The rains keep coming, and if it’s not the full solution to our drought, it’s a step in the right direction. Besides, I love the rain. Nothing like a few hours of quiet, reading the paper, enjoying the rain outside… Oh.

Maybe I mean I loved the rain before kids (BK).

I’m sure even BK I spent more time thinking about having quiet time than having it. I’m a person who likes to run around, doing things. But I know I used to enjoy an occasional calm hour on the weekend, in the winter rain, with a book or the New York Times. And except for when they’re asleep, I’ve not really managed much quiet time since the kids. They are loud, and they want to be busy.

For the longest time I couldn’t get them to go on walks either, which really lowered my quality of life. I need a bit of nature or at least a stroll around the block. But I’ve solved this one pretty ingeniously. As you probably know, everyone who is dating loves walks and the beach, but once paired up it turns out only 50% of us really do, and so there’s a good chance your spouse falls on the other side of this. This is why we need walking friends and hiking clubs. But when both kids also refused to go on walks it was a near calamity. At first I tried bribes, which work in a limited way, only if you keep dangling the promised donut right around the next corner. I was saved by hikes with other families, which is a miracle because I get a lovely walk with friends, and the kids are so engaged with their peers that they somehow don’t notice they’re walking. It’s hard for me to believe this trick works so well, but it does.

So on this rainy weekend, blue from taking down the holiday lights, and not quite ready to face 2016, I found myself wandering along the hills with friends, the kids fighting and talking and climbing trees. There was the smell of rain on the air, but none dropped on us. There was a misty view of Mt Diablo. I could hear my own thoughts, and feel my shoes on the path. Nothing could be better.