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Everybody wants happiness, and nobody wants pain, but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain. – Tiny Buddha

I live in central California, and like most of the country, we are experiencing severe weather. This type of weather is new to many of us and can be disconcerting. Generally, we have dry winters and hot summers; we have been dealing with drought conditions for years. I have friends living in the foothills and experiencing substantial snow. Some cannot leave their house and are without electricity for days.

I live in Fresno, and my area of town is relatively calm. However, we have a lot of rain followed by a few days of sunshine and blue skies. It is beautiful to drive down Shaw and see the majestic mountains covered with snow ahead of me.

When I was young, I loved the rain. The street I grew up on flooded every time it rained. On several occasions, my dad would pull the aluminum boat out, and my brother and our dog would row down the street; neighbors came out in the yard and took pictures. Not only did the street flood, but the water would also come halfway up the lawn. I had to park on the street when I had my first car. One night I had to attend a meeting where I needed to look nice. My dad, bless his heart, waded through the water carrying me to the car so that I would look appropriate when I got to the meeting.

Over the last few years, many have been praying for rain, doing rain dances, and washing their cars (we know that every time we wash our car, it rains), and now prayers have been answered with a resounding YES! However, I have heard people on the radio saying, “Please stop praying for rain!!

I know that rain is essential. Now that we have the magic of Google, I looked up why rain is necessary. Rain and snow are key elements in the Earth's water cycle, which is vital to all life on Earth. Rainfall is the main way that the water in the skies comes down to Earth, where it fills our lakes and rivers, recharges the underground aquifers, and provides drinks to plants and animals.

Most of us know why rain is essential, crop growth, green grass, and plenty to drink, just to name a few. Also, Rain has numerous implications for the environment, notably replenishing wild vegetation, moistening the air, forming streams and rivers, refilling the water table, and creating extremely beneficial negative ions.

What are the risks of too much rain: The potential impacts of heavy precipitation include crop damage, soil erosion, and an increase in flood risk due to heavy rains (see the River Flooding indicator)—which in turn can lead to injuries, drownings, and other flooding-related effects on health.

What precautions should be taken in heavy rain?

· Wear protective clothing.

· Seek indoor shelter.

· Stay away from windows and doors during heavy rain and strong winds.

· Avoid roadway underpasses, drainage ditches, low-lying areas, and areas where water collects – they can unexpectedly flood or overflow.

· Avoid driving in heavy rain due to poor visibility.

The US Environmental Protection Agency distributed the above information.

I am fortunate. My part of town has not been affected by all the rain. However, some of my friends living close to water have been evacuated, and those I know in the foothills have been snowed in and lost electricity. Also, I have seen people stuck in puddles due to stupidity.

Many emergency notifications have stated that if you don’t have to leave your home DON’T. So, find activities that can be done in the safety of your home. Some ideas are:

· Have a family movie night. Now more than ever, it's the time for a feel-good family movie.

· Enjoy a movie marathon.

· Read on a rainy day.

· Play a board game.

· Bake and decorate cupcakes.

· Play video games.

· Solve a jigsaw puzzle.

· Build with LEGOs.

· When the rain lifts, go outside and jump in puddles!!!

Be careful out there – Have a great week!

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