Thursday, 26 September 2013

The hundred-year flood

Perhaps Noah became New Mexico's most popular baby boy name through a collective yearning for rain during the drought. In hindsite, such an abundant crop of little Noahs seems like an omen.

The flood started with a gentle pitter-patter one evening. By midnight it was a steady tempest that took no tea breaks. If there are male rains and female rains, this was the mother of all downpours.

It just kept on raining.

By morning, the whimsical Pecos had become the mighty Mississippi. The river embraced dead meanders like old friends, etching out familiar pathways from the last great hundred-year flood.

It kept on raining.

Full-grown cottonwood trunks and oil barrels sailed past. The river ate the tractor over yonder, and devoured the swather in the field below. We prayed for marooned cows and lamented lost machines.

It kept raining.

There was nothing we could do but watch the water rise with an uneasy feeling in our guts.

By afternoon the road was an impassable mess, bisected by roaring washes. The acequia rose up, threatening to burst its banks and explore our house. Papa fended it off with a pick and shovel.

The rain let up for about an hour that evening, but it was neither olive branch nor rainbow sign. The clouds remained up there, regrouping. So we loaded up the kids and mud-shimmied down the road to higher ground, just making it through the deep washes.

The radar showed another big, black cloud on the way, so we pushed on to the city. Just over twenty-four hours later, the Little Guy was born.

It kept on raining. But we didn't call him Noah.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Birthday letter

Dear Niece,

You are one. Hooray!

At this age, you may be battling certain frustrations, like:
  1. Aiming a spoon at the correct orifice. 
    It gets better...and worse. 
  2. Copious boogers vs precious little nose space. 
  3. A damp backside that remains stubbornly damp, even when you crawl like hell away from it. 
  4. Occasional abandonment by PARENT-GODS OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. 
  5. Not having your own spaceship and CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. 
You have my sympathy. But trust me - there are many advantages to being the magical age of one. For instance:
  1. Your lack of spoon precision means that anti-cake diets are many years off. 
  2. When your nose runs, it is somebody else's problem. 
  3. You can pee anywhere without being arrested. Take it from this pregnant non-boy: this gets very complicated later on. 
  4. When PARENT-GODS OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE momentarily abandon you to take a grown-up pee (see item 3), they are sure to come back soon because you are that darned cute. 
  5. You don't have to make car payments on the spaceship. And in practice, running the ENTIRE UNIVERSE mostly involves washing crap and filling in forms. 
Happy birthday Nichte! May the year ahead bring you more spoon precision and fewer boogers.

With love always,