After The Rain

I love the skies after the rain. The way the clouds disperse or rainbows appear- make for a beautiful show. Especially in the spring time.

Over the next few days, the sun should start to make an appearance a bit more frequently. This rain has been beneficial to our gardening that’s for sure. But those plants also need some sunshine.

The transition in the center of the seasons is probably my favorite part. Not the start of spring or summer, or fall or winter. But the middle bit. The part that we live out between the start and end of the seasons. The Uncelebrated parts.

Backyard Flooding

For the first time since we bought our home almost 13 years ago, our backyard flooded. There’s a lot of water in the far back of our acre, so at least it’s not near our house.

In and around our neighborhood I noticed the ditches were overflowing from the last couple of rainfalls. It’s rare for the ditches to get like that, but the heavy rain will help replenish the aquifer that we use for our well.

Living in the outskirts of Vancouver- I am fully aware that we technically live in a rain forest. It’s still unsettling though when there is such a large accumulation of pooling water. Hopefully the rain eases up for a few days and balance will come to our natural surroundings once more.

Rainfall Flooding

Today was one of the wettest days I have ever experienced. Besides me being soaked through to the bone and getting prune hands- there was massive pooling of water everywhere. It was pretty miserable out there as if the heavens were crying.

It didn’t matter that I was able to dry off briefly between having to go back out into the rain. The work needed to get done. The thing is, once you’re wet, you may as well stay wet and just power through it.

But the flooding everywhere was intense. Water pooling so bad that even the back doors of a bus going by our train was draining water. At one point, our taxi that was driving us to another train almost stalled out going through what seemed to be a small pond. The driver nearly filled his engine with water.

But as the day drew to an end, the rain eased up. Just in time for the coldness of the night to chill me to the core. I was looking forward to the warmth of my home. My drive home was a good start, with heated seats.

Working in the Rain

Last night was a good night that turned ugly. As much as I could complain about working in the rain, it really wouldn’t be worth it. I kind of enjoyed it actually.

I worked as a train conductor last night, so I got to be out there in the elements with those hard working team members who do it on a regular basis. Note: I started as a switchman over eleven years ago, and I do enjoy going back to it from time to time. Even out in the rain, it’s sometimes nice to get away from being at a desk all the time.

I worked with a great engineer who was easy to get along with. We had an excellent start and delivered traffic quickly to our first destination. After lunch, we were sent off to rescue another train that had stalled. This turned out to be more challenging than expected. The extreme rain warning was in full effect and made it difficult to move our train.

Needless to say, to took longer than expected, but we succeeded by the end of the night. We had some extra help along the way and fantastic communication going on to make it work. My level of respect to those conductors and engineers who deal with troubleshooting on a daily basis keeps on growing. Especially as the winter is coming.

Working in the harsh elements always poses a challenge. I need to remember this when I get frustrated at my desk when trains aren’t moving. There’s more to it than just thinking it’s the human factors.

The Dystopian Now

I have always loved Dystopian Future stories, shows, and movies. Books such as “1984and “A Handmaid’s Tale” were great reads and I wrote a bit about it here: Dystopian Life.

Movies like “The Matrix” , “Brazil” , “Blade Runner” and even “The Fifth Element” show a technological gritty society. Always gloomy and wet with momentary rays of sunshine that bring forth a quick smile on one of the characters. I’m currently in the process of watching “Altered Carbon” on Netflix. Darker than most dystopian shows, but still very riveting.

Here we are, on the cusp of the new millennium, and I feel we are already in a Dystopian world. I drive into Vancouver for work and home again- a dreary wet world stuck in traffic. My vehicle’s dashboard has a screen showing me the radio station I am listening to or I can switch to navigation or many other options. My cellphone connects through my car as well. I can use voice commands to send and read messages or actually talk to people. My car warns me if I’m too close to another car or if one is in my blind spot.

That’s just my drive home. At home, my phone controls the music and media I play in three different areas around the house. Music from anywhere in the world can pump through my home. Nearly every electronic device can be connected. My wife has a Fitbit and it watches her heart rate and counts her steps. It connects to her cellphone and connects with other people as well.

So yes, I think we live in a Dystopian world. The future is now. Rain and technology- that’s my daily life.

Driving in the Rain

I am an aggressive driver most days. No need to sugarcoat it. But when it rains, I slow down and give myself extra time to get to my destinations.  Not because I can’t drive in the rain, but because others can’t.


