The Perfect Storm, Inside and Out

It’s raining. Still. Again. It’s been raining for days and days. Before that, it was sunny for maybe two days, and before that it rained for more days and days. This has been going on here in Napa Valley, since well before Christmas. And we’re not just talking showers and sprinkles; precipitation has ranged from dismal sky-pissing to firehose-on-the-loose deluges. Vineyards flooding, trees losing their grip and crashing down onto streets and highways, potholes opening into muddy abysses as the waterlogged soil beneath the roadway abandons its traditional location and slithers elsewhere. Sure, other NorCal regions have it worse, like Oroville where a spillway behind the dam recently gave out and caused the evacuation of 200,000 people. And, hey, at least we’re not whining about the drought, right? Still, this is getting old. I’m about to cry me an atmospheric river.

I am usually fond of rain, especially when I don’t have to be out in it. Curling up in my favorite chair in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea and a good book or a fully charged laptop, while outdoors the storm rages? Lovely. Some rainy days here and there cleanse the soul and inspire the imagination. I appreciate the chance to withdraw from the world and cocoon with my dog and my husband and my streaming Netflix.

To a point. We are past that point. I am a native-born Californian, raised in the gently temperate San Francisco Bay Area, so when it comes to weather, I am a spoiled brat. And let’s face it, people don’t live in this state because they like to brave the elements just to get to work or the grocery store: that’s for hardy residents of places like St. Paul or Buffalo. Out here on the Left Coast, we figure the constant threat of earthquakes provides us with plenty in the way of character development. We don’t do inconvenience cheerfully.

In November, the rain was welcome. In December and January, we accepted it with fairly good grace. It’s late February now, and we’re over it. Even the dog has lost her enthusiasm for her walks, plodding glumly along and departing from the shelter of the umbrella just long enough to accomplish her mission. I feel my own motivation eroding like a saturated hillside; the temptation is powerful to do nothing but watch Turner Classics while mindlessly chewing on carbohydrates. Of course, one can only veg out for so long before either becoming morose or running up against life’s demands: the gutters are clogged; the roof is leaking; you’ve exhausted all the possibilities for working from home even one more day; the potato chips are all gone. You have no choice but to pull on your wellies and head out into the mess. So you do, but you’re not happy about it, and you’re less happy when you try to climb into the car and retract your umbrella while closing the door yet despite your best efforts the rain finds its way down the back of your neck.

Having devoted over eight minutes of online research into the topic, I can confidently report that the lethargy and surly mood is not our fault, and science backs up this claim. For one thing, all the dank darkness and lack of sunshine wreaks havoc on our serotonin levels, plunging them low enough to render us into ill-tempered zombies. Ill-tempered, pain-wracked zombies: the decrease in atmospheric pressure that accompanies clouds and rain can send our bodily fluids seeping from our blood vessels into our tissues, creating congestion and pressure on our joints. Ow. No wonder we feel like just sitting there, sourly noting our decreasing will to live. Oh, and another effect of lower serotonin? It makes you want to eat more, especially carbs.

So: rain + gloom + time = fat @$$. Just great. The recommendation is to practice yoga and eat organic veggies, but who feels like doing that? Pass the onion rings. 

Okay, it’s only weather; it can’t last forever. In fact, I have just consulted the most up-to-date weather forecasting technology, aka my iPhone, and it tells me that the rain will continue all through tonight and tomorrow. But after that, it’s all sunshine and lollipops for three whole days, until the next lineup of storms.

I’ll take it. Check back with me on Wednesday: I’ll be in a much better mood. Meanwhile, maybe I’ll try a little yoga. 

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods, and what are you doing to either cope with it or celebrate it? Please leave a comment!


  1. It’s Tuesday! Just one more day! I feel as if I should send some of this beautiful weather your way. It’s been sunny and in the 70’s for days now in NC! Hope your next few days are absolutely gorgeous!

    • You’re right, one more day . . . no point in pooping out right before the finish line, right? Thank you for the good wishes, and right back at you 🙂

  2. Thank you for making me laugh at the current situation because I need to laugh more. My take on this is one of resignation and I’m beginning to see that as NOT positive and here’s why, I love the rain. I have told myself that I love rainy days during my entire California life because my first years were in Oregon; glorious, mostly unspoiled emerald Oregon.
    My older sister Anne and I spent hours either playing in our dark and damp basement that even had a coal bin or in the dining room building a huge fort. Our sweet mother was elsewhere in the home, mostly reading as we raided the entire linen cupboard and our bedroom for supplies. Anne had some serious some serious engineering skills and I supplied enthusiastic support as the busy staff as in running too get more supplies. Once set up we would hang out in our fort for hour.; Mom even let us eat our lunch in there. Who wouldn’t love as rainy day like that! Funny, I have zilch memory of the cleanup process.

    It’s that last sentence that help me get the reason I’m still love a cozy rainy day, but why a season of deluge is a whole different thing. my huge big home that I live in alone is lovely until it gets to a historic wet season like this. The first rains were welcomed with delight and just a bit of inconvenience when I found myself outside the next morning in my flannel jammies, rain coat and rain boots sweeping out the patio drains. Yes, there are three patios and one huge deck.My five pound attached yorkie Stella locally stuck with me the whole time even as the downpour resumed and she was up too her leggpitts in water. All was going well until I went downstairs to the garage and discovered the walls seeping water and puddles on the floor and the wooden cabinet absorbing water and turning black in the process. Sigh.

    That was at least three weeks ago and during those three weeks I have had two of my sons help me muck out the garage, my favorite contractor out to asses various leaks followed by a plumber who had to crawl under the side of the house to reattach two large drainpipes,a roofer who made temporary fixes and will return along with the contractor who now has long list of small and large repairs supplied by the home inspector.All of these items will be taken care of in the early spring so that my wonderful relator Erin can put 316 Montrose drive on the market.

    For thirty years since we built this pretty home on the mountain slope I have loved living here. Now, at seventy and while I’m still healthy and active I’m dreaming of enjoying future rainy days in a townhouse overlooking a landscape that the association takes care of. Stella and I will hang outdoing quiet things; rainy day inside things until we tire then leave to go be with friends and family drive or even fly to a sunny place almost all of which has been led by 52 stairs, and one extremely extreme rainy season.


    • PS to post above…

      I had to zip out of the house to go do my thing at the homeless kitchen and evidently hit post instead of just running away from my unfinished thoughts I was out of time and did not mean to post. To my horror here it is raw and unedited and Posted!
      FromSue in SLO where the sun weakly visiting and I am a bit embarrassed.

  3. Glad to have given you a giggle, and here’s to sunnier skies and a happily pared down and freer life!

    • The good news is the new rain/barn boots I ordered arrived in the mail today. So now it should be sunny for days 😉

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