In California Gene Kelly wouldn’t be singing this week

Rain is a good thing. All the As a kid I remember my mom watching musicals like Singing in the Rain (1952), which I never really appreciated growing up in California. I did not own galoshes or a raincoat, that I can remember. It didn’t rain all that much. Moving to Arizona, rain was something that occurred during the summer monsoons, where an inch or two fell in a couple hours, flooding the dry riverbeds and even washing away homes that were built too near those washes. But twenty years later, I had my fill of rain while stationed in Virginia and Maryland.

The weather in other parts of the country never would have been an excuse when my dog needed a walk. Granted, it might have been a short walk, but in Massachusetts, in summer and in winter we walked. In Virginia or the panhandle of Florida, the downpour of a hurricane-turned-tropical storm meant “have towels ready” to dry off. In Arizona, the summer monsoons meant “do not walk in the culverts or riverbeds” when the rain started falling. However, in the last twenty years, living in San Diego has made the rain a time to stay off the roads and inside where it is dry. Lord, I have become what I feared for decades: a sunshine sailor and a Californian. But that is being challenged by the floodgates of Heaven. “Atmospheric rivers” – what my Eastern friends call “weather”- since late December have been welcomed by skiers at Lake Tahoe, cursed by commuters and delivery drivers, and continue to irritate the tourist industry in Southern California. “Snow birds” from the Midwest and Northeast, looking for warm sun and beaches, will not find it during the first few weeks of January, 2023.


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