It was another one of those days. We had been suffering through ones just like it for well over three weeks and there did not seem to be any end in sight. It was the kind of day where your shirt sticks to your back, and you have trouble seeing because beads of sweat keep rolling into your eyes. A day where you watch your electric meter spin around at a high rate of speed as the air conditioner in your house works overtime trying to create a cool oasis for you to enjoy.
Welcome to the Sunshine State, land of heat, humidity, and oranges…actually, it really does not feel muggy all the time since normally there is a cooling breeze. However, for some time now, it has been heat, humidity, and dead air, nothing to make the temperatures more tolerable. On top of all that, we were in our “rainy season”, so typically one would have expected to see rain showers in the afternoon to “cool down” the hottest part of the day. But no, nothing like that, no breeze, no rain, nothing but that big yellow ball in the sky trying to cook the few brains I had left in my head. Made me kind of wonder if all my sins had finally caught up with me.
Every morning I faithfully checked the weather forecast and every morning the prediction was the same…it was going to rain…somewhere…and for some time now that “somewhere” has not included our neighborhood. In a strange warped way, I began to think the weather predictions were actually quite accurate.
When it said isolated thunderstorms, true to the forecast, we were totally isolated from the rain. When it indicated scattered thunderstorms, the rains were indeed scattered all around us and our neighborhood did not receive the first drop. Occasionally, a forecast would show PM thunderstorms and once again, the highly accurate predictions were correct. The rain Positively Missed our neighborhood that afternoon. I will never figure out how those forecasters knew the storms would split and go north and south of our location.
For three weeks, the weather forecasters had predicted daily high temperatures fluctuating from eighty-eight to ninety-three degrees and every day during that same period, the real high temperatures displayed on many of the bank signs were a constant ninety-six degrees.
Tiring of the heat and in desperation, I finally put a piece of black tape over the outside temperature digital readout in our vehicle…I already knew it was hot and didn’t need to be reminded of that fact, thank you very much.
As I rambled on about the weather, my wife Ann was kind enough to point out the fact that I normally griped if my plans were spoiled by rain. Yeah, that really boosted my spirits. She went on to say that in the winter, I complained about the cold and in the summer, I complained about the heat. She then asked, “Humm, ya think there’s a pattern to your carping?” Yeah, well maybe I am just a little harder to satisfy than others, but right now, I would be in hog heaven if it rained on my parade.
Nope, not gonna happen, it was another afternoon of staring at distant storm clouds, watching the bright flashes and hearing the loud booms. Another afternoon of being envious of neighborhoods where people were actually able to use their umbrellas, raincoats, and windshield wipers. Another afternoon of no rain, just that big yellow ball in the sky peeking from behind distant rain clouds doing a good job of trying to cook my meager brains.
As the new day broke and my eyes were open enough to find the coffee pot, I grabbed a cup and sat down in front of my computer to check the weather forecast. It came as no surprise that it was a rubber stamp of the previous day, more scattered thunderstorms.
As I glanced out the window, I saw all the same distinct signs that led me to believe we were in for another day just like yesterday…joy, joy. Unless something drastically changed, it would be another one of those, yellow ball in the sky, brain cooking, no rain, days.
I had to run some errands and as I walked out to my vehicle, I noticed something was different. At first, I was not real sure what had happened but slowly I began to realize there was a cool breeze hitting my face. I then noticed the fronds on our pigmy date palms were swaying ever so slightly. It may have been my overly optimistic imagination, but it seemed as though that little breeze had already started lowering the temperature.
As I looked at the sky, I could see those ever-present rain clouds lingering off in the distance. With the breeze blowing in my face I was hoping it was a hint of things to come, a hint of things that could be if only those dadgum clouds would just visit our neighborhood and rain on my parade.
Having taken care of all the items on my “honey do” list, I pointed my vehicle in the direction of home. The closer I got to the old homestead, the more threatening the sky began to appear. Once again, I started to get all excited at the prospect of finally receiving some liquid sunshine. Was it really going to happen or would this be yet another let down. Time and time again, I had watched storm clouds head for our neighborhood only to have them veer off at the last minute or pass directly overhead without unloading their precious cargo. No, I was determined not to go through that disappointment again, it was just dark clouds and it was no guarantee we would get rain. It was a real struggle, but eventually I managed to put a lid on my excitement.
The sound echoed around inside my vehicle…SPLAT, followed by another SPLAT, and yet another SPLAT. Large drops of rain were beginning to hit the windshield. I had to work hard to stifle my growing excitement. A few raindrops at this location did not mean it would be raining on our street, after all this is Florida and I have seen it rain on one side of the street and not the other. On the other hand, it was indeed raining and as I looked in the direction of our neighborhood, the sky above looked very promising. Oh how I wanted to be able to arrive home and ride through the puddle that always formed at the end of the driveway during a rainstorm. Oh how I wanted it to rain on my parade.
As I continued toward home, the SPLAT, SPLAT, SPLAT switched to the roar of a full-blown rain shower. I was forced to run my windshield wipers at full speed to have any hope of seeing the road ahead. With it coming down this heavy, surely it had to be raining in our neighborhood. I was very encouraged…that is until I called Ann. She asked me if I was in a good mood and I replied, “Not really”. She then said “Good, ‘cause then I won’t spoil your mood…I’m looking outside right now and if you were standing out there, you wouldn’t have to open your umbrella”. I could tell by her voice, she was really enjoying herself…paybacks are heck.
I just could not believe there was no rain falling in our neighborhood. Once again, I glanced in the direction of our house and the sky above gave every indication it should be raining in that area. A bright flash immediately followed by a loud boom abruptly interrupted my thoughts.
Before I had a chance to calm down from the lightning, my phone rang causing me to jump. When I answered, the voice on the other end simply said “Do you have an umbrella with you…you’re gonna need it when you get home…it’s raining on your parade”.
As I neared the intersection with our road, I was happy to see it was indeed raining on both sides of the street. When I made my turn, I had a good view of our house, which was receiving a dousing from the dark clouds above. Heading down the street I found myself fighting the urge to belt out the tune “Singing in the Rain”, so I quietly hummed the tune instead…“Humming in the Rain” so to speak.
When I got closer to our house, I began to smile…there it was, the puddle at the end of our driveway. Like a little kid walking home on a rainy day, I could not wait to hit that puddle. I turned the wheel and stepped on the gas. As I hit the puddle water shot out everywhere…yaaahooooo…oops, BRAKES! My hands were shaking as I stopped a mere six inches from the garage door. As I wiped the sweat from my brow and breathed a sigh of relief, a rather large smile slowly returned to my face.
There is something mesmerizing and relaxing about watching raindrops fall. The way they wash away all the “nasty’s” leaving everything smelling fresh makes rain showers one of many pleasures that make life worth living…“What a Wonderful World...oh yeah…”
It has been raining off and on for three days, with no end in sight. Everything outdoors is super clean and fresh. Now, I’m not one to complain and I am enjoying the cooler temperatures, but I’m beginning to wonder when it’s going to stop raining on my parade…I mean, I’m getting cabin fever…I want to get out, take some pictures and not get soaking wet…UGH, when is it going to stop?
Another great adventure comes to an end. It doesn’t get any better than this…well, unless you’re talking about Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by all your loved ones. That might just be a step up from this story.
I guess as we travel the road of life, we can never be really sure which way the road will turn…one thing’s for certain though, if you want it to rain all you have to do is wash your car.
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