Rain, Rain, Go to California, Or Two Posts in One
It's been raining a lot in Salt Lake City. Here are the two thoughts that keep running through my mind:
- I wish I could send all this rain to California!
- Wow, Utahns stink at driving in the rain!
Let's explore these points in finer detail:
- I've experienced droughts in multiple states, but living with drought in California was a whole new ballgame. Driving north through the Central Valley on my way to the South Bay and then driving to Sacramento a few times while I lived in California was so eye-opening. For miles and miles, all you can see are fields of leafy greens and strawberries or almond orchards and peach trees forever and ever. There's even more than that, of course. There are avocados and apples and grapes and oranges and cherries and broccoli and artichokes and on and on and on. California, I learned, grows most of the produce in the United States.* It's incredible! (Seriously, it's absolutely incredible and astonishing. Read that link now. Do it now. You'll never think of California the same again.)
So a drought in California is a drought that Americans everywhere should be concerned about. It's something I'm concerned about. I was grateful for rain before and loved how beautiful it made Georgia trees and kudzu look, but I'm grateful for it in a different way now, after having lived in California. And if that's the only thing I learned while I lived there (it's not), then going was well worth it.
- Utahns, other Westerners, and Midwesterners constantly laugh at the Southern states for shutting down when it snows or when there is a threat of snow. And it's true; they do. Schools close, grocery stores get cleaned out of bread and milk, and companies allow their employees to work from home. Why? The simple answer is that Southerners don't know how to drive in snow. That's not the whole truth, though. The whole truth is that Southern roads aren't built for snow. And why should they be? It rarely snows in the South!
You know what the weather does do in the South, though? It rains! It rains and rains and rains. In fact, the South gets more rainfall than any other region of the country. Utah, on the other hand is typically as dry as a bone. When it rains, drivers move at a snail's pace. In other words, Westerners (well, Utahns, in my experience) don't know how to drive in rain. And yet, that's also not the whole truth. The whole truth is that Utah roads don't get the help they need from regular soaking rains. Huge puddles of water accumulate on the uneven surfaces of the Interstate and other roads; that's a rare occurrence in the South.
So Utahns, do me a favor and quit making fun of your Southern countrymen; remember, you have a driving weak spot, too.
*In the 90s, there was some nonsense about California eventually "falling" into the ocean. Let's all hope and pray that that idea is as absurd as it sounds because I want my fruits and vegetables and almonds, dangit!
Thing I'm thankful for: the rabbit hole that is this blog post. I love hyperlinks. :)