The rainy winter season appears to have begun. I am writing this with one eye on my laundry drying on my terrace. It is overcast, and rained earlier but I am anxious to get my laundry to dry soon. My husband arrives later in the week for a couple of weeks, and we need clean sheets and towels.
(Will I miss doing laundry by hand? And hanging it out to dry? Yes, because my clothes smell better, last longer, and I find the chore of washing clothes by hand to be relaxing. No, because it is so easy to toss your clothes in the washer and pop them in the dryer while you accomplish many other tasks. Yes, because how many people in the world don’t have washing machines or dyers or enough clothes? No, because my hands are going to look like leather soon. )
Back to the weather. This week, we had one of those downpours that are famous in Mostar. I was caught in it on my way back from the shop. I had brought my umbrella, but wasn’t wearing boots. It poured. Poured so hard that even under the umbrellas of a nearby cafe, I was getting soaked. I finally dashed for home, only to discover the road by my house, a slight incline, to be a rush of water, some 2 or 3 inches high. I had to get home or be late for work, and so, I forded this stream. I dodged through the dirty fast moving stream of water, watching a cascade of bottles, papers and plastic bags rushing past. When you give up, and just let yourself get wet, it is actually kind of fun. At least, I was going home to dry socks and shoes.
(I thank my mother for teaching me that I am not made of sugar, and getting wet is not a disaster. I also thank the brutal Maine winters of my childhood. There is nothing like waiting for a school bus in sub-zero wind in January for teaching one to respect nature. I also thank my year in Northern MN when I would walk home in -20F weather with the wind from the plains whipping through my coat. I was wrapped up like The Invisible Man. And Estonia, when I would walk 20 minutes through a snow and ice covered park from the bus to my job. And of course, July in D.C., when it so hot you can’t move. Or August in Baltimore without an air conditioner. There are few perfect weather places. Even my time in So California was marked by wildfires caused by a five year drought. )
On my way to the university, I sidestepped many a tidal wave caused by flooded streets and fast moving cars. A certain amount of wet is acceptable but a full drenching before teaching is not.
There is, however, nothing as beautiful as the day after this type of storm. The crisp blue sky, the cool wind chasing away the clouds. And I forget the rain, the pouring torrential rain, until the next day when I put on my now dry leather shoes that seemed to have shrunk.