Saturday, March 1, 2014
The one consistent thing out here in the desert is the weather. It’s always sunny and either warm or hot. This is a nice thing when you are traveling. It helps with packing, it enhances everyone’s mood, and a lack of rain and humidity makes dealing with your hair a MUCH easier task. Maybe this isn’t an issue for men, but I’m pretty sure every woman in this RV Park will agree with me; the dry hot weather is a good thing.
We watch the news EVERY night without fail. Because we have cable from the park, we watch a San Diego station, and Dad has become smitten with their weather forecaster, Dagmar Midcap. She is very personable, and perhaps more than that, she seems to favor wearing red……as in red dresess.
I understand that she is a favorite here in the park especially with the male crowd. Dagmar has warned the southern California coast of the impending storm and rain. She often talks about the weather in Julian, a mountain town about 60 miles west of us. She NEVER discusses the area around the Salton Sea, but we watch and love her just the same. Nonetheless, everyone here at FOY is VERY aware that the weather is changing. Rain is not something that folks dismiss around here. Flash floods are a very real thing, and rain is predicted for this area. Just how much is not exactly known. (This is wild, uninhabited country out here, so the weather forecasters don’t worry about predictions for us. Maybe they don’t know that we are here?)
Craig and were out for a walk with the dog last week and happened upon a park resident who spoke of a rainstorm from last fall. The park is terraced, and he was camping on one of the uppermost terraces. (we are on the lowest terrace) He spoke of waking up to ankle deep water that extended under his rig after this particular storm. This was not okay with him, so he decided that the best thing to do was dig a ditch and allow the water from his site to drain…….a nifty idea, except that the area he drained it to was his neighbor’s site directly below him. He was quite incredulous that the park management chewed him out for this foible. Our dear neighbors told us that the folks above us tried that trick and were kicked out of the park. So, rain in large quantities is a force to be reckoned with. The very heavy soil, aka ancient sea floor, doesn’t drain very well. Water seems to stand in pools.
So, with all this information, we sat in wait, and participated in the park discussion about the weather change. I have, what I believe to be, a keen sense of visualization. I had no trouble imagining what a grandiose mess the rain could impart upon us. I pushed quite hard to put our chairs, tables, mats, accumulated boondoggle, etc. away. Undercover. In the Hag. In the Jeep. I sold it as insurance. “If we put things away, it will not rain. If we leave it all out, we could have a muddy situation to contend with.” Begrudgingly, EVERYTHING was stowed away, Thursday night at dusk. This was three days prior to our departure. Around 2:00am, a gentle rain began to fall and this soothing sound continued for an hour or two. In the morning, the road was damp, but our site was dry. The winds were picking up, and the sky was dark with clouds.
We had rain off and on Friday, sometimes quite soaking and other times just a few drops. We were Hag-bound. The wind blew, the sky was full of dark ominous clouds and the park was eerily quiet. Most folks stayed inside. Unlike dear Oregon, one was never quite sure if it was going to threaten rain, or cut loose with a torrential downpour. As this is an area of flash floods, it pays to be wary when rain is predicted. For this crew, or maybe just Dad, we had many hours (about NINE to be exact) of TV watching. If you are interested in knowing about the formation of the universe, or the rotary that clears the Donner Pass train track, we are the folks to ask.
Saturday, the weather was slightly better with only one very brief shower. This was a good thing as it was also the day of the pancake breakfast. These are fun monthly events, and we always go. It is a good opportunity to see familiar faces and enjoy a nice stack of pancakes, eggs cooked to order, ham, coffee, and orange juice. Craig with his participation in the ATV group, and myself as a (blue ribbon winner) crafter, have both met folks in the park. This has really given us both a better sense of belonging, and a group of folks who share mutual interests. I know I have mentioned my dear friend Renata, the fiber artist, who I liken to a guardian angel. Sometimes, you just have to know where to look to find what was there all along.
Sunday is our day to eat together at “Freddy’s Fountain,” the park café. The Sunday Special is blueberry pancakes, made by Bill and Star, with wonderfully fresh blueberries. We eat them every week and marvel at just how good they are.
It was during breakfast we learned we (collectively) had lost a fellow camper in the night. Renata’s neighbor at FOY had been sick for quite some time. The neighbor and her husband live somewhere in the mid-west and have been coming here for years. Although not well, she really wanted to come back this year, and so they did. Renata and her husband heard her coughing in the night, (we are all in quite close physical proximity to one another) and heard a car come and go. They, along with the other neighbors, knowing things were amiss, arose in the dark early hours of Sunday morning and offered their assistance to her husband. Herein lies the message of the day – from Renata, and then from me, and finally from Mother Teresa: “It is what we do for each other. We offer our support in times of need; we give of ourselves. We never forget that we belong to each other.” And that is exactly what happens here at FOY. It is a small community of people living in the desert, in the middle of nowhere. With this being a fact known to all who stay here, it has also become a place where folks have learned to care for one another, and to celebrate the small things that life has blessed them with.
Message of the day: “Look to this day for it is life, the very life of life.” (from the Sanskrit)