August 10, 2006

The clever rain

Never speak the words: “Oh it never rains near us. Please send some of your rain this way.” lightly. My mother did and sure enough as I was driving home for a visit monsoon season started in the suburbs of Atlanta. I don’t mean those light and easy monsoons either. It was a full fledged I-should-have-bought-a-submarine-instead-of-this-sports-car-weather.

When I started the trip to the parents house it was 7-ish, almost enough of daylight left to get me to my end destination. Gratefully, I made it across the mountains in good weather and good light. But as soon as I hit “the city,” where traffic lights abound, the bottom fell out of the sky. As you all know, as soon as that first rain drop falls people lose the ability to drive. Add that to the need to actually know what lane you need to be in AHEAD of time=disaster. It was horrible.

The rain slowed traffic to a crawl, because as soon as you hit 25 mph, six foot sheets of water sprayed out from your wheels. I got hit once by a passing truck’s spray and almost had to completed break. Even with my windshield wipers on high, it seemed as if I had driven my car into a lake. That’s when I noticed it-The flappy thing on the right side of my wind shield. It’s my right windshield wiper blade sliding out of place, just flapping in the breeze.

At this point, I was about 15 miles from the house. Do I chance it and just drive home where Dad the super mechanic can deal with it? (Which is my normal course action.) Or do I pull over underneath the gas station over hand and just slide it back into place? Drive home let Dad deal with it? Or Be the Good Daughter and fix it now? Remember that, it is monsoons season and I need that blade. Also, as I have noted before the husband and I are broke, so I can not afford to repair a scratched windshield. So I pulled over.

I parked the car underneath a gas station overhang. Heck! I practically parked on the sidewalk next to the building so that I would be in the most “protected” spot from the rain. Oh, how I doubted the ability of the clever wind to funnel the rain directly at me. I pulled the car forward so that I was directly parked in front of the convenience store door to get out of the rain, but the clever wind just blew harder. I figured I get wet, but I had no idea that I would look like I jumped into a pool with my clothes on in less than 2 minutes when under “shelter.” During which I began to shake so hard I could barely keep the refill blade in my hand, must less slide it back in.

Frustrated I decided to rip the damn thing out and start anew. HA! HA! The wind and rain laughed at me, while focusing on aiming the rain straight into my left ear. I pulled as hard as I could on the blade and torn open my finger. Great! I’m wet, chilled to the bone and the only part of me that is still retaining heat is now leaving my body in pints! At this point I have been outside for a total of 15 minutes and two men have offered they’re services. I have politely and not at all in a fit of revenge to the wiper blade, turned down their services. I was going to beat that damned blade, if it was the last thing I did and judging by my dropping body temperature, it might just be.

Forcing the blade back into place I managed to succeed. My father might have disagreed with my method, but it was in place and functional. I got back in the car and began to finish the drive only to discover, that my usual route home was under construction and blocked. Turning the heater on high in hopes that I might dry out some, I began to realize how my disparity. I just turned the heater on high in my car in GA in the middle of summer. Alternating my route so that I might find actual open roads in which to get home, I had to drive through black out area, where the traffic lights at three different six lane (at the least) intersections are out. I’m of course turning left at the largest one. Rain + Dark + Lights Down = VERY STUPID DRIVERS. At this point I just started praying that I might make it home.

After almost being gunned down for taking a left turn, I found my way to my parents road. I was already unbuckling as I pulled in the driveway. Watch out for the new black cat! Dad hollers. You try seeing a black cat in the dark. I slowed the vehicle to crawl, only because I knew if I hit the cat, my parents would never let me use the clothes dryer. With no cat to be found, I grabbed my bag and ran inside. I hoped as I went to sleep (dry) that it was all a bad dream.

The next morning when I went to unload the rest of my gear, I found a pool of water filling the crevasse that is the door handle and my carpet soaked. Nope not a dream!

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