Storm warnings: Be careful what you brag about

Yesterday, Oct. 4, we awakened to the umpteenth cloudy/drizzly/gloomy day in this seemingly endless rainy season in San Miguel de Allende. Let us now bow our heads and ask for forgiveness. 

Forgiveness from our friends in Chicago, New York, and points north of Indianapolis, for all our constant hee-hawing about the unpleasant climate in which they live, while here, in our little colonial theme park, we enjoy perpetually sunny days and mild temperatures. 

Except for this year, when the weather map turned upside down. Up north they’ve had a relatively pleasant summer, to be followed, I imagine, by a dazzling display of autumn foliage. 

Here it’s been rainy and clammy since mid-May, and it hasn’t stopped raining. The sun winks at us occasionally from behind dark, ominous clouds, but only for 15 or 30 minutes or so, before it starts spritzing again, if not out-and-out pouring. 

We could blame it on climate change, that catch-all cause of every unpleasantness of modern life. But I fear it could be karmic punishment for our being so insensitive to the weather-related miseries our northern neighbors must endure.

Our rooftop, somewhat professional weather gizmo, has recorded 27 in. of rain so far this year, or four or five more than normal. 

However, other expats have posted on the San Miguel Civil List—an internet bulletin board that broadcasts daily news ranging from medium rare to half baked—as much as 30 in. of rain so far. 

Whatever the official total turns out to be, we’ve had a lot of rain, which our dense clay soil at the ranch can barely gulp. 

So midsize puddles and clumps of mud have appeared along with small rivulets coursing down the driveway non-stop. Any more rain, and our ranch will be ready to accommodate a couple of juvenile alligators and four flamingos, and we’ll have to rename it Rancho Everglades.  

Do you know the way to San Miguel?

Our dogs seem annoyed too. Last night, when it came time for them to go down to the basement for the night, they stood outside the door looking perplexed. 

When Stew went to check, he found that their normally cozy sleeping quarters and cushions were soaked because the latest deluge had clogged up a drain. 

They slept in the garage instead, in case anyone’s worried.  

The normally dry creek at the western end of our ranch, which is fed by seasonal rainwater from the surrounding mountains, has turned into a small roaring river that’s overrun its banks, and knocked down sections of a cement block wall surrounding a new housing subdivision. 

(Good, Stew and I muttered, about that project being delayed; the last thing San Miguel needs is another housing development.)  

Water everywhere.

A Mexican neighbor reported that a sudden torrent, caused by a rain squall in the mountains, had washed away cows and other livestock. 

Truth be told, our rural neighbors often have overactive imaginations, so I can’t vouch for the bit about floating carcasses. But we definitely can hear the roaring water.

But enough kvetching about the weather. Old retirees do that too much, I suspect for lack of anything of import happening in their lives. 

I must avoid sounding like one of them, even though my seventy-fourth is coming up at the end of the year. 

Besides, the rain has given us a spectacular display of autumn flowers and brought back to life some trees we’d thought had died. Excess rain, however, also has killed some barrel cacti and may yet rot the roots of some trees. 

The biggest blessing, though, might be to teach us to stop kvelling* over our wonderful weather. 

That is, at least, until winter comes and we hear that our friends in the frigid north are, once again, freezing their butts off, while we’re walking around in shirt sleeves. Hah!

*Vocabulary notes: “Kvell,” comes from Yiddish and means to “gush or swell.” Just learned that the other day and figured I’d toss in this tortilla soup.

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