It Never Rains…but when it does

You may recall the 1973 soft rock Albert Hammond hit, “It Never Rains in Southern California.”  I’ve always liked the song, enthusiastically singing the repeated refrain, “It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya? It pours, man, it pours.” 

I’ve long suspected that I’m solar-powered, and with some of the coldest and wettest days we’ve had in years, I have slowed down this past week.

I’m recovering from a hefty cold or virus and while I’ve watched the rain come down in buckets, I’ve also been dreaming about getting into the garden as soon as possible.

I can hardly wait to get out and get my fingers dirty! Gardening is one of my favorite pastimes.  I’d call it a passion.

I have friends with very different passionate goals and objectives and I’m amazed at how hard they work to keep moving forward with their dreams.

Many of you recognize New York Times Best Selling Author, and my friend, Andra Watkins. Andra’s heavy speaking schedule brings her to my area a couple of times a year and even though she is traveling for work, not vacation time, it does give me an opportunity to visit with her in person.

Click HERE to familiarize yourself with Andra’s compelling novels and check out her speaking schedule. You might find she’ll be visiting near you! I have been fortunate to accompany Andra on some of her local-to-me speaking engagements, and I recommend her as a “for sure” crowd pleaser. You can learn more about her popular “Make a Memory” speaking topic HERE.

Andra is very passionate and committed to her writing and speaking schedule, and if you haven’t yet read her latest book, “I Am Number 13,” the third installment in her intriguing Nowhere series, it’s a fast-paced read and a terrific vehicle as a lift from any winter “blues” you may be experiencing.

Before I go back under my blanket with a cup of hot tea, I have one more friend to share with you.

In truth, I haven’t personally met Cara Wilson-Granat, but one of my closest friends knows her well and introduced me this week to Cara’s TEDx talk, “What Matters: Lessons from Anne Frank’s Father.”

Cara began a correspondence and friendship with Otto Frank while she was still a young girl. A key aspect of what she learned from this remarkable and very special relationship is shared in her talk, and I am confident it will mean something to each of you, should you take the time to listen.

I may have less energy when my sun-source is on pause, but I do feel fortunate to have such creative and energizing friends.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

I’ve worried about my trees for several years now, and I think I’ll spend the weekend watching the rain puddle under the huge oak in our backyard.  I can almost hear her sighing with relief!



58 thoughts on “It Never Rains…but when it does

  1. Assuming you are safe from the floods. . . and I hope/pray you will continue to be so. Andra is great in person (and in print). How can you not love her after hearing/reading the Gatorade story from “Not Without My Father”?

    • So true about the Gatorade story, Ray! LOL! She’s a wonderful “entertainer” when she speaks in front of an audience!

      And yes, we are very fine in the rain. We have friends who have truly suffered, and that pains me, but where we live we’ve had great drainage and we aren’t in any particular danger. When I comment about being “happy” for my trees, I’m truly not exaggerating. I’ve been concerned that we were going to begin losing them. At least for now, I think we’re very fortunate!

    • We have a little sunshine today, Andrew. More rain to come, perhaps tomorrow, but today, sunshine! It definitely lifted my spirits. Even Darwin came out of his burrow for just a little while!

  2. Love that song too! The rain, not so much, but it has novelty value. 🙂 🙂 I may regret that statement as we are due for a damp spell over here. Still, I always liked Singing in the Rain too. Hope you’re soon back to normal, Debbie.

    • My enthusiasm for the rain is definitely inspired by the preceding months of drought, Jo. Our parched landscape suffers so! I need to enjoy it while it lasts, since who knows when it will dry up again. 😦 I’m feeling enough better to think this week will be more typical for me. I’m fortunately not ill very often, and a bad cold did give me an excuse to get lots of rest. I didn’t mind that at all! Thank you, Jo.

  3. Oh the rains that you are getting. Your area certain has an interesting cycle …. rain, mud, vegetation growth, drought, dry, fires, back to rain and repeat. Bummer that you’re been fighting a viral battle – but at least at hasn’t kept you from learning! TEDx Talks are awesome.

    • We’ve all become obsessed with the weather apps on our phone, because they keep shifting! I love the fact that Mother Nature has her own timetable. These storms were a surprise to everyone, and although I feel really terrible for the people who are suffering as a result, we have personally benefited. I’m feeling better, and just taking it easy watching gardening shows on Netflix. I’ve been glad to have the excuse!

      The TEDx talk is very inspiring. I think you’d find it fascinating. The woman speaking reached out to Otto Frank when she was a child living in California. The remarkable man responded to her and they had a relationship until he died. I find that very special and indeed unique. 🙂

  4. So glad to hear that the rains are providing relief to your trees!

    Rainy cloudy days can be a nice change of pace, but I prefer sun since (like you) I’m solar powered. Rain at night ( to give our gardens a drink ) followed by bright sunny days would work for me!

