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Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Water, water

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Special to The Union
Hollie Grimaldi-Flores
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

The rain has arrived.

I am thrilled, so happy, know it is important, trying to be happy, tolerating the rain, really trying.

OK, I realize this may be close to blasphemy for some, but I have to say it.



I do not like the rain.

I know it is important that rain continues to fall. More importantly, that snow accumulates on the mountains.




I know this, but — blame it on my upbringing — I have had my fill of dark and stormy nights.

I grew up in New York State. It is very much not New York City.

Upstate, as we refer to anything north of the five boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island,) can be incredibly rural.

To that point, when shopping for a souvenir at the Broome County Airport some years ago, I came back with a T-shirt that said “Binghamton, NY” with a cow on it.

Broome County is known for many things — including the founding location of IBM (Endicott,) the birthplace of actor Rod Serling (Binghamton) and author David Sedaris (Johnson City).

(Editor’s Note: Sedaris is in Grass Valley Nov. 17 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. See Center for the Arts website, http://thecenterforthearts.org/david-sedaris-2/, for details.)

Broome County has the distinction of being the Carousel Capitol of the United States (according to Roadside America.com. “Binghamton has six running carousels out of 170 in the world, making it the Carousel Capital…”) and is home to a wonderful skewered marinated meat concoction called Spedies, that the rest of the country cannot duplicate. It is lush and green.”

So Broome County is not without merit.

However, weather is not its strong suit. Lush and green comes with a cost.

The year I graduated from high school, Binghamton (the county seat) was named in the Farmer’s Almanac as one of the top five best places to live if you were a duck. It averaged about 65 days of sunshine a year.

I looked it up to see if it had improved.

According to currentresults.com, Binghamton enjoys of whopping 52 days of 30 percent or less cloud cover per year. If you add in partly sunny days (less than 80 percent cloud cover) you can add another 102 days.

What it boils down to is a lot of overcast cold gray days and an average 159 days of rain and or snow.

Before I turned 20, I had moved to the Arizona desert.

It may have been overkill. Some 118 degrees in August was a bit much, I admit.

After a year, I did realize I missed the changing seasons and soon after returned to New York.

Full disclosure: I returned for (what I thought was) love. It was short-lived.

It was winter and I knew immediately I would not stay for long.

Shortly after I graduated from college, I began looking for some place sunny and warm to move to.

Fate brought me to Northern California.

The thing I love about California is that when it rains, it only rains for a few days at a time and then the sun comes out.

I can hold on for two or three days, but much more then that and I get crabby.

I am not alone. A lot of you get crabby, too.

I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking and I know this is a state of mind. But Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing.

I don’t necessarily suffer from it, but I can relate to those who do.

So when the rain begins, I work hard to remind myself this is California and the sun will be out again soon.

In writing this, I am thinking maybe it isn’t the rain that I don’t love, maybe it’s just the gray sky that comes with the rain.

Give me rain on a warm, sunny day and I think I would be more forgiving and accepting — and then again, maybe not.

Again, I realize the importance of precipitation.

The importance of water to our agriculture and livestock is not to be underestimated. The value of water will only increase as we continue to contaminate supplies and as Mother Nature decides just how much will be doled out where and when. According to Newsweek, “The world is at war over water … Goldman Sachs describes it as ‘the petroleum of the next century.’” We don’t have to look far to realize the water issue is big business.

And so as rain clouds appear in the sky, I do a little self talk and remind myself this is not New York.

It will not be cold and gray and wet until March.

For the greater good, I will batten down the hatches and sing along, “Let it rain. Let it rain. Let it rain.”

Followed by, “The sun will come out tomorrow.”

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is the business development manager at The Union. Contact her at hgflores@theunion.com.


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