moves by just like a paper boat

It's been raining pretty steadily, very heavy at times, since yesterday afternoon. The weather service says we should expect this to continue for at least a week, but it could go on for up to two weeks.

I mention this because it hardly ever happens here, and if people weren't truly in danger from mudslides in the burn areas (including my parents, their entire neighborhood, and a lot of my friends) it would be incredibly amusing to watch the local media go apeshit on STORMWATCH!!1!1, upgrading 4 inches of water in a street to a torrential river of death and destruction.

Seriously. I am not making that up. I saw it on the news earlier this afternoon.

For about thirty minutes this morning, though, a bunch of kids from down the street didn't think of the rain as a destructive force, as much as a way to propel their paper boats downstream, while they "accidentally" stepped and jumped into the water.

While I watched them play, I remembered building and teaching my boys how to build little paper boats for days just like this one, stomping through puddles long after I was old enough to know better (like into my 20s), and dancing in the rain with my wife, just because she asked me to.

The storm seems to have slowed down for a minute in the time it's taken me to write this post. The sun is trying to push through the clouds, and if I look out the window, I can see patches of bright blue appearing to race across the sky toward the mountains. The water in the street has slowed to a trickle. It's the calm before the next storm, which is supposed to arrive within a couple of hours.

I think I'm going to go make a paper boat, so I'm ready to meet it when it gets here.

70 thoughts on “moves by just like a paper boat”

  1. I’ve never heard this defined as Pooh Sticks before. I have been enlightened.
    In the backlanes of our 1950s city homes, the pitched and cracked pavement made for some excellent winding streams and eddys that very small twigs could be raced down. Although uneven, the road surface always sloped to the sewer drain and this was a great place to play in and after the rains.
    Ah, nostalgia.

  2. In my youth, news people would only get excited about weather unusual for their region. People in Chicago, where I live now, would got nuts for thunderstorms but be relatively calm about blizzards, for instance, while people in my native Kentucky would go nuts over an inch of snow while ignoring the occassional tornado. These days, though, everybody goes nuts for everything. There is never any reason to be calm, because whatever happens, the WORLD IS GOING TO END!!! And when it does end, you’ll be screwed unless you have a gallon of milk in the fridge.
    A couple of summers ago, I swear, there were flashing road signs set up warning people that it was hot. We’ce all gone nuts.

  3. Wil,
    Here in Japan, you can buy waterproof patterned paper to make origami boats. They turn out pretty nice.
    I’d gladly send you a pack if you’d like.
    SJA

  4. There is nothing in the world like playing in the rain. Especially in Los Angeles with it’s multi-year droughts.
    Dancing in the rain is even one step better. *G*

  5. Being that I live in Oregon, weather like you’re describing, this time of year, unfortunately doesn’t lead to amusing and ironing DEATHSTORMWATCH OF DOOM Coverage. It leads to “It must be Wednesday”
    Now, 2 inches of snow on the other hand, and everything just shuts down. ;-)

  6. I’m 54 years old and as such I complain alot about computers, but tonight is one of those times I’m glad they are around. I was watching an old Star Trek, The Next Generation episode “The Dauphin” and wondered what is Wil Wheaton up to now? 20 years ago it would have ended there. But now I just look you up on IMDB, and wind up here and not only do I know what you’re up to but I can actually say hello to you. So, I know I’m a complete stranger to you so I won’t be a dick and act like we are old friends or something, but “hi” and nice to see how you have grown up and have a family now. So take care and don’t get washed away!
    Signed Frank from chilly Levittown PA.

  7. Dude, I’m totally with you. I lived for 34 yrs. in South Florida and after spending almost my whole life watching the coast of Africa during the summer in case a tropical depression formed that might turn into a hurricane on it’s way across the Atlantic that might hit where I live and tear my roof off or knock a ficus tree onto my car or kill me, piddily little West Coast rain storms (like we get here in the Seattle area where I now live) are laughable. Everyone in Florida is an amateur meteorologist because our lives depend on it, and because of how often the news meteorologists explain barometric pressure and wind current and the “cone of error” when predicting if the weather will try to kill us or some other city.
    All I gotta say is that here, at least in the Great Pacific Northwest, no matter how hard it rains (which isn’t very, comparatively)the rain is always so polite. It always fall STRAIGHT DOWN. In Florida the rain falls sideways and tries to get into your door and under your umbrella.
    (BTW, Hurricane Wilma was the last straw that drove me out of “paradise”. Not to mention 6 hurricanes in 3 years hitting S. FLA.)

  8. So right about the milk, but don’t forget bread! I grew up in Alabama and worked in a grocery store in high school. Every time the weather report called for possibly maybe a small chance of a light dusting of snow, we were overrun by people buying milk and bread. During the Blizzard of ’93!!! in which we received a whopping THREE INCHES of snow, the roads were closed statewide. The district manager called and begged me to come to work. I wouldn’t drive there (because if the roads are closed, your car insurance won’t pay if you have an accident) so he came and picked me up. We had a special shipment of sliced bread, so fresh from the bakery it was STILL WARM. It was insane! People acted as if they might be snowed in for weeks, and for some reason would be forced to survive on nothing but milk and bread. Instead of the more likely outcome, that everything would shut down for a day or so, and then the snow would melt, since winter temperatures in Alabama are typically in the 60s.

  9. “stomping through puddles long after I was old enough to know better (like into my 20s)”
    Interestingly, after your 20s old enough to know better becomes recognizing that you should stomp through puddles….and it’s a lot more fun than stopping to smell the roses.

  10. I so stay home when that happens. Happily, I can work from home and not miss a day (essential to avoid unemployment). I think Round Rock is actually worse.

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