Author: Heather Hacking firstname.lastname@example.org @HeatherHacking on Twitter
If my mother was digitalized by Disney animators, she would be one of the good fairies. They would paint her with rosy cheeks and wearing a billowy skirt in a primary color.
Her body would be suspended two feet off the ground and each movement would be accompanied by a swirl of winged insects.
However, my cartoon mother would be thin, rather than pleasantly plump.
Ostensibly, I asked my mother to lend her expertise in hanging curtains and pictures.
You would think that after a month of sleeping at my new house I would have everything unpacked. My new house is exactly the same size as my old house, but for some reason all my stuff no longer fits inside.
This makes no sense.
Every week, for months, I have taken at least one box of once-treasured items to the Salvation Army. If I itemized my taxes, all of those receipts would be useful for deductions.
Yet, the closet is crammed, the sheets have no home and the dark place under the bed is already full.
Last weekend my mother spun her magic. She flitted about my house for hours.
Never once did she lose her cheery disposition and only twice did it feel like I was 5 years old.
She found new places to stash hair care products and clever ways to camouflage electrical cords. The mass of jewelry, once a mad mess on my dresser, now hangs elegantly on hooks, color coordinated to match my bedspread.
In hindsight, I should have asked her to stay the entire weekend, because we might have been able to fit some of my overflow into the shed.
Rain is a gift
For some reason, flowers seem to grow more vibrant when the water comes from the sky, rather than from my rusted, red water can.
I found my raincoat Tuesday, stashed near the flannel sheets, and dashed out the door.
Uh-oh. Because I have Mondays off, I didn’t check the weather at work. When I thought to return home at lunch, soggy clothes were hanging on the clothesline and several plastic tubs of “stuff” had pools of rain water on top.
A wheelbarrow filled with good compost was now a giant bowl of mud.
Don’t you just hate it when you have no one to blame but yourself?
Rain inspired carwash
Thank you drought. For once in my lifetime I feel fashionable for driving around in a dirty car.
Plus, a car that is really wet is really easy to clean.
Here’s the trick I learned in Mexico:
For several years my family has been traveling to Baja to visit my Auntie Pat. While waiting to cross the border into California, numerous opportunities exist to purchase crafts and warm food items from the comfort of your car. You can also get a really great car “wash.”
The men have rags and sometimes squirt bottles. With a lot of elbow grease, they make the cars shine.
During this drought I’ve found all you need to do is squirt the car once with the hose, then scrub the dirt off. You can rinse one more time and then towel-dry.
The results are as good or better than the “free” car wash I get when I pay 20 cents more per gallon for exactly eight gallons of gas.
With the rain, I was able to simply scrub the rain (and dirt) off the car, then follow up with a dry towel.
Drought awareness has kicked into full gear, and people in my circle have been talking about other people who should not have green lawns, lush landscaping or clean cars.
When my grass turned a bit green from the recent rain, I don’t need to worry about neighbors calling CalWater to complain.
Another neighborly note
Now that the skies are dry, do everyone in your neighborhood a favor and search the yard for the tiniest of puddles.
Mosquito larvae only needs a few tablespoons of water to hatch and hunt you down. They emerge after 4 to 7 days.
Turn over each of the saucers under your plants. Check for spots of water in your garden clogs. I’ll be sure to tip over every plastic tub filled with winter clothes and make sure there is no water trapped on top or inside.
Mosquito larvae can also lurk in your rain gutters, wheelbarrows and in the curved, smooth pink shells you collected from a beach in 2007.
If you live next door to someone who is elderly, do yourself a favor and offer to help out in their yard. Who knows, you might help spread some neighborly love.