It rained and it rained and it rained. “Maybe they’ll cancel school,” said Abel hopefully, but I told him, “Not in Oregon.” If this was snow, now, they would. Although the bus stop is less than a block away, they burst into the house dripping wet, Ilsa’s hair in wild curls.

The twins shouted at me to come see the river, but I had already seen it—rushing, swollen and turgid, down the small street in front of our house. This house is on a tiny street, sort of private drive—there are 3 houses on it, going up a small hill, all of us at the bottom of a much larger hill which blocks our sunlight as effectively as the tall stately evergreens growing on it. We’re the middle house, and I’d already been alerted to the rain by the darkening sky at mid-day and the sound of an ocean crashing down over the roof—well not quite, but it is seriously raining today.

While I was content to simply admire the way the water had formed a sort of enchanting waterfall over the curb—a Niagara-falls type effect, about 5 feet wide—my neighbour seemed more inclined to action, going out with a shovel and digging round ineffectually under the fence, from which issued forth the pouring stream of muddy water. By now, it was forming a small lake at the bottom of our little road, where it meets the bigger street. It gurgled interestingly. He managed to dig some leaves out of the drain, but it didn’t seem to help. The city sent a truck, whose driver promised to inspect the stream that started all this—he suspected something clogging its normal waterway.

There isn’t an exciting conclusion to this—at least not yet. The rain has let up but there are lots of small floods all over town. You can still drive in them though. This isn’t nearly as eventful as much smaller rains in Nouakchott, where there’d be real problems, people’s cooking pots floating off and the sewers overflowing into the streets. But it’s enough to get a few paragraphs out of, at least. Today, the paper said yesterday’s rainfall was record-setting. But the river is gone, along with the tiny gurgling lake.

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