Chivalry in the rain

Chivalry in the rain

We just had a whopper of a storm.  Blizzards in the mountains, mudslides, major flooding, and some of the coldest temperatures Beirut has seen in years.  It was so bad that the minister of education canceled school for three days!

Things weren’t terrible in our neighborhood.  Super cold (so cold that as I was mixing up some batter for cornbread last night, it actually froze while I was stirring it), and our streets turned into mini-rivers.  This is pretty common for when it rains, so we just put on our jackets and rain boots and continue on with life as usual.

On Tuesday evening I was heading home from work and I had both girls with me because Caleb had meetings and wasn’t free to watch them.  It was pouring on us, but I had Ruby in the wrap, Isla by the hand and an umbrella covering most of us.  :)

Just a few minutes after we started walking, a gentleman approached us and asked if he could help carry Isla.  I told him, “it’s okay,” which I meant as saying she could walk on her own, but he took it as “it’s okay, you can carry her,” and picked her up and started walking.  We got to the point where our paths should have diverged, but instead, he insisted on carrying her the entire way to our front door!

I can’t imagine something like this happening in the States.  Not that people aren’t helpful there, but grown men just can’t pick up little girls without someone getting nervous, but here that just isn’t the case.  Not that I am not uncomfortable sometimes with the hugs my girls get from strange boys, but this man was nothing but kind and helpful.  Isla cried at first (because she is not a fan of strangers) but he talked to sweetly to her about the weather, her boots and his umbrella that she didn’t even mind being carried.

I thanked him profusely when we arrived at home, offered him something hot to drink (which he of course declined), and he went on his way….getting wherever he was going later and wetter than he should have been, but leaving behind a very grateful mama and a little girl who learned a valuable lesson about the kindness of strangers.

It’s raining, it’s pouring

It’s raining, it’s pouring

Lebanon has a rainy season and a dry season… and we are in the midst of rainy season right now.  It pretty much feels like it’s been raining for the past two months straight.

Down in Beirut, our streets get pretty flooded when it rains really hard, but since we walk everywhere, we just put on our rainboots and splash our way to wherever we need to get.

Last week, I had to drive up the mountain a bit to take Isla to a birthday party.  I was amazed at how bad the road was.  I was on the Damascus Road, which is one of the main highways in Lebanon, and pretty much the only way to get up this particular mountain.  In several places, the water was literally a river flowing across road.  Several feet of water, mud and rocks just raging across the road and down the side of the mountain.

All the warnings about flash floods from living in Arizona were in my head, but there is no way around it.  If you want to get up or down the mountain, this is the road you take.  What really shocked me is that cars weren’t slowing down.

I tried to get a picture, but obviously wasn’t going to risk looking through the camera or actually focusing on anything… so this what I was able to get.

Just another reason I am really glad we live down in the city… I can’t imagine having to drive this road very often!

First rain

First rain

For the past few days, there are have been big clouds in the sky – the kind that make you question leaving the laundry out on the balcony.  Today, the heavens finally opened and we got some much needed, much missed rain.

(Okay, so technically, I believe it did rain once in September, but we were out of the country, and it was just a little spitting….)

Beirut is definitely a dry season/wet season kind of place.  When the rains stop in mid-spring, they really stop, and don’t come back until…. well, now!  It’s a nice change.  Windows and doors are open and the air feels fresh and clean.  We have a second summer coming up at the end of the month, where the temps will likely shoot back up into the 90’s with the perpetual sun of a Beirut summer.  But then after a week or so of second summer, the rain will be back.  And after days and days of it we will be begging the sunshine to return.

But for now, it’s raining – yay!

Isla is itching to play in those puddles.  “Isla, stay inside.”

Besides, we have just as many puddles inside!

One of the downsides of the rain…

Time to break out the fall clothes!!

Ehhhh, maybe I did go a little overboard.  It is still 85 degrees outside…

Off we go to greet the Fall!

Christmas Week – Winter weather!

Christmas Week – Winter weather!

Last year the rains didn’t start until Christmas Eve; this year they are here a bit earlier.  It’s been like this for the past few weeks now.  It will pour and pour and pour for a few days and then stop for a few, and then rain and rain again.  It will most likely continue like this for a few more months.  After a long, hot summer, it’s nice to have a bit of wintry weather!

posted by: nicolette