    I’m intrigued by the video. I’ll give it a listen after my walk. In the sun.

    • We had a little sunshine today, too, Nancy, and I’m enjoying it while it lasts. We have more rain coming. I can’t complain. We’ve needed it so badly!

      I do hope you’ll take advantage of this video! What a remarkable relationship this woman had with Otto Frank. She originally reached out to him while she was still a child, and the overall message of this TEDx talk really touched me. I know you’d appreciate it!

  5. My best friend once said, “It can rain all it likes, as long as it does it at night!” I’m in total agreement. All the precipitation in our neck of the woods has pretty much been of the frozen variety, but I’ve been over it for awhile now and am more than ready for springtime!

    So happy that you got to spend some time with Andra (and just a teensy bit jealous). Hoping you begin to dry out soon, and that your ills will leave along with the damp. Also praying your area is not at risk for sliding downhill. Feel better soon, and stay dry and safe.

    • Thank you, Karen, for concern for us in flooding/mudslide areas. We aren’t in any danger ourselves, although we do have friends who live in the foothills and have lots of additional trouble. It’s not just the total rainfall, but how fast it has come down on some days. That’s unusual for us. I just can’t possibly complain about a bit of it after ALL the complaining I’ve done about drought! LOL!

      I am feeling enough better to know that I’m well on the mend, and still enough “impaired” that I have a good excuse to watch gardening shows all day and begin planning my spring outdoor cleaning. 🙂

  6. Debra, I love Andra! And I will be gladly checking out the TED talk. I love Anne Frank, I still remember the first time I read her book as a very small child. She left an impression on me like no other. I imagine the world with her still in it would be such a better place.

    • Colleen, I’m so glad we share a love for Andra and her lively spirit! And the TEDx talk is quite remarkable. This woman was a young California girl who made the connection via letter to Otto Frank and they had a friendship until he died. Her “takeaways” from this man’s wisdom moved me very much. I know you’d find it an invigorating talk.

      • Though I have heard of her and Mr. Frank, I have never seen the TED talk or read more about it than a blurb. But I am intrigued. And how could anyone NOT love Andra? Oh how I used to wait for her videos from her walk! She is brilliant.

  7. Forty-six years ago, I left SoCal and wound up on the north Oregon coast. Yes, we are famous for being part of the Great North Wet. One of the things I’ve learned is that there is no “bad” weather, just inappropriate clothing. And that is a very nice pic of Andra. Thanks for sharing.

    • Everything has been washed clean, Jim. Loving that! The best part of this season has been that it wasn’t predicted. Preparing for another dry winter was a bit discouraging. But our snowpack is so heavy we are good for now anyway. I thought this was a very nice photo of Andra, too! Thank you. 🙂

  8. I sure could use some sun. I am convinced that I am one of the seasonally affected people (or I’m just plain cranky in the winter). Glad you got the right amount of rain without damage. Thanks for recommending some great writers.

    • We have a little sunshine today Kate, even as we wait for the next storm to arrive. I think my bones needed to “dry out” a little bit. 🙂 I hope you get some soon as well.

  9. Hope you feel better soon Debra! Still, better for it to rain now, while you are recuperating and by the time you are fit again the sun will be back! 😉 Is your oak sighing, or perhaps it is singing in the rain! (Another great song!) 😉

    • Ah! Very nice, Cathy! I think my oak is definitely singing in the rain. 🙂 I haven’t seen water puddled underneath her canopy to this degree in several years. One of the things that makes this so delicious is it was not predicted. We were told it would be a dry winter. So glad to know that we can still be surprised and delighted from time to time!

    • Oh yes! The rain is so welcome! We have a little sunshine today which I’m drinking in as more rain is coming, but I know that my gardening days will be happier later this year if I can just be patient. I’m feeling much better, but enjoying the excuse to rest, as well. 🙂

  10. Debra, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been down with a virus. Hopefully it’s run its predictable course. It’s hard waiting out the rain and the remaining days of winter when you want to get out in the garden. We’re in the Bay Area and have had equally heavy rain and wind. A few of us are worried about our neighbors dead pine tree. He’s received quotes from an arborist, but so far no tree removal. I’m glad you had a good catch up with dear friends. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    • I follow your weather and rain patterns really closely, Alys. My son and family live in Oakland, and I check almost daily to see how it’s going. Although you’ve had more rain, we’ve actually been colder, if you can believe that! It’s all quite fascinating to me. And yes, I can’t wait to get out in the garden. I was watching some gardening shows from Great Britain and watching homeowners slogging through rain and mud and weather unlike any I’ve experienced, yet they were out in their gardens doing what needed to be done. I realize I’m not just spoiled, I’m also a wimp! 🙂 I’ll wait!

