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Rain, Rain………

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Most all of us are familiar with an old chant – “Rain, rain, go away.  Come again another day.”  Sometimes, precipitation can help those needing it, and sometimes, it can spoil the best of planned endeavors.

rain1Please don’t get me wrong, dear readers.  I fully enjoy the rainy season umbrellaback home in Pasuquin.  I actually miss it.  It is one of the major elements needed for a successful rice harvest, not to mention the other crops grown in the province.  Without it, or with a delay in its appearance, farmers take a big hit, and consumers are treated to higher prices and low levels of supply.

Tagalog Buddy

I would say that my “trying moments” with rain all occur while I’m back in the States on my “vacation from my vacation.”  For me, that’s a big plus for rationalizing the annual returns to the Philippines.  I’d rather be in the sun of that home, than the testy weather of this one.

IT’S RAINING (AGAIN) 

The annual trek back to be with family and friends in the States has been a bit dismal this year.  While I often joke around and say that the timing of my rotation between the two countries is, more or less, based on the weather; this year is truly putting the lie to the joke.

I spend the beautiful, sunny days in the Philippines while the States suffer the ravages of Winter; then, when rainy season starts, I head for the beautiful, sunny days of Summer in the U.S.  That way, I stay dry while I follow the sun.

Were it only true!  This year is providing that the only truth in that sentiment is that it is all in jest – just a poor attempt at humor.

Asawa ko (Baket ko) [my Wife] and I have been back here on this side cloudof the pond for about a month and a half now, and the “beautiful, sunny days” we’ve enjoyed so far can be counted on one and a half hands.  The “April Showers” that allegedly “bring May Flowers” continue their agricultural efforts.  What flower blossoms that do appear give up their strength after a day or two and drop from the branch.

Another poor attempt at humor:  We love the rainy season in Pasuquin so much that we brought it with us.

It’s not the stormy weather that tropical depressions provide – though the remnants of a tropical storm/depression did pass through monsoonthe other week – but it’s more like the continuous monsoon rains that we endure.  A constant drizzling of rain with intensities varying from the light, annoying dampness to the “break out the buckets” downpours. Toss in a few thunderstorms accompanied by high winds, and it’s as if we indeed did bring rainy season with us.

THE WORLD INDOORS 

Keeping children busy on rainy days has plagued parents for most of the “Industrial Age” forward.  It’s not that easy at the other end of life’s cycle, either. To a retiree, being kept indoors because of the weather is anathema.

Now that time has finally become available for all of those outdoor kidsactivities deferred from “working years” to the “retirement years,” being “stuck inside” will make the kindest of old geezers act like a petulant three-year old.  The child can rely on the parent to come through with mild entertainment. The retiree?  Nobody’s home, in that department.

So it’s, “Retiree, entertain thyself. ”

RETIREE ENTERTAINMENT

For my better half and myself, there are things we can do to amuse ourselves, and almost all of them are costly.  Here are some rainy day activities that we, two old geezers, find ourselves “enjoying (?)”:

  • “Filling the Box” – What better way to enjoy the day than shopping for all of the niceties we pine for in Pasuquin, purchasing them in boxbulk, then spending the rest of the day (or week) crushing them all to fit in a Balikbayan Box?  Making sure that the supply we send home (while we’re still in the States) will sufficiently meet the demands we develop back home is like a jigsaw puzzle combined with a guessing game.  The winner, by the way, is the geezer whose wallet or purse suffers the least damage.  (I’m not very good playing this game.)
  • “Playing ‘Tink-Tink'” – That’s the sound that a slot machine makes when you try your luck, and that’s how we refer to it.  We don’t “gamble” – it’s a sure thing that “the house” will win at this geezer slotsgame.  We go and pay the price for amusing ourselves with the random nature of spinning reels and see how long we can make an initial investment play out.  It’s not all an expense, though. We’ve discovered that if you walk away after a “win” that is five or more times the amount paid to take a spin, it’s best to walk away and try some other slot after a ten or fifteen minute cool down break. There’s no guarantee that this works all of the time for all players, but it does increase the time we can use to amuse ourselves.   I will admit that I enjoy the “Luck of the Irish” on most forays to the casino, however.  That’s how I can continue playing activity #1.

clownThere are other “adult indoor activities” that we participate in, but it’s just not like being in the great outdoors on a sunny day, playing a round of golf or hiking down nature paths, or ………  Better stop there before life takes another turn down Dismal Street.

