After record rainfall for 6 days, Southern California has had a brief reprieve until another storm is expected to hit. As we received half of the annual rainfall during those 6 days, the news was dotted with stories of mudslides and floods in surrounding cities. I uncovered my rainboots, and my scarves and coats made a daily appearance.In Del Mar for a bridal shower the Wednesday before Christmas, it was raining hard while we were inside for the party. But when it was over, we walked outside to the first break in the rain. Everything still soaking wet and decorated by water droplets, puddles just begging to be splashed through, and a quiet that comes only after such a storm. Animals emerge from their shelter, and nature takes a breath of fresh air as it can finally take a break from the incessant wetness. The air feels and smells cleaner, and people peek out of their houses wondering if it is finally safe to leave without an umbrella. Before life in Southern California returns to it's normal sunshine and easy living, this is the calm before the storm.