Yesterday, I woke up to the news with Buffalo and most of Western New York state buried in six feet of snow. The stories have ranged from amusing (dog got snowed in and can’t go out to pee) to macabre (deaths, car accidents, being stuck on the thruway for more than 30 hours, etc.). And today, it looks like there will be even more snow dumped around the Great Lakes.
Another sent in a photo of his neighbor’s house in Cheektowaga:
Patrick Byrne’s dog must be having a hard time going out to do his usual business outdoors with this:
Well, what about us here in California? Beau and I were greeted outdoors with rain since yesterday. Not showers. Not drizzle. Rain. Moderate-sized raindrops that have soaked our lawn and formed small puddles on the driveway. The eves troughs were humming and feeding into the downspout and there was flow! I checked to see for myself. However, the news said the rains might taper by the afternoon and we would have to make do with light showers for the rest of the day. I never thought I’d say this, being a lover of bright sunny days, but we need rain. “Like the winter needs the spring,” as the song goes.
So, this morning, we were again greeted by clouds, fog, and the moderate pour. I had to take the big umbrella out again or the dog was not too keen on going outside. The drive to work was interesting, to say the least, with the usual smattering of daredevil drivers trying to die on the wet slippery freeway. There was a silver lining though. On the news, they predict that California may be getting more than the usual amount of rain. However, it would still not be enough to make up for the long drawn out drought.
Through the dry spell, I believe we’ve been good. We have dramatically decreased our water usage at our home. We have been reusing water several ways. One way is by catching water from showering in buckets and using them to flush the toilet.
We reuse the rinse water for removing dirty bits on used plates and cutlery. We shut off the tap when we’re brushing our teeth or scrubbing our faces. We shut off the shower when we’re lathering on the shampoo or soaping ourselves. I use leftover water on glasses to water plants instead of throwing them out.
The biggest dent to our water usage was when we cut the time and frequency of watering our yard. We did not plant new flowers on our beds. We watered enough for the perennials and the Redwoods to thrive. The lawn had to go brown. And it’s okay. It’s no longer a mark of a negligent household nor an errant property owner.
There’s also the ubiquitous dirty car on the road, with exploded insects, dust on tree sap on dust, dried up windshield fluid, and whatever else flies around the roads.
These are now a badge of honor— that we stand shoulder to shoulder with those who stand for conservation, for mindfulness, for looking out for the future generations. Or so, we’d like to think.
Postscript: Now that we might, just might, get a little more rain than the usual, I am thinking maybe, just maybe, the browned yard, the filthy car, the buckets of bath water in our bathroom and kitchen—-can these qualify as my rain-dance and the gods have given a nod?