Wednesday, January 20, 2010

storm watch. 2010. day 3.

so today . . . at 3:45 p.m. the rain ceased to be entertaining.

the day once again started out dry. i even checked with rollie about the forecast, because while my phone said it would only get up to 58 degrees today, it said nothing about rain. he assured me that the rain was coming . . .

i've come to hate the look of a cloudy, gray sky. and my closet full of dry weather clothes.

when i am at school, i am oblivious to the weather. my classroom is in the basement with narrow windows at ceiling height, and all we can see is the top of the building next door. we have heat and air conditioning and nice bright lights, so our temperature and visibility are unaffected by the weather. until we go up to the gym for recess, we have no idea of what is going on outside. which usually doesn't matter, because usually the sun is shining! but today when we went upstairs for playtime in the gym, i noticed that although the sky was cloudy and gray, there was still no rain.

so on my 15 minute break, i made an uneventful (this time) dash to 7-11 for emergency supplies (you know what i am talking about!) i noticed that one part of the sky was significantly darker than the rest. oh good, i thought to myself, maybe the storm is going past us today. yeah, well, i believed that little fairy tale until i realized that the dark part of the sky was to the west of us, and that crazy jet stream is traveling east.

now that i had supplies, i was able to stay inside during my lunch break. my plan had been a nice lunch with my book at chick-fil-a, since i had a whole hour today. but after seeing that sky, i could just imagine myself having to dash back to my car in the flooded parking lot with pouring rain drenching me and then spending the rest of the afternoon cold and wet. no thank you!

i fully expected the rain to be over by the time i left for home. that is what happened on monday. that is what happened yesterday. and our weather is nothing if not predictable. in fact, we rarely see the rain, because it almost always rains at night here. i don't know why, it just does . . .

so i put on my coat, picked up my handbag and computer bag and umbrella, and headed for the door. i could see that it was raining, so i adjusted my bags so that they were both on my shoulder and would be protected under the umbrella. i put my hood up. (don't ask why, i have no idea. i had an umbrella, but it just seemed like the thing to do.) i pushed open the door and started up the outside stairs. when i got to the top of the stairs, i stopped. i couldn't believe my eyes. the wind was blowing, and rain was coming down in sheets! you could see walls of it moving across the parking lot. this was more rain than i had seen since the day it rained something like 15 inches in one day when we lived at the coast. and that was ten years ago!!

i stood there for a few minutes trying to decide what to do. then i realized that even though i was kind of protected by the building, i was still getting wet! ok, make a dash for it, i thought. so i did--over the flooded grass and through the really flooded parking lot. i decided against opening the trunk in favor of trying to stuff my bags into the car, over the driver's seat, and into the passenger seat--yeah, that is why i usually use the trunk! i opened the door ready to fling my bags in . . . and discovered a major design flaw with my perfect little roadster--when sheets of rain are blowing across the roof and you open the door, the water falls in a stream straight down into the driver's seat! uh huh . . .

i didn't know what to do. i just stood there and watched my bucket seat fill up with rain water. should i put my bags in? but i would have to put them in the wet driver's seat first before i could bend down and lift them over the emergency brake into the other seat. and i couldn't bend down, because i was holding my umbrella (for all the good THAT was doing) and it was stuck between the roof of the car and the car door. should i just get in and try to pull them in after me? sit in that puddle?!?!?! are you kidding me?!?! maybe i should just open the trunk after all. but then all my eco-friendly cloth shopping bags would get wet. oh, and btw, THE PUDDLE IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT WAS NOT GETTING ANY SMALLER! i needed to do something!!

so i slammed the door closed and ran back into the school building.

you might think this was counterproductive. after all, i was already at the car. i was already about as wet as i could get. and now i had just doubled the amount of times i was going to have to slosh across the flooded parking lot. and maybe you would be right. but all i could think was my car is filling up with water and i don't know how to make it stop!!

so it was time to regroup. i needed a plan b. first things first--i walked down the hall and told ms. martha what had happened. i needed some sympathy and understanding, and i needed it fast! and then i started looking for the paper towels. because i figured that with all the rain around our school in the basement, real, dry, cotton towels were going to be scarce. but it was my lucky day (really?!?!?) because one was located.

ok, both bags on my shoulder, hood up, soda dumped (oh yes, i forgot to mention that i also had a soda in my hand before . . . ) umbrella in position, and towel in hand. i was ready to give it another try.

i went out the door and up the stairs. i peeked out into the parking lot. ok, good. the rain seemed to have slowed just a bit, and the wind had died down, so at least the rain was vertical now instead of horizontal. my feet and pants were already wet, so i took the shortest route to my car, even though i didn't have my water wings handy. i opened the car door, and without the wind blowing the water across my roof, the rain followed the little gutter around the door and down the side. yes!! ok, now just maneuver the bags in, and . . . then the wind blew, gustily!! the water coursed across the roof and down into the seat, and right INTO my handbag and computer bag!! i frantically tried to fling them across into the other seat, but the handles caught on the emergency brake. i couldn't reach far enough in to free them without letting go of the umbrella. and if i let go of the umbrella it would blow away. and, oh yeah, now there was more water in the driver's seat!! AAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!

i collapsed the umbrella, threw it onto the floor, put the towel in the driver's seat, threw myself into the car, and slammed the door shut! and the rain continued!

ok, well at least i was in the car. i was soaked, as was my seat, my carpet, and both the inside and outside of my bags, but we were all safe now. i hoped. all i had to do was get home and into the garage.

i started home, and knew i was in trouble when i saw the cars coming toward me on the road. great fountains of water were spraying high into the air. that is fine if you are driving an suv (rollie) or a jeep (diandra) but if you are driving a mazda mx-5 . . .

great! i survived the sinus rinsing only to drown on my way home from work . . .

i only live a mile from school, and i did not know if i was going to make it home. there was water across the road, but there was no where else to go. so i pretended my car was chitty chitty bang bang and plowed on through. i was afraid that if i stopped, my car might stall. (of course, i have no idea how a car works, so i don't know if that was a real danger or not.) i was trying to figure out how deep the water was, when i saw some high school kids running across the street. and the water was almost up to their knees! i turned into our neighborhood and couldn't see the road. it was completely flooded. the water was up over the sidewalks. i aimed my little car for the center of the road and tried to make it home without hydroplaning. i wasn't completely sure that my car was going to respond when i slowed down to turn into our driveway. but it did. and i coasted into lovely dryness.

i'm thinking maybe i should spend day 4 of storm watch 2010 in bed. warm and dry. with a book . . .


Carroll said...

I know it wasn't a bit funny when you were in this trauma but it sure was funny to read about it. Since we've been there, I could kind of follow along in my mind all the things and places. Glad you made it and I really would have been afraid of stahling and floating away. Sorry about the mess though. Did you get the car dried out?

mom said...

I needed a laugh for this day and I just got it even though I'm sure you weren't laughing. The forecast doesn't sound great for you tomorrow either. By the way, it was 56 degrees today and we even had some sunshine. Flip, flop, flip, flop, flip flop!!!!!!