Remember, March comes in like a lion…

At 6:30 am, it is quiet here. When I went outside to walk the dogs, the ground was relatively dry – compared to last night, when a good sized pond laid next to my front porch. The rain has been falling so fast, my rain barrels have been overflowing at times – the tiny 3/4″ bib gets overwhelmed by the two inch stream coming down from the rain spout.

People are talking about “Miracle March” – in 1991, after a period of drought, it rained so much in March it put us back to normal totals. It rained almost every day in March. I remember very well, because my son was born at the end of that February. My first child, it was a wrestling match, we both had a very hard time, and I don’t remember anything for about the first two weeks, except the drumming of the rain. 

Every conscious memory I have of those first two weeks, good or bad, is punctuated by the sound of dumping rain. We lived in a flat roof house, and it sounded like it was coming right down on my bed.

Our driveway started to flood, and the corner of our house was getting damp. My husband was home all the time taking care of us, so he was able to putter around the house. He took the hose off his old shop vac and hooked it up to the rain gutter on that corner of the house, leading the end over to the edge of the driveway, where the water careened harmlessly toward the street. 

It might have been a magical time, except I had lost a lot of blood, and baby had taken a pretty good beating, so Daddy had to take care of us around the clock. At feeding time he sat behind me with the baby at my breast, holding me upright in the bed, many times I was pretty well out of it.  He was tired and the dark circles under his eyes started to take over his entire face.

Thank you God for Whipple and Amy. They were having a lot of their own problems at the time, having lost their house, lost their wonderful dog – but they came right to our aid. Whipple helped my husband take the baby shopping for supplies and to various doctor appointments – they looked like the cutest gay couple with baby you have ever seen. They bought me a purple diaper bag.  Meanwhile Amy came silently almost every day to clean my house – nobody ever did that for me – and even made a fucking giant birthday cake for me on my birthday.

Cause that’s about the time I started to come out of it, about three weeks after the boy was born. I was tottering around the house, changing diapers, then sitting down for long spells, nursing, trying to eat enough to get back on my feet. Still, the rain drummed on the roof, all day and night. People were complaining about their septic tanks overflowing. There were mud slides up around  Cal Park, garages filling with mud, etc. 

I think Anthony Watts was the first one to use the phrase “Miracle March,”that year, but I think it’s a common phenomenon, the phrase has been used many times. See, March is when it’s supposed to rain in Northern California – remember, March comes on like a lion, and all that. This year it’s a wet lion, riding that Pineapple Express like a surfboard, Babeeee! 

So, it was my birthday, I was all happy about being able to get dressed, but still pretty wobbly. I was changing a particularly messy diaper when I heard a knock at  the door and my husband answered. Amy walked in with this huge sheet cake, loaded with 30 candles, it looked like the top of the cake was on fire. People started filing in behind her, all our friends, I was amazed – I had not had a birthday party since I was 7 years old. A lot of them were having terrible problems, but they all wore big smiles that night. 

Tromped through the dumping rain to give their friend a birthday party – I won’t forget how the storm howled that night, while we all sat around my living room laughing and eating that giant cake.

One day in late March I woke up and the windows were bright with sun. It was so  different, I got up and opened the windows. Right below there was a wooden planter box my husband had made me out of left-over fence boards. I had planted garlic that previous fall, and forgotten it. Suddenly I noticed it had become about a foot tall, turned out to be the best garlic I ever got. 

I don’t know how the current totals are measuring up – I found a short blurb from Ch 7 two days ago:

I also asked Anthony Watts what he thinks, maybe he’ll get back to me. At any rate, it’s very wet, I hope you have taken care to clean your rain gutters and watch the street in front of your house for signs of plugged drains. It’s only March 11, we got weeks more of this stuff.


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