Tropical Storm Hector: Day 3

Upon Rising: Last night I tossed and turned thinking about Zee and whether I’ll be able to get her to town today. My bedtime reading of 50 Shades of Grey also put me to pondering about erotica and how it is prime time for this genre. After imagining and mind-writing some erotica of my own, I finally fell asleep.

This morning I arose thinking the storm would have passed, but that low pressure system is apparently sitting right on top of us and refuses to budge. I check eebmike.com and sure enough, there is the large blob obscuring the tip of the peninsula. I consider my options and decide I’m not flying anywhere tomorrow. I can’t leave the house and Zee in their current condition. They’d both end up with infections (mold in the house’s case).

Midday: I’m losing the battle for territory against the rain. The area of dry floors is shrinking faster than I can mop. The rain is coming down so hard that I can’t clearly see the point, a mere mile away. It’s forcing its way under the doors, seeping like an evil menace into my shelter and making it increasingly like the outdoors. Contributing to this feeling are the leaks that have begun to pop up, here, there and, while not everywhere, they are becoming common enough that moving about the main floor requires a dance around scattered buckets. My feet are now perpetually wet.

After mopping just inside the second story door non-stop for a good 15 minutes, I filled a bucket ¾ full and still the water kept coming. I repeated this process over and over until I mentally cried “Uncle!” acquiesced and went downstairs to the garage.  I pulled a chair as close to the door opening as I could without getting wet (my feet don’t count any more) and sat there watching the rain come down in buckets (I have a greater appreciation now of the origins of that expression). I looked at the sky and wondered if perhaps the rain was going to back off.  Almost immediately, as though she read my mind, Mother Nature responded by cranking it up a notch. The rain began to fall so hard it was impossible to tell where one huge drop ended and another began.

And that was it. Something in me shifted and I started to laugh in spite of everything and realized that the rain was going to come down as long as there was rain to fall and all the mopping in the world wasn’t going to make much of a difference. I laughed out loud. I laughed hard and the more I laughed, the better I felt. As my body relaxed in response to the laughter, it occurred to me how serious I tend to be and how I need to lighten up in general. Then I laughed harder at how, if they could hear me my neighbors would certainly think I was losing my mind to all this rain. The diagnosis would be mopping-induced hysteria the treatment of which would also help me deal with the effects of reading 50 Shades of Grey. But alas, the pounding of the rain and surf kept the men in white coats at bay.

The battle I refuse to lose is the one against infection in Zee’s leg. Today I remembered that there are hair clippers under the sink in one of the bathrooms. Sure enough, they work and I shaved the hair from around each of the wounds in an attempt to keep them cleaner. I note that the lower half of her leg is swollen and decide anti-inflammatory medicine is in order. I give her one of Doobie’s Prednisone tablets, on hand to treat her auto-immune disease, in the hopes that the swelling will back off. She’s a trooper – letting me shave her, put hydrogen peroxide on all her wounds and holding her bladder longer than usual because it took a while for the rain to subside enough so she would to hobble out and do her business. Thankfully she pulled a double header.

Mid-afternoon: The increased rainfull has made the arroyo run hard and the sea is slowly turning from its usual azure blue to the color of milk chocolate. The sediment and debris-laden water slowly oozes out into the sea and gradually makes its way North. The arroyo has not run for six years. There’s a lot of animal and human waste in that brown water. I won’t be surfing any time soon.

The “Server Not Found” message is increasingly present on my Firefox screen. Unlike yesterday, today it seems my connection with the outside world has been suspended. It’s raining too much with too few breaks in between to reestablish a connection. Oh well, there’s plenty of other things to do around here – mopping, baking, reading, writing. Actually, I think my priorities have finally shifted – as of now it’s writing, reading, baking, mopping.

A sound on the other side of the house pulls me out of the office and I discover a section of the ceiling gave way due to the pressure of the water building up behind it. Great. So I returned to my mopping after writing 1500 words and now it’s 3:30 and I feel like I have been mopping for three days straight. I’ve mopped more in these three days than I typically undertake all year.

5:00pm: The rain is finally letting up. I’ve been waiting for a break in the weather so I can drive my ATV a mile down the road to see if my neighbors’ internet is working. I need to cancel my airline ticket to California. There’s no way I can leave tomorrow. I’d also like to see if there are any reports on road conditions and whether there’s any hope of getting to town any time soon. Again, Zee’s leg is pressing on my mind.

The drive to Villa del Faro is over a road that has been transformed. There are big and little washouts, rocks tumbled and exposed and at the base of the hill upon which my house sits, I must ford a small, but rapidly running river. I look to the east and see a huge swath of beach has been blown out to sea by this river that clearly ran big and fast at the height of the rain today. There is one deep gash in the road that has narrowed it to a width possibly too small for a truck to pass. If this one mile stretch of road contains an obstacle of this sort, the 20 miles to town must be a nightmare of washouts and certainly isn’t passable.

At my destination Mary, a soft-spoken, thin blond, greets me. She is sporting a long gash and several stitches on her head. “Oh my God Mary, what happened to you?!” Her sweet smile is tinged with regret as she explains how two nights ago, as the storm began the wind grabbed a shutter out of her hands as she tried to close it against the rain. I notice that the sharp line of the cut lines up perfectly with the side part of her hair.

