By Rod Andrew
After several years of wandering through the Western USA, my wife and I finally settled on a place we wanted to spend our Canadian winters. The township of Borrego Springs, California, offered everything we needed, including a slow lifestyle and marvelous weather. Tennis, pickleball, hiking, biking, a rich cultural life and a wonderful library in the middle of a stunning desert state park. It was perfect.
We knew that the one quality of a desert that we could always count on was that it would be dry. Arid, desiccated, seared, and baked, right? And it was. Until one night when we heard pounding rain on the roof of our trailer. All night, and into the next day. It was a torrential downpour that we normally would associate with tropical monsoons.
Locals understand that this was a normal, if infrequent occurrence. But to us, it was a welcome novelty, although we had to rethink the hike we had planned for Valentine’s Day.
Late in the morning, we realized that there might be consequences for us if the rain continued. Our truck and trailer were in a park that sloped downhill over the typical desert sands, which seem to be impervious to water. A rapidly growing stream was now sliding under our trailer.
I stood on the steps and stared at the steam, stroking my chin, wondering what we could do to stop our rig from being undermined. This required serious consideration, so I went back into the trailer to have another cup of coffee. And a wee nap. When I roused myself, after thinking with my eyes closed for just a few minutes, I realized that my wife was not in the trailer.
She couldn’t be outside as the rain was still pounding down. Could she? There are few, well, only one, hiding places in a 27-foot trailer, so I looked out of the window.
What a trooper. She was attacking that deluge protected only by an umbrella and was trying to redirect the stream using a tiny shovel that we carry for emergencies! I could see that she was struggling and soaking wet and that she could only shovel with one hand, so I did what every loving husband would do.
I tapped on the window, to attract her attention and waved her to return to the trailer. She trotted back to where I was waiting for her at the door.
“Here,” I said, reaching down and grabbing the shovel. “I’ll take that.”
She smiled and started up the stairs.
“Just a minute.” I held my hand up.
“Put this on.”
I handed her her rain jacket and I took the umbrella, holding it over her, while she was putting on her coat. Her clothes were wet and must have been uncomfortable, so I knew that she would be grateful for my kindness. It seemed the least I could do. It was, after all, Valentine’s Day. Once she was dressed more appropriately, I gave her back the shovel, shook and furled the umbrella, then closed the door.
As she trudged back to work on her channel, I watched through the window. This wasn’t easy for me to do as, if anything, the rain had increased in intensity, and the window kept fogging up. But, I persevered.
My wife worked, diligently, for most of the afternoon, until she had forced that stream to flow around our trailer. I suspected that she would have worked into the evening, so I tapped on the window and waved her over, again.
This time she wasn’t quite as lively, and she seemed quite relieved when I told her that she had done enough and could now come back inside and dry off.
“Supper won’t cook itself,” I said cheerfully, taking her raincoat and handing her a towel.
She cooked a marvelous meal that evening, which we ate accompanied by a fine bottle of red wine. She was quieter than usual and went to bed early. I suspect that she was a little overwhelmed by the attentiveness I had showered on her.
The next morning, a bright and clear day, I inspected the damage that must have been wreaked by the deluge. Not only was our trailer unaffected, but the fifth wheel below us had also come through unscathed, as the stream had been diverted around its front support.
My wife was still asleep.
I sat beside my rig and sipped my morning coffee. The owners of the fifth wheel, who had stayed inside throughout the whole storm, came and thanked me for protecting their home. I nodded in acceptance.
As the ground around me dried up, I couldn’t help wondering where everybody else had been during the storm. I hadn’t seen another soul outside when the rain was pouring down.
Breakfast was going to be a little late, but I decided to let my tired wife sleep a little longer.
What is it they say? “Happy wife, happy life.”
Editor’s note: Sharon, we applaud you. Not only for getting out there in the rain in Borrego Springs and saving the day, but also for putting up with Rod! Wink.
More by Rod
- Great expectations: Revisiting places that aren’t as you remember them
- Feeling a little… grumpy… in the RV park showers
- Finding community in campgrounds, like going back to the 1950s
No sense both of them getting wet. I completely understand his logic.
Truly a case of Happy Wife, Happy Life! Thanks for the smiles!!!
I think it was a good idea that Rod took the shovel, she may have decided to keep digging.
3X6X6 feet deep. He would have had a longgggg nap.
The most impressive part of this story is that you lived to tell the tale! 🙂
Just another reason why his wife deserves an award, for her amazing self-control! Thanks, Chris. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Like they say, “a woman’s work is never done”.
He’s such a putz!
Does she have a sister?
I think she deserves a BIGGER shovel !
Amazing story! Also, I am surprised that Mr. Andrews lived long enough to compose the story and forward it to Emily for publication. What funeral home is handling (did handle?) the arrangements? Also, are flowers okay, or should a contribution to some charity be made in Mrs. Andrews’ husband’s memory?
😆 That’s funny, Neal. Thanks! Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Thanks, Diane! 🙂 Will do! Best wishes to you and all at RV Travel! You guys always start my day off on the right foot! 🙂
What a good son and husband you are, Neal. Lucky ladies in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and them. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Thank you, Neal. I think I’ve mentioned it to you before but I’ll say it again: We appreciate your kind words and we appreciate you! Take care. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
“Supper won’t cook itself”. You must have a VERY comfy couch in your RV. 🙂
You are aware of the term “Justifiable homicide”?
😆 I think you and Rod would get along very well, Impavid. You have a very similar sense of humor. And your wives would also get along well, empathizing with each other. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
My wife would never get out there like Sharon. We have a unwritten rule. I do the work outside and she does the work inside.
What a guy! She is so lucky to have him!
That’s exactly what Rod thinks! 😆 Have a great day, Mike. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Gee man, you didn’t even get to wear your supper. How lucky you are.
What a good woman! I thought you’d go out and join her?! She’s a keeper!!!