Flashback: Washed Clean

Readability

Flashback: Washed Clean

baldilocks

Orig­i­nally posted Decem­ber 29, 2004. Occa­sion­ally, I like to dig back into my old blog and see what’s there. It’s inter­est­ing to see how my writ­ing style has changed since then.

Decem­ber 28, 2004, Night­time: It’s rain­ing in LA. Those of us who live here and have grown up here know that a large amount of pre­cip­i­ta­tion is not unusual in the begin­ning of win­ter. But it’s not merely rain­ing, it’s pour­ing; windy rain, side­ways rain. It’s the kind of rain that makes my shorn-​headed, no umbrella-​carrying self think about buy­ing another hat.

It’s pour­ing as if a tril­lion glasses of water were being spilled onto the South­land. Pour­ing like the cold­est of high-​pressure show­ers. Addi­tion­ally, there’s the thun­der and the light­en­ing; both very unusual phe­nom­ena accom­pa­ny­ing an LA shower; the type of T and L that fright­ened your hum­ble (hah!) cor­re­spon­dent very much some forty years ago.

An even more unusual occur­rence was observed in the night­time skies around here: see­ing air­craft depart LAX. I live right under the LAX approach lanes and have prayed many times for no craft to crash, espe­cially on top of my house. But see­ing air­craft leave LAX was rather jar­ring: like see­ing a clock run backward.

How­ever, I love it when it rains in LA. After the storm blows through, the basin is the most beau­ti­ful of sights: every­thing washed away out of the “Val­ley of Smoke,” at least for a cou­ple of days. Dri­ving north away from my house on the Har­bor Free­way (I-​110), down­town LA, Mount Wil­son, the Hol­ly­wood sign and the Obser­va­tory appear pure, new and beautiful.

But water is yet another one of those facts of liv­ing that has taken on a whole new mean­ing since the nat­ural dis­as­ter in South­ern Asia: it’s our friend and our enemy. Just as I have never viewed any over­head air­craft in quite the same way as I did before Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, I’ll never view water — espe­cially ocean water – in the same way since Decem­ber of 2004; espe­cially liv­ing on the perime­ter of the “Ring of Fire.”

Fear? Yeah, well. It’s hard to fear most things, at least for me. It’s not my Chris­t­ian faith that sup­presses most of my fears (though it keeps the rem­nants in check), it’s not that I’m so tough. It’s sim­ple util­ity: what good does fear do? Fear the rea­son­able things – the sit­u­a­tions that you can keep your­self out of – sure. But fear the things you can’t con­trol? Heck, you’d never leave the house.

Decem­ber 29, 2004, Day­time: Flash floods, traf­fic acci­dents, shut-​down free­ways, weather related fatal­i­ties and a cou­ple of miss­ing hik­ers near the now snow-​laden Mount Baldy. Hard going (and God­speed to those involved). But who would have thought that one would feel that we’re get­ting off easy in acts-​of-​God sweep­stakes? I guess a lit­tle per­spec­tive will do that.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

baldilocks

Originally posted December 29, 2004. Occasionally, I like to dig back into my old blog and see what’s there. It’s interesting to see how my writing style has changed since then.

December 28, 2004, Nighttime: It’s raining in LA. Those of us who live here and have grown up here know that a large amount of precipitation is not unusual in the beginning of winter. But it’s not merely raining, it’s pouring; windy rain, sideways rain. It’s the kind of rain that makes my shorn-headed, no umbrella-carrying self think about buying another hat.

It’s pouring as if a trillion glasses of water were being spilled onto the Southland. Pouring like the coldest of high-pressure showers. Additionally, there’s the thunder and the lightening; both very unusual phenomena accompanying an LA shower; the type of T and L that frightened your humble (hah!) correspondent very much some forty years ago.

An even more unusual occurrence was observed in the nighttime skies around here: seeing aircraft depart LAX. I live right under the LAX approach lanes and have prayed many times for no craft to crash, especially on top of my house. But seeing aircraft leave LAX was rather jarring: like seeing a clock run backward.

However, I love it when it rains in LA. After the storm blows through, the basin is the most beautiful of sights: everything washed away out of the “Valley of Smoke,” at least for a couple of days. Driving north away from my house on the Harbor Freeway (I-110), downtown LA, Mount Wilson, the Hollywood sign and the Observatory appear pure, new and beautiful.

But water is yet another one of those facts of living that has taken on a whole new meaning since the natural disaster in Southern Asia: it’s our friend and our enemy. Just as I have never viewed any overhead aircraft in quite the same way as I did before September 11, 2001, I’ll never view water—especially ocean water–in the same way since December of 2004; especially living on the perimeter of the “Ring of Fire.”

Fear? Yeah, well. It’s hard to fear most things, at least for me. It’s not my Christian faith that suppresses most of my fears (though it keeps the remnants in check), it’s not that I’m so tough. It’s simple utility: what good does fear do? Fear the reasonable things–the situations that you can keep yourself out of–sure. But fear the things you can’t control? Heck, you’d never leave the house.

December 29, 2004, Daytime: Flash floods, traffic accidents, shut-down freeways, weather related fatalities and a couple of missing hikers near the now snow-laden Mount Baldy. Hard going (and Godspeed to those involved). But who would have thought that one would feel that we’re getting off easy in acts-of-God sweepstakes? I guess a little perspective will do that.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!