Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Michel de Montaigne
Be Prepared. The scout motto, yes? Here in Central Texas, we prepare for weather. Any inkling of an ice storm, snow flurry, or hurricane in any sea, our weathermen get excited and tell us how to prepare. We follow like good scouts and invade the grocery store for water, flashlight batteries, and any other necessity to make it through the harrowing days ahead. I, of course, include the wine aisle.
Normally, our preparations are for naught. The ice storm stays in North Texas and the remainders from the hurricane skirt us and head into Mexico. I drink the wine anyway.
Last week, the rains arrived unexpectedly, adorned with the title of Hermine. I'd heard of tropical depression/hurricanes Alex, Earl, and Igor, but where did Hermine come from. No days of fore warning by our weatherman. A hint that rain might come, but no clue that three days of pouring skies might produce new rivers.
I can't tell you where she came from, but I can tell you where she ended up.
In my living room.There I was, minding my own business. Reading a book while the rain poured outside. Hours of steady rain and then I heard a different sound. A dripping. I looked up from my book to see my fireplace weeping. Sobbing, in fact. Not just from that spot above, but through the rocks.
I rushed to remove all the photos, diplomas and the summer's collection of tidbits from the mantle.
I grabbed pots and pans from the kitchen only to notice water there also - above the oven, coming out of the register.
Until three in the morning I wandered the house, pulling out more pans and towels, my evil eye tracing the ceiling and rocks on the fireplace for the next spring of a leak. The kitchen ceiling for even more brown spots popping up.
Outside the rain continued to drench, inch after inch. The radar on the television displayed a solid line of red right up our alley with no hint of drying up. Reports of cars under water in an intersection only a few blocks away.
Unprepared, I had no wine in the house. I wept right along with my fireplace.
My husband slept through the whole damn thing. My middle son, Jordan, currently living at home awaiting a new wildlife position, huddled with the computer in the study, playing some game online with his little brother in Alabama.
I stood in the study door, my hands on my hips. "Your dad's asleep and you're playing a game. I'm in here freaking out while the house crumbles before my eyes."
He shrugged and went back to his game. "Calm down, Mom."
Don't you hate that.
He told his little brother to give me a call and Ian called on cue. I was passed off, but I welcomed the call.
Twelve inches of rain, total, for our area. Our damage truly minimal compared to the loss of life and property experienced by many others.
But, my house in a shambles, I did what every self-respecting homeowner should do. I abandoned the property and went to the lake. Needed to check out the damage there, right?
Only 3-4 inches of rain unleashed, but oh, how my flowers loved it.
I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982