“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Weathering the Storm

Saturday, July 23, 2005

This morning started like any other Saturday. It was a bit cloudy out. In keeping with my morning routine, I sat down at my Mac and checked It said it was cloudy (duh) with a 30% chance of precipitation and scattered thunderstorms in the area. Yeah whatever. Lately we've seen a lot of that kind of forecast. It means that it will alternate between cloudy and sunny all day, and if we're lucky maybe we'll get a fraction of an inch of rain. I didn't think much of it.

My Geek was out taking a class today, and I had some errands to run before going bead shopping with Blond Girl and her friend, Smoothie this afternoon. While I was getting ready to go, I called Little B who had been trying to get in touch with me all week. Our conversation continued on my cell phone as I left to run my errands. (Ah, the wonders of technology.)

As I traveled down the highway toward Blockbuster where I was going to return a PS2 game (Psychonauts - really cool game, by the way. And yes, I do play video games. I am the wif of a Geek afterall.), the sky changed abruptly from light gray to pitch black. I expressed my surprise at this to Little B and thought how it was strange to be under such a black sky with only a sprinkling of rain.

When I arrived at Blockbuster (still on the phone with LB and it was still just sprinkling), I snatched the closest parking spot (no more than 50 feet from the return slot), grabbed my keys and the game, locked my car door, and proceeded to the return slot by the door. By the time I turned around to head back to my car (remember, 50 feet - that's what, like 10 seconds??!!) the sky was dumping rain like God had just unplugged his tub and his bathwater was dumping out all over us. This was not mere rain. It was far more than a downpour. Deluge might work. Torrential rain, may cut it - maybe.

The wind was insane. There were large boxes flying across the lot. Not rolling, flying. They weren't touching the ground. There was a guy chasing a green shopping cart that was blowing across the parking lot from the Rainbow about a block away. He was pitifully losing the race as the cart was traveling faster than I would drive my car through any parking lot. Then, when I got about 10 feet from my car, the hail started. Yup hail, thwacking me in the face. Kind of like those hara-kiri-ing aphids I encountered in my garden, but without the suicide aspect.

There were some teenage girls running to the car next to mine. The girl in the passenger seat and I arrived about the same time and I didn't even let her open the door first like I might normally. It was survival of the fittest, baby. Every man for himself. I got my door unlocked first so I got in the car first. Of course I couldn't get my door closed tight because the wind was blowing so hard against my open door that I couldn't pull against it.

I started the car and immediately realized that I would be crazy to drive in this. I'm no coward, but driving in this would be just plain stupidity. The teen girls drove off. I hope they made it home safely. I, on the other hand, told LB I would call her back in a couple minutes (I didn't want to get my cell phone wet), grabbed my purse and made a mad dash for the Blockbuster door. I must have sounded crazy to Little B since she couldn't see what I was freaking out about. I have no idea what I was saying to her all that time. I was experiencing survival mode like I never have before.

I entered Blockbuster drenched from head to toe and asked the guys behind the counter if I could hang out there until the storm calmed down a bit. They said yes, by all means and directed me toward a chair I could use. I think they might have actually pulled out the chair and brought me an ottoman if I'd asked.

I called Little B back and told her what was going on as I walked around the store. (The "chair" was more of a wooden box and too close to a wall of windows for my comfort.) She got all excited. "I'll check the Weather Channel to see what's happening!" LB is happiest when she's helping others. I learned that it was a beautiful sunny day in Tennessee and the humidity in Texas was 97%. Finally she said, "Ooh here's something about your storm!

"Yeah, that's really bad."

Thanks B. Real helpful.

So she talked me through the storm. "Well, it's hit St. Cloud now so it should pass up the city pretty soon." She was right. Shortly thereafter the wind died down. It was still pouring rain, but it was safe to leave. I thanked the guys behind the desk. They wished me luck and hoped I'd stay dry. Yeah, good luck with that.

This afternoon Blond Girl, Smoothie and I swapped storm stories. Between that and bead shopping, we had a great afternoon, and since none of us were hurt, it turned out to be a beautiful day despite the storm.


At 7/24/2005 5:18 AM, Blogger Sharon wrote:

There was a big storm the morning I left St. Paul. It was impressive. Storms there are not exactly like the storms here. We have so many hills and mountains, you don't always get a clear view. A storm in Minnesota -- it's like an Imax experience.

I really did love visiting your state. All of it is beautiful (Minneapolis too) :)

At 7/24/2005 7:47 AM, Blogger Geekwif wrote:

I'd almost forgotten about that one. I woke up that morning to hear the thunder. I love waking up to thunder and rain on the roof. It's the wind that freaks me out.

At 7/25/2005 11:23 AM, Blogger Kristi wrote:

Wow- that's some storm. It brought back some scary memories of last weekend's rain storm in my area, which flooded my basement. Glad you made it safely home!

At 7/26/2005 1:30 AM, Blogger Blond Girl wrote:

Have I ever told you about the time I got caught at the top of the IMAX theatre at ValleyFair the day we got 17 inches of rain in two hours? Now THAT was a storm!


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