Monday, February 13, 2017

Endless Rain and Update


It's easy to think when it's been raining day after day, week after week, month after month that we must be breaking rainfall records. How could it be otherwise? But then we wonder if maybe just the dark days of this relentless winter have merely darkened our already sad and dark moods. It can't have rained that much, can it? Well, the answer is a soggy, but reassuring YES it has. The local newspaper reported that Eureka has received more rainfall since record keeping began, except for one other time when by February 10, 1890 they had gotten nearly 12 more inches of rain than we have. We're in Second Place in 127 years of inundating rainfall! Dreary doesn't begin to describe the past four months. (Click on the link if you want to see two photos of damage done to local roads. Highways all over the state have been damaged, and our governor has asked the President to declare a disaster because of the storms of January.)
But then Saturday morning the bright and beautiful sun rose in a startlingly blue and cloudless sky. We couldn't believe what the light looked like in our sunlit house. We didn't have to turn on lights for the whole day. We went for a walk. A WALK! It was wonderful to be outside. We went to the marsh and saw fields that are usually dry now suddenly filled with huge rain puddles deep enough for the Green-winged teals to be paddling around looking for something yummy to eat. We saw interesting bubbles rising in these puddles. Not sure why I found them so mesmerizing, but I did. What makes these bubbles in these puddles? I have no idea.
This has been quite a challenging winter. And of course, the worst of it has been my mother's declining health. She moved into the 24/7 care facility on Saturday. She has not gotten much more lucid than the days before her pacemaker surgery. I spoke with her briefly on Saturday, and she was as wispy as ever with her heartfelt, "Hello Robin and Roger." We kept the conversation simple. I told her we had sunshine. She thought that was nice. I asked her about the new place she was in. She said, "I'm not going to stay here." I said, "You're not?" She said, "Well maybe just tonight." Oh my heart.

So the sunshine lifted our spirits for a day. We loved it. A week of rain is in the forecast. Yeah, wish I had better news to report in every way.

28 comments:

  1. One day at a time, Robin. At least the sun did come out.

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    1. Sabine-- We're learning this new way of being. Yes, one day at a time.

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  2. Your description of the sun emerging after days of relentless rain made me feel like I was there, seeing the light fill your house. For that, I smiled. But only tears for the news about your mother (sorry about the extra precipitation.)

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    1. CCorax-- The daylight had changed so much in the deluge days of rain. We were so happy to discover we didn't even have to turn on the lights to cook dinner!

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  3. Your mother sounds like a sweet woman. It breaks my heart a little. Sorry the rain has been so relentless.

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    1. Colette-- It's hard to lose someone before they are actually gone. This is the story of dementia that I have started reading about. We would have never guessed that this would be the reality of my mom's aging. We are learning.

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  4. It has been so odd how the rains have been this year. We've had our heaviest rains at night and then the days are either sunny or gray with little precipitation. North and south of us it's different. The finches are turning colors to their summer yellows and reds. I wonder if that means early breeding. Birds give me endless enjoyment to watch them at their feeders. Hope your mother is better soon. I don't relate to this story so much involving a parent as ours have been gone a number of years but more wondering how it'll be for us when we get there. I have told my kids they have to put their quality of life first and hope if they ever find themselves in such a tough position, they will not feel guilt. Dying is not scary to me but the time before it very much is uncertain for how it'll go. One good thing about dementia is that mostly the ones suffering it don't realize. The families suffer the most but there is some comfort if you know your loved one just isn't aware of the failing.

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    1. Rain-- The weather has been pretty wild this winter. I will really be glad when spring really arrives. I haven't noticed the birds in breeding plumage yet, but soon I'm sure. I really like your attitude about dying and also wanting to spare your children any guilt. That's the best way to handle the inevitable future. I do really find some comfort in knowing that mom is not in distress. And that makes a huge difference emotionally.

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  5. We got sun yesterday! Maybe some more later today, if the clouds burn off...

    I cared for my grandmother, who had Alzheimer's, the last 6.5 years of her life. And now, we care for my husband's younger sister, who has an early onset dementia that is less well known; her symptoms started in her 40's.

    Dementia really is a series of losses over time. It is totally normal for the loved ones also affected to feel grief while this is happening.