Almost daily on my commute to and from work there is an accident or volume on the roads. Anyone who lives in the Fraser Valley experiences this. It’s truly annoying. Add that we are entering rainy season and people are stupid- means more accidents waiting to happen.

So on days like today, I slow down. I take the slow lane (travel lane) and allow others to be stupid and weave in and out. I give a bit more room in front of me just in case. I’m glad I do, because I’ve had close calls of people not checking blind spots or trying to maneuver around some slow driver taking up the fast lane. 

I’ll get where I’m going in due time. No need to rush. And hey, when it rains- it’s like a free car wash!

Hooray For Rain

Finally, it’s beginning to rain in the Vancouver area.  This is much needed since it’s been so dry over the past couple of months.  Too many fires surrounding us that we have had smoke advisories numerous times. I for one am really happy that the rain is here.


I’m happy because I will soon hopefully not need to use my inhaler 4-5 times a day.  I’m also happy because my yard has needed a good healthy watering.  The trees, bushes and even my lawn (ok, it’s moss) have suffered far too long.  Over the course of only a few hours everything is rejuvenating and becoming vibrant again. I can see our plants bouncing back already from the brink of dehydration.

The rain has been welcomed by almost everyone I know.  The Fraser Valley has needed this. We need this. But as the days go on, I’m sure the rain will start to make us each a bit more dreary- just like the autumn weather. 


So find a loved one, grab a sweater or blanket, enjoy a warm cup of tea and let the summer come to an end.

There’s a Storm a Brewin’

Here on the west coast, our summer weather had been extended a bit longer.  Over the past week or so, there has been an occasional rain.  But starting tonight and going into the weekend, we are expected to be bombarded with heavy rain and gusty winds.

Being prepared for such weather isn’t a big deal for most people.  Large suburbs and cities often get their power back quickly.  We live on the outskirts in a more rural area where the population is more widespread.  Getting our power back on isn’t as big of a priority to the utilities company.  

This sucks for many reasons.  First, we are on well water and our pump is electric.  No showers or general cleaning for us.  Also no flushing the toilet more than once, that’s a single tank full.  So we follow the old adage-

If we need an extra flush while the power is still out, we grab a bucket and scoop water from a rain barrel.  As well, we have a few of those 18.9L cooler water jugs for fresh drinking water on hand.  Today, I filled a couple more just in case.

No electricity sucks.  It means our home is dark and cold.  Really cold.  We have a brick house, and at one point a couple years ago part of our home dropped to about 15°c (59°F) inside.  We were also without power for four days.  We are lucky to have a wood burning fireplace in the center of our home.  Once it heats up, it can be pretty toasty.

2014 brought many trees and large branches down in our yard.


Our home and neighborhood is surrounded by old growth trees.  With the high winds expected, there will also be many trees blown down.  Our roads have been blocked for many hours at a time before road crews cleared them up.  As well, our yard gets bombarded by large branches.  The sounds of the tree limbs cracking and falling can be terrifying.  They are that much more amplified while the power is out.

Today we prepared for the storm.  I cleared the downspouts and drains, bought more fresh water, brought out flashlights, lanterns, and batteries.  We gathered up our outdoor furniture and brought everything under cover.  The last thing we need to do is bring some firewood inside and gather up candles.  Every year I talk about buying a generator. (Usually during a storm or while the power is out).  And every year I don’t.

Even though the power goes out for a few hours to a few days, we survive.  We even play some board games under candlelight as a family.  As much as it is an inconvenience to not have power, it’s not a big deal in short bursts.  

Stay safe this autumn.

On account of rain…

The darkness consumes the sky as the water falls down and the drains overflow with water.  My plans get washed out.  No barbecue.  No walks in the park.  No movies under the stars.  No fires to light our night.  No beach days.  No yardwork.  No summer.


Life shouldn’t end because it starts to rain.  Time to pick up a book.  Enjoy a cup of tea.  Spend time playing a board game with the family.  Or cuddle under a blanket watching a funny film.  Preparing large dinners in the kitchen.  All while staying cozy and happy.


When the rain ends it makes the sun seem brighter.  The water levels rise and the plants get revitalized.  The outdoors become abuzz with activity. The fields are greener and ready to be played on.  The animals are chirping and hustling around.  Life starts anew.  The journey continues.