I hate rain. There, I said it. Actually, I like rain at night, when I’m in bed. But that’s all.
In my last post, I wrote about how the weather seems to have shifted north, with Claremont and Southern California getting more tropical, humid weather and rain during the summer in recent years.
I said that, in contrast to the dry, hot weather that I grew up with here, this hot, moist weather in the summer is particularly unpleasant. I should have gone further and explain how horrible it is for me when it’s hot and raining.
These are two things that I hate. Hate is a strong word, I know, but, at least when it comes to rain, it is much more than a case of being uncomfortable. Rain – and I don’t mean torrential downpours and flooding but any precipitation – makes my life harder, literally.
Most of the times when I go out, I do so on my own in my wheelchair. One of the things I love about living in Claremont is that I can get to so many things, from shops and movies and the gym where I work out to the dozens of lectures and performances at the colleges. But I can’t do this when it rains.
I’m literally trapped when it rains, when there is anything more than the lightest of drizzle. I literally feel locked inside my house, not allowed to leave as I please.
Fifteen years ago, I thought nothing of putting a big poncho on and going out in the rain. I remember going through streams, splashing up water, as I made my way, with my glasses splattered. But not anymore. Part of it is age and not being so tough. I’m also more concerned about not being so rough on or damaging my chair, all the more so with the new, more sophisticated one with the tilt function. (In fact, a few times when I splashed through those gutter streams, water got in the motor, stopping me for a few minutes – I was lucky it was just a few minutes!) And then there is the speech device – basically a computer – that is now (usually) attached to my chair when I go out; I don’t dare get it wet.
So, yes, I feel trapped when it rain, and I hate it. I hate it when I see rain in the forecast and think about what I might miss. What I hate even more is when it might rain, and I stay home, I cancel an appointment, and it ends up not raining. I wish it would just rain, get it over with.
I’m getting better at asking for rides when my attendants are or can be available. But I don’t like having to assess whether the outing is important enough to ask for a ride, and I don’t like having to be at a certain place at a certain time and when I’m not sure when an event is over. In short, I don’t like not having my independence, my freedom. And then I feel really frustrated and stupid when I have an attendant pick me up somewhere and it’s not raining. Yes, better safe than sorry, I know, but it doesn’t make it easier.
What I really need is a live-in driver like on Downton Abbey – preferably a strapping young man – ready at my beck and call. At least I can get one of those driverless cars.
It is supposedly going to rain here a lot this Fall and Winter, with a “Godzilla” of an El Nino on the way. Everyone is really happy, with it coming after four years of drought (even if we are told it won’t bring complete relief and probably not the critical snowpack in Northern California. But not me. I’m dreading it. (If only I had that hot driver!)