After months of no rain, the time has come. I think the last real rain was sometime in May. Then we had a long stretch of sunshine and heat - a typical Spanish summer. Being someone who loves sunshine and heat, I was happy! Once or twice, the sky spit at us. But you couldn't even call it rain. I don't even think that most of it hit the ground. But all has changed now. Now, we have begun the rainy season.
I don't really mind rain. I know that it is necessary. And I'm really happy for the farmers around us. They are really happy that the rains have started! Suddenly, the fields are coming to life. Farmers are plowing and planting and working like little ants. It's good to see. And the cooler temps are allowing many things to bounce back after the hellish temps from the summer sun.
And a good nap on a Sunday afternoon during a rain shower? Heaven!!!
But, there are a few unpleasant things that the rainy season means to us.
For one, it means that the dogs are perpetually wet. Yuck. They don't really have a covered place outside, just their dog house. So, they are wet. And muddy. And all of this means that my floors are in perpetual need of mopping.
Secondly, this is a mostly-pedestrian society. If you have a car, like we do (because we live in the country), you drive to town and you find one of the handful of parking spaces - not enough for the amount of cars - and you park. Then you walk to wherever you need to go. There just aren't any good parking options in the center of town. And walking in the rainy season means being wet. We have umbrellas and raincoats, but those can only do so much, you know? And you hope you have on appropriate shoes, because wet, cold feet is just plain miserable.
Rain also means cold. It's just cold when it is raining. And I am NOT a fan of cold. I can deal with cold if I have to, but wet-cold is a whole other story. I really hate wet-cold. So, I have become really creative at trying to do as much as possible without having to be wet or cold.
The number one thing that the rain means to my life is not the wet or the cold or the mud or the walking or the dogs... it's the laundry. No dryer. Only clothes lines or drying racks. So what happens when it rains???
This leads to my obsessive behavior. You see, I have become obsessed with watching the sky. I have a weather app on my phone. I pay ridiculous amounts of attention to the forecast. I NEED TO KNOW if I can do laundry! If there is any hope of sunshine, I become a raving crazy woman. I run around gathering clothes and stuffing the washer. I tediously plan how many loads I can do in what amount of time and how many clothing items will fit on the lines and dry in what amount of time. I am the definition of efficiency and obsession when it comes to the rain and my laundry.
If the weather beats me, then we must go to Plan B, and I abhor Plan B. Plan B means that the clothes racks are brought in to the house. It means that my home is overthrown in a mutiny of wet clothing (and wet dogs) and I am now living in occupied-territory. Laundry hangs from every hook and chair and stair rail and rack. It is draped over the sofa and the bed and the bathroom towel bars. Suddenly, my nice-and-tidy home looks like the aftermath of a hurricane, with wet clothes strewn about like plastic WalMart bags and storm debris. My borderline OCD trips over the border and I start feeling like I'm living a nightmare, drowning in the smell of fabric softener and deafened by the drips as water hits my tile floors. Oh, the agony of defeat...
Add to this scene the cacophony of space heaters and fans that have come to do battle against the humidity and the cold, the extension cords weaving their webs across my floor.
Sofa, here I come. Fetal position, I'm ready. You are my new favorite yoga pose. The laundry has beaten me down.
Wait... what's that?! I see a sliver of sunlight breaking through the clouds. In a mad dash, I'm off to rid my home of the evil Clothing Tornado and win the battle of the laundry. Sunshine and I are on the front lines of this war. This is not over yet!
Who am I? In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a Southern Living / Martha Stewart wannabe, a soccer mom, and a short term mission team coordinator / intern director for missions in Mexico... you name it, I probably tried it!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! We have three incredible children... two adult boys who live in Texas, and the Sarah (14) lives with us in whatever country we are serving. I'm still teaching, still taking photos, still leading teams and mentoring, I just do it all in full-time service now! And I'm working hard at giving Southern Living and Martha Stewart a run for their money! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers and immigrant peoples, writing, and trying to figure out what life looks like for a Texas girl serving Christ in Southern Europe. Life in His service is AWESOME! I'm happy to share it with you here... Enjoy!