be the grafiti or the fires. It's always something. If not, they will find a reason.

Smile. Your blog made me smile. I liked your childhood memories of the rain.

Captcha mingle

Dawnie said...

WOW..i liked your post but DANG you put alot of energy into the rain! lol

I dont like rain--because I like being able to be outside all the time and have a perfect day!

However, at night in the summer after a perfect day outside--nothing beats falling asleep to a pleasant pitter patter of rain.

Farhan said...

Great blog, Hektik! It made me feel as if I was there. Reminded me of my experiences with rain when I was a kid.

Sarah Jane said...

The best smelling rain is in the desert where my Grandpa used to own a cabin, way east of Palmdale.
My brother James already hydroplaned just a few weeks ago in that first rain. It cost him about $800.

Vivienne said...

Great post! I hated the rain as a child. Remember my "count Munchausen" blog? Well my childhood bedroom had a terrace which flooded in heavy rain (can be very very heavy rain in Tenerife and goes hand in hand with the electricity in town going down) and my parents had to go outside to get the water off the terrace. I remember asking my grandmother - are mum and dad going to die? - she just laughed as it was obviously idiotic but I didn't know better after watching that horrible movie. Top that off with the lights going out and I was mortified. I hated the rain.
Now I like in England I've kind of gotten used to it though as it rains 350 days a year...

ryan said...

some of my greatest memories are in rain. long ago, i ran through warm rain, barefoot, in a foreign land, with my brothers. we laughed and yelled.

warm rain is one of the most amazing experiences.

cold freezing rain on the other hand... not so fun. especially when riding a motorcycle.


HektikLyfe said...

>Douglas: I like it, I just feel like I can't enjoy it for what it is because of my concerns.

>Iris: You are right. There are simple precautions you should take and then you just hope for the best.

>Dawnie: I wanted to paint a clear picture of what I automatically think of and remember of rain. I like the sound, especially if I am traveling. When its my own home however, I worry so much.

>Farhan: The idea that something heavy would fall from a light sky, would just amaze me.

>Sarah: OH NO! His car? He got it recently didn't he? I'm so sorry to hear that. Hydroplaning sucks. I did it once in the middle of the freeway. It was terribly frightening.

>Vivienne: Yes I DO remember that blog. The Lion King was that movie for me with my dad. I don't know how I would deal with so much rain. I guess I would get used to it but I like photography. It would start to get bland taking the same puddle pictures over and over.

>Ryan: I used to like to lay on the warm wet cement in the driveway of our home after a summer rain. Driving a bike would be a nightmare in those conditions! I always watch them carefully when I see them on the freeway and wish them well.