The first thing Mary asks me is if I’ve heard anything about the roads. I tell her what little I know and why I’m there. That’s when she tells me that the pharmacy screwed up and only gave her enough antibiotics for one day. She’s naturally concerned about her cut getting infected. I tell her the good thing about a head wound is it can’t be very deep, making the chance of infection significantly lower. She kindly invites me to dinner saying, “It’s only spaghetti. We need to get to town for groceries.” Seems I’m not the only one this storm took by surprise.

Online, there are a series of emails related to the weather and road conditions between neighbors living South of us in places with names like Playa Tortuga and Zacatitos. We learn that the Los Cabos municipality is evacuating people who live in two large arroyos where shanty towns have sprung up over the last six, drier-than-normal years. Several years ago many people died when the Santa Rosa arroyo flooded during a storm. It’s clear from the emails that we are not going anywhere. The large arroyos separating us from town are all running and the police are not allowing anyone to cross. Mary’s face falls when I relate the news.

Over dinner I learn that my friends are dealing with a different kind of problem caused by the rain. Their beautiful pool is filling with frogs. Really noisy frogs that are keeping them up at night. Juan, their pool guy, is removing them as fast as he can, but they keep coming back. And they bring their friends. There’s more. Nell relates that the frogs are copulating. So not only are there frogs in the pool, but it is slowly filling with eggs. Juan is concerned that if they don’t get those eggs out of there fast, they’ll turn into tadpoles faster than you can say, “fucking fucking frogs.” We share a good laugh at the bizarre situation and discuss the marvel of how frogs manage to survive a four year drought.

Evening: When I return home the internet is back on. I look at the clock – 8:00pm and still no more rain. Do I dare think this might be the end of it? I mop up what I hope will be the last of the puddles in the house and am pleasantly surprised to discover things have already begun to dry out in the three hours I’ve been gone. But before I can call it a day, the storm deals me a final blow when I strain my left hand wringing out the mop. Like I said, these hands are not used to this kind of hard work. The mopping completed, I pour myself an ice cold shot of Don Julio tequila (it’s medicinal!) and sit down at the computer. I reach over and turn on the fan, let my flip flops drop from my feet and hold them to the drying air.

Oh crap, I think I might be getting trench foot.

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7 thoughts on “Tropical Storm Hector: Day 3

  1. You’re a fierce survivor, Dawn! You live on the edge and it’s wonderful to hear your
    stories. I’m not exactly sure what trench foot is but the news today said trench coats are
    in!

    I could go on and on about Fifty Shades. I’m jealous of all the money she’s making
    but it’s not good writing. It’s not even erotic, really. The guy is calling all the shots which
    seems so banal in 2012. I’ve never understood what makes one book catch on fire like
    Fifty Shades has. I guess there’s a lot of women out there who marry men they’re not that
    hot for. And they need a book like Fifty Shades to put them on the sexual track. Me, I go for all out passion all the time and all the way. But that’s a whole other book, now isn’t it???

    • Ha ha! Yeah, I’m singing along with Diana Ross. 😉 Glad to know you are enjoying the stories. It’s easy to think that this stuff will be perceived of as boring…and i was having some misgivings about posting these, so thanks for the feedback.

      I agree about 50 Shades (I’m about half way through now), but feel that it is my duty to read it as a writer to see what is selling so well. By reading less than stellar writing I believe it challenges us to recognize what is and isn’t good and thereby perhaps avoid making the same pitfalls in our own work. And wrt your and my mystification about how this book did so well – here’s a great post by Nathan Bransford about the “Randomness of Bestsellers.” http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2012/06/randomness-of-bestsellers.html

      And yes, I hear another book in that last comment…all this talk of eroticism has pushed me in that direction too. I’m glad that women feel they can openly discuss this stuff more and more and at least books like 50SoG are giving more women permission to explore that.

      • I’m with ya, Dawn. I read Fifty Shades too, for the very same reason, to see what all the buzz was about. I don’t even think the author, a Brit TV exec,
        who used the mega successful Stephanie Meyer’s Vampire series as her writing template in something called Fan Fiction, realized how vastly successful her Fifty Shades book series
        would become. I would so love for one of my book titles to become a
        pop culture phrase. Thanks for the Bransford link. I bought a book recently
        also about bestsellers, Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s
        Biggest Bestsellers. Oh, if it were just so easy!
        Keep the stories a-comin’, Dawn. I can’t afford to travel right now, my puppy
        Jack Tru had to have emergency abdominal surgery. He’s fine, but Mommy’s poor! So I get to travel through ur adventures. xo

      • I’ll try – on my way to California tomorrow for 10 days – working the Maui Jim Women’s Adventure Series surf retreat with Mary Osborne. Should have some fun adventures to report on as a result!

  2. Hi Dawn,

    Here I am at the Heritage with no floors to mop.I hope your trench foot disappears soon and that the sunshine returns. Sounds like you had quite the day. Luckily we’ve had the hottest summer in many years here. The farmers are crying and so are their cows.They would have loved some of that rain here.

    Wendy just took me for a walk and I’m sitting enjoying the sun on the swingset. We all went out for dinner on Friday night to celebrate our 55th anniversary. Cathy, Grant, Judy, Wendy, Scott, Kathleen and Laura. I went up to the cottage on Saturday and Sunday. Laura is there with 5 of her friends.

    I hope the weather picks up and I don’t mean rain and I hope Zee’s leg is better soon too.

    Take care Dawn, I love you!

    Mom

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