      I know what you are concerned about with your neighbor’s dead tree. That’s nothing to ignore, and I wonder what your recourses are in insisting on it being removed. It’s such a safety hazard! I’ve worried about our trees in the drought more than any other factor, and really hopeful that this year’s totals will buy us a few added years before we get in trouble again! And thank you…I’m feeling so much better. I might actually have to do something this week–my “forced vacation” is probably over. 🙂

      • I’m happy to report that our neighbor’s tree will be safely removed this Tuesday. He’s done his research and found a reliable and professional arborist to take it down. (The tree is massive). Hopefully the weather will cooperate. He said he’d been worried about both trees for the 40 years he’s lived there. I didn’t know!

        As for Oakland, I’m so pleased to hear that the teacher’s strike has ended with good results. They’ve had a lot of support from families and managed to get close to what they wanted in salaries and a bonus. I’m not exactly sure yet how they did with classroom sizes, but I’m happy the strike ended and that they’ll get more of what they deserve. We have a long way to go as a society. Teachers should be revered, not vilified.

        • I agree about the teacher’s strike, Alys. I continue to be so amazed that young men and women continue to feel called to this profession. I taught in private schools for many years, and have been retired from that profession for more than 20 years. Private schools never required of me what public educators are called to supply. And in today’s environment, it’s really difficult work. I don’t know how the Oakland negotiations ended, but I was glad it wasn’t protracted. Have a good week…more rain I hear! Egads!

  11. Had to smile when you said you’re solar powered… good for you. Lots of Vitamin D from that sunshine too. I’ll try to get back later to that Ted Talk on lessons from Anne Franks’ father…. Nice to here about Andra Watkins great writing success and speaking engagements. And last but not least, I hope you get over your cold soon Debra. Cheers

    • Thank you for such a kind comment, Bruce. I’m really fine, just “felled” by a cold. Spending time with my granddaughters is a joy, and sometimes they bring a bug home from school and I suppose we share. 🙂 The benefit of not being entirely myself has been sitting a little more than I typically do and really enjoying the sound of the rain. Andra is a very dear friend I first met through blogging, and our relationship has been so rewarding. And I hope you will find a time for the TEDx talk. I am confident you’d find it a remarkable story. The relationship between Cara and Otto was unique to begin with, but what a remarkably kind and loving man! Thank you so much for stopping by to say “hello.”

  12. So glad you are feeling better, Debra. I’m happy to hear about the rain in S. California. I love that song. 🙂
    Thank you for the TEDx Talk. “It doesn’t matter!”, but Otto Frank could transform it… So very powerful.

  13. Wow! What matters . . . What a powerful message gleaned from such horrific times. Thank you for posting it, Debra, as well as for sharing a bit of Andra with us. It is always a pleasure to see her.
    As I read your post and listened to the Tedx talk, the sun decided to appear here. It was so gloomy yesterday (Sunday) and snowed more today, but, suddenly, the sun came out. I hope that it is now shining again in California. If you think of it, send some warmth this way. 🙂

    • I don’t know how I missed your comment, Penny, but I’ve had a few WP problems lately. I am so glad you enjoyed the TEDx talk, and I found it really inspirational, too. I wish we could send you some sunshine, but we don’t have any! LOL! We’ve had so much rain, and although “cold” is a relative term, I know, for us, it’s really crazy. I think we’re all having to wait a little longer for spring. But won’t we celebrate! 🙂

  14. I’m so sorry to hear you have a cold. I’m very glad you’ve received some rain. We desperately need rain here in my part of the world. It’s so dry. All my lawn is brown or dead, and my garden looks terrible. I do water it but as I’m out quite a bit, I don’t water nearly enough. Rain is predicted for this week so let’s hope those predications are accurate xx

    • Hi Charlie. I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to your kind response long before now. I seem to have missed a few and I don’t precisely know why! Yes, we are still enjoying quite a bit of rain. Does your sister still live in Southern California? It’s been so unusual, but we have needed it. I know that you have also experienced drought and know what a shock it is to watch a garden just die from lack of rain. So nice to hear from you, my friend.

    • I’m so glad I could share it with you, Judy. I apologize for not responding to your message sooner. I seem to have overlooked it! 😦 I thought the TEDx talk had something for each of us. We need to encourage each other. xx

  15. Hi Debra; I was waiting to listen to the TED talk before posting and it just took me awhile! It was so inspiring–thank you for sharing!! That’s going to stay with me for awhile.