 

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PaulK

Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 40+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!

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Jason Silverman
6 years ago

What is this rain you speak of ? Happy 4th Bob.

Bob Martin
6 years ago

Happy 4th, Jason Silverman. This article was from Paul, who is living in Ohio at this time.

Stephen M Gray
6 years ago

I’m not sure what year he was talking about or what part of the US he was in, but I sit here in 93 degree weather in Seattle (10th day of extreme heat for us and no rain). Even our spring season was low on precipitation so they are calling it drought conditions here. Nearly half of the US is suffering from the worst drought in recorded history. But then it was a whale of a hard winter in much of the country with record snow falls. Strange how God plans our weather at times. 🙂

Bob Martin
6 years ago
Reply to  Stephen M Gray

Sorry to hear of the drought conditions, Stephen. I knew it was bad n CA, but was not aware that it spread out so widely.

PalawanBob
PalawanBob
6 years ago

Plenty of rain here in Palawan. Everything is soaked, saturated with water.
It feels good after 5,5 months of no rain.

Stephen M Gray
6 years ago

Yes Bob, of course the same drought affecting Calif also hits Ariz, Nevada. In the NW it’s a problem that lack of rain didn’t give enough snow pack in winter to provide water run off for use now. They call it “drought” but it’s a little different. 🙂

John Reyes
6 years ago

Hi Paul – It’s been raining on and off the past few days here in the Washington DC metropolitan region as well, mostly in the afternoon and overnight following a hot humid day. But, yesterday, July 4th, at the National Mall jam packed with tourists and Washingtonians alike between the U.S. Capitol and as far as the eye can see, past the Washington monument towards Arlington, VA, braved the sporadic rain to pay tribute to America’s independence day celebration replete with concerts and hotdogs culminating in an impressive fireworks display. By mid-afternoon, however, a torrential downpour resulted in some events… Read more »

Paul
6 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

Hi John – So “Foggy Bottom” is now “Soggy Bottom,” too! 😆 Independence Day has always been a favorite of mine, and not just because one can make things go “Boom!”. Little Known History Tidbit: John Adams, a Founding Father and, later, the 2nd President, introduced the celebration of American Independence from England to be held annually with large gatherings, abundant food and toasting, and “illuminations” (18th Century speak for fireworks) to be held on July 2nd – the day on which the Declaration of Independence was signed. After conferring with the fellow signers, he changed the date to July… Read more »

John Reyes
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Hi Paul – Was so engrossed watching the movie, “Schindler’s List”. Thanks for the interesting historical tidbit surrounding the July 4th celebration. As well, you may find interesting the story behind the DC neighborhood called, “Foggy Bottom”, home to the U.S. Department of State since 1947. I, too, contributed, Paul, although not as long as you had, to help ensure in my own little way that the July 4th celebration continued uninterrupted to the present time and well into the future. My 3 years with USAREUR in Germany during the Cold War were 3 years of constant high alert. Close… Read more »

papaduck
papaduck
6 years ago

John,
It’s good to know there are still some people proud to be American and not just hearing doom and gloom.

Paul
6 years ago
Reply to  papaduck

Hey, PD – Wonder if they were just there for the hot dogs? 😆

John Reyes
6 years ago
Reply to  papaduck

I feel the same, Randy. It’s not just “some” people who are proud to become Americans. There are literally thousands of people from all over the world who earn the right to be called Americans nearly every day. Just this Saturday, July 4th, at a citizenship ceremony at George Washington Mount Vernon estate in Alexandria, 100 people representing 45 countries recited the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America and became citizens the very same day of America’s independence day celebration. One of them was a lady of Middle Eastern descent, dressed in a hijab, was grinning ear… Read more »

John Reyes
6 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes
Daniel Christian
6 years ago

I guess no matter where I am in the world, rain always makes me happy. The only time I have prayed it for not to run is when I was in Palawan and really wanted to go Island Hopping. 🙂

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