The day’s rain started late in the afternoon with vivid flashes of lightning and thunder claps you could feel. They drowned out the laughter and chatter coming from the children and adults gathered at my neighbor Maide’s back porch. The two street dogs that have adopted me because I feed them lay huddled together for comfort against the storm. The rain pounded down so hard and fierce that it drowned out the sound of the rising river a few yards away from the house.
Night fell and I dined on a couple of bowls of freshly-made chili. After putting the remains of the chili into Ziplock bags and storing them in the freezer for another day, I lay out on the sofa to read the latest detective novel I’d downloaded earlier. The fierce storm had abated and the rain had slacked off when I heard “Reechar. Reechar” outside.
I went to the door, turned on the overhead porch light to find my neighbor, Maide standing outside with a towel over her head to ward off the rain. She flashed her award-winning, brilliant smile and handed me a plastic bag containing two, still hot, home made tamales wrapped in banana leaves. That’s what the group had been doing through the storm. Making tamales and she wanted me to have some despite the rain.