Posted by: tlnemethy | February 24, 2014

There Was A Storm

There was a storm that rolled through town, a storm that didn’t consist of snowflakes, but of sleet and raindrops. It had been rumored to strike for a few days, my excitement and nervousness building up because I have never really figured out when to trust the weatherman or when I should stock up on food. I’d been nursing a sad, droopy head of lettuce in my fridge for about a week. Gone were its tomato friends and its block of cheese pal. It sat alone on the top shelf, moping on its bed of a plastic produce bag, waiting desperately to be turned into a salad or the l of a BLT. It was my storm ration. As much as I love grocery shopping, topped only by sock shopping, I just hadn’t gone out in a while. Instead I started boiling chicken bones and eating canned refried beans. It was a dark stormy week for the culinary genius inside me.

I got out of work just as the grey of the day was melding with the more ominous clouds throttling across the sky. I could see raindrops hitting the window panes, the faint plinking sound meeting my ears when I actually took a moment to listen. I laughed at a coworker as he told me to stay dry, the way that everyone makes a statement that will never remain true. When it’s ninety-seven degrees in your office you say, “stay cool.” When there’s a massive thunderstorm rolling in you say, “stay dry.” I’ll try. I really will.

I opened the door into the gale and got hit directly in the eye with a kernel of sleet. Now, at work I wear my oversize hipster glasses with the thick frames and the huge lenses, so to be actually pelted in the eye by anything takes some skill. Mother Nature must be good at darts too. Vengeful bitch. I walked to my car, of course parked in the far lot, with my laptop case acting as a shield against the sideways sleet volleys. People were running to their cars, the occasional yelp being let out. I did a lot of wincing before I managed to sit behind the wheel.

I turned the car on and cranked the heat, knowing full well that it wouldn’t get close to blowing anything warmer than ice-cube breath before I drove to my place. Glancing in the rear view I noticed that the sleet mixture had turned my back window into a slushy that was impossible to see through. Popping my collar, I grabbed my snow brush and ventured back into the storm to clear it. Knowing it would return to zero visibility within a minute, I cranked the car into gear and rolled out, wipers going full force.

The booms started within minutes of me dropping my keys onto the kitchen counter. I love a good storm. Of course, I’d heard that we were under a tornado warning so I was a bit nervous about that, but there really isn’t anything like a dark room lighting briefly with flashes of lightning that arc through the sky. I wish I had a series of rainy day letters that described each individual storm, the sounds and the smells and the mesmerizing flashes. A catalog of memories to look back on. I wish I had started a tradition when I was younger. Maybe it starts here.

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