    It is tough when she is saying she wants to leave this wonderful place your family found to care for her! But also pretty common, until she feels more comfortable there -- which will happen with a bit of time. xoxoxo

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    1. kathy-- Ah, the sun...truly the best remedy for the blues. Roger's mom had dementia for about the last year of her life. It was wild to be around that because she was sometimes angry. It really is a series of losses because we lose them slowly. With my mom it was a pretty precipitous descent with only a bit of warning. We're hopeful she will feel more comfortable in the new place. Sigh.

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    2. I'm so sorry. Yes, it was pretty fast with your mom. But it is still so soon after her surgery, and then this big change on top of that -- even a good change is disconcerting. Sending so much love. xoxo

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    3. kathy-- We're still hopeful that things may change for the better. She had a doctor appointment today with her regular GP, and we're waiting to hear her prognosis.

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  6. The good thing is that drought in California is only a 7 letter word that does not apply and the water foul have to be very happy. That sunshine should help with the human condition.
    So sorry your Mom is not happy but it is still early yet and hopefully she will adjust. The long goodbye is a tough goodbye.

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    1. Patti-- Here in northern California, we are no longer in drought. Yay! But did we have to tip the scales to flooding mudslides? Well, yes, I guess we did! I'm waiting to hear word about my mom's doctor appointment today. I'm still a little bit hopeful.

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  7. I have no idea what could cause those bubbles. Blow fish? I haven't been to Eureka in quite a while, but I remember that their streets are totally made for rain. They seemed to really slant down towards the gutter.

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    1. Pat-- I really have no idea about those bubbles. That field is usually dry, so it was a big surprise. We live in what's known as "The Bottoms" in Arcata, just outside the tsunami zone, and prone to flooding. Wet and mucky!

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    2. I've been thinking of those bubbles. They remind me of the yellow white foam that accumulates at the North Sea shore after a storm, mainly proteins from a churned up ocean.
      We are living near an area of volcanic crater lakes (the last eruption was 13 000 yrs ago) and sometimes there are very active bubbles (carbon dioxyde) and the air stinks a bit. I think the name for that kind of bubble is mofetta.

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    3. Sabine-- I looked at photos of mofetta and it sure does look like that. I just don't know what could be creating that carbon dioxide. Roger thinks it's rotting vegetation. Thank you for thinking about those bubbles! We appreciate it immensely.

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  8. Still sending positive thoughts. So happy for your sunshine after all the rain. Hope the weather turns sunny and dry soon. You seem to be caught up in too much rain or too little rain.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- Thank you for your positive thoughts. We've had some sunshine for three days, but more rain is on the way. California really needs a break big time.

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  9. Hope that your mother's spirits are lifted, too, by sunshine.

    Sunday was our extraordinary day with blue skies and comparatively warm weather. Seemed as if everyone was out walking! Parallel to your record stretch of rain, we've had the longest period of freezing temperates and intermittent snow in my memory of living in Bellingham since 1974. Something in me stays clenched and anxious when it is that cold. I noticed that the clenched feeling was gone on Sunday. The freezing temperatures have returned for now. Last night I looked up and saw Orion in the eastern sky and wondered if you and roger were looking at Orion with me.

    I imagine that, with the all the rain, California is greener than it has been in years. California green is not the same as Washington green. I am picturing California's rolling hills against the deep blue sky. With that, I am saddened to hear of the flooding. Everything seems out of balance right now and yet there is still such beauty.

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    1. am-- We're expecting more rain, but the sunshine these past few days have awakened our soggy senses. It's been wonderful. We didn't get to see Orion last night, but sure wish we had. Our plan is to drive south in March to see my mom. We'll also see the greenest hills and the deep blue sky. I'll take pictures.

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  10. We have heard how terrible the weather continues to be for you. So glad you finally had sunshine on Saturday and you were able to get out and enjoy it.
    The bubble photograph are very interesting!
    Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Be well!
    Robin

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    1. Cat Lover-- We've been in drought conditions for so long, this rain is a big crazy surprise. Who knew it could rain so much? Not me! We've had four days without rain, so we've gone for walks, which really helps get our minds and hearts off of the heartbreaking issues. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers, Robin.

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  11. Nice catch on the sundog. I love seeing them, and always hope for a big display of halos and arcs.

    Of course we are still following the story of your mother. We know how it is, so we feel for you. There's nothing to do (that you're not already doing) but keep on keeping on. Finding something to look forward to can help.

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    1. Mark-- We were so happy to finally have a nice view of a sunlit sky. I hope you check out Atmospheric Optics regularly. Les had a post of some lunar arcs and halos that was stunning. Thank you for your kind words about "keeping on"-- truly there is nothing else.

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