    I continue to be amazed with Andra’s prolific writing, as well as everything she does to promote her books. It’s a never-ending cycle, but even that has a rhythm to it. I’m glad she gets to see you in the process!

    • Thank you, Gail. I’m so sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I am not sure why I didn’t get a notification of more responses, but I did see you “here” today and I’m so glad you enjoyed the TEDx talk. I was just amazed at how meaningful the message. It will stay with me, too.

      And yes to your comment about Andra. She is a very hardworking author! She is engaging and very outgoing, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! I am very admiring of her hard work. 🙂

  16. Dear Debra, I’m racing through the day, trying to get caught up now that the sun is out. (I believe I, too, am solar powered!!!!!) So I haven’t yet watched the video, but I will return this evening and do so.

    I haven’t read your friend Andra Watkins yet, although last year I bought two of her e-books to read on my iPad. I’m thinking your reminder of what a fine writer she is will move me forward in doing more reading!

    Please take care of yourself. Peace.

    • I missed the notification for about half a dozen comments, and so I’m sorry that I’m only now finding your kind comment, Dee. I hope you will get back to the TEDx talk at some point. The message is inspiring and I think because of the legacy from Otto Frank, the impact of his message is even stronger.

      I hope you’ll find time to spend with Andra’s fiction, Dee, but knowing you, I think in particular you might enjoy her memoir, “Not Without My Father.” You may recall that she walked the 444-mile Natchez Trace, and I think that remarkable feat would interest you. 🙂

  17. We could really use some rain. My pool level is dropping, and the plants are looking parched. All it does lately is flash and rumble for a while, shed a couple of insincere tears, and then go away.
    Hope the sun comes and your virus goes away!
    Amazing people.

    • I’m so glad you watched the video, Leslie. The message is important coming from anyone, really, but knowing what we know of Otto Frank, the impact is hard-hitting. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  18. A lovely post, Debra and a fun surprise to see Andra’s photo pop up as I was reading. 🙂 Speaking of following weather apps, I hear Los Angeles had some snow the other day, did it fall in your neighborhood??? Stay warm and follow the sunshine!

    • I’m sorry that I didn’t get back to my responses until today, Lisa. I’ve been a little off-kilter this past week. 🙂 It is fun to see Andra pop up, isn’t it? I say to her every now and then that I check her website to play a game of “Where’s Andra?” LOL!

      The light dusting of snow wasn’t far from where I live. We didn’t have any, but in our local foothills, which aren’t far at all, there was a dusting. It’s been really cold for us. And we have more rain coming this week. The state is officially out of the drought, according to what we’re being told. It’s amazing. I will definitely follow the sunshine when we get some. I’m so pleased about the rain that I’m not fighting it too much. There is green where I haven’t seen it in years. 🙂

  19. I’m sure your trees will very much appreciate all the water they are receiving. After years of drought, I remember visiting where I grew up in Texas and seeing hundreds of huge dead trees that could no longer survive on such little rainfall.

    • I’m sorry I am so behind in responding, Karen, but thank you for stopping by. I know that other states have had long and protracted seasons of drought, too, and Texas being one of them! How hard for you to go back home and have seen so many dead trees. There is something very alarming in the sight. We have experienced the same, and especially the last time we went to Yosemite and saw the thousands of dead trees in the surrounding area, succumbing to Bark Beetle because of the drought-induced disease. We have been informed that the state’s drought is officially over–at least for now. I keep thinking of the happy trees. 🙂

  20. That snow…wow what a sight. I hope you’ve been getting your hands dirty and so happy to hear you have rain! Thank you for the TEDtalk & good read suggestions. Breathe lightly and happy digging in your garden Debra!

    • Cristina, you know the drought conditions California has experienced over the last many years! Currently every county in California is well above the best rainfall averages and the drought has been satisfied! I hope we will continue to be good water conservationists, but right now I just want to celebrate and anticipate a good garden experience this spring and summer! 🙂

  21. I am solar powered also. Outside my window the snow is falling; I just returned from a trip to the SF bay area, where no solar powered me, just high winds and lots of rain. But the area surely needs it. When I lived in the Bay Area, I’d sing the “rain song ” (it never rains in CA, but when it pours, man it pours) with delight during rainstorms.
    Thanks for introducing your creative friends here. You are in good company!

    • I hope the wind and rain didn’t impede your time for fun in the Bay Area! I’m so glad to have the rain, even in buckets, but it’s been a challenge to me to keep my activity levels up. I’m not used to this. 🙂 And I’m so glad you enjoyed meeting Andra and I hope you had the opportunity to see the TEDx video. I know it takes time to stop and do so, but there’s something transformative hearing the words of Otto Frank. I hope you have a great week, Pam.

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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