“A Real Humboldt Winter”

Our first Humboldt winter is the one in which it rains 17 inches in a month.

[before you start – if you are on a computer, considering clicking the “enter reading mode” on the top right corner – it will take the sidebar away and the photos will be full-sized]

Humboldt County, California is known for being green and wet. Very wet. It’s why my grandparents left so many years ago, “we were just tired of the rain,” they sighed when asked.

Global warming has changed all that, and the last few winters have been pretty dry.

This year, though, the year we decided to stay through the winter, is the one everyone is nodding their heads vigorously over. “It’s a real Humboldt winter!” people have said with some satisfaction.

“A real Humboldt Winter” can mean 17 inches of rain in a month.

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-32 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-31 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-30It’s so green here that it looks fake, like we are living in a technicolor-land. It’s absurdly, outrageously gorgeous

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-20 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-17Meriah Nichols Humboldt-29The water makes puddles, and puddles make happy kids

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-28 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-26 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-25 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-24 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-23 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-22 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-21Hey!

Wanna see our house? Here it is:

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-27You can sort of glimpse it up there on the left, right?

Cute lil’ yurt on a hill

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-4Glad it’s not an actual tent-yurt though, because those get blown away up here, real easy, real fast. Our neighbor’s yurt was blown off his hill last year – he’s going for something more sturdy this year.

We’re happy ours is made of copper and concrete with some pretty strong base work. It stays tight with the heavy wind and rain.

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-18This is the little creek. Not so little now!

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-14Meriah Nichols Humboldt-16Meriah Nichols Humboldt-15Meriah Nichols Humboldt-13Meriah Nichols Humboldt-12Little moment for a thought on Down syndrome –

I suppose in every parent of a child who has a disability that is unusual or new to the parent, there is a rather lot of reflection or sharing of learnings along the way. The “wow!” factor is big.

I feel that way so often with Moxie. She is the explorer in our family, the fearless child who longs for new adventures and who can get her brothers to do more. It’s certainly not me – I’m the type who likes to sit around a warm fire with a book and a cup of tea, NOT go charging through creeks in the rain. Moxie pushes us to do all that stuff. I know we’re happier because we follow her lead – adventures are a blast, once you get started! I know we have more fun because of her.

But did I see that coming when the perinatologist was telling me that we should abort her because she would be a “burden for life” for us, for Micah? Oh, hell no.

And it pisses me off that he can say that kind of crap and get away with it. And it pisses me off that even if I went back now and told him how wrong he is and how FUN she is and how she leads her brothers on adventures – he’d find a way to say that it’s just her. That not ALL people with Down syndrome have something to offer, or are as fun-filled as our Moxie is. That’s the part that really pisses me off – because I know now that he’s absolutely and completely wrong. Every human being has something to offer and it’s our job as parents to relax and provide environments and encouragement that let that beauty emerge and unfurl.

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-11 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-10 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-9 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-8I’m so proud of her.

I’m so proud that she’s gone so far beyond what I ever could – that’s she so fearless and curious where I was always more of a wuss. I’m so proud that my own daughter leaps where I mince. I’m proud that she loves the ride and doesn’t mind getting wet and cold.

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-7

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-6 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-5 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-3 Meriah Nichols Humboldt-2I love this winter. It’s a lot of rain, sure. But with that, come beautifully intense clouds. Raindrops that sparkle like jewels. Green, so much green. Rivers that surge, water all around, and even more green. Mists and wind.

And rainbows.

Meriah Nichols Humboldt-1

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
*Hysterically laughing* https://t.co/2bH9g1HpCq - 16 hours ago
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