Monday, February 16, 2009

Dive Right In and The Drive From Hell

Yesterday, my 4-year old and I went food shopping. We parked and spent about an hour inside the store. When we were finished, I was grateful that we'd asked for "help out". Surprise--my car was sitting in about 6 inches of water, water that certainly was not there when I parked an hour previously. My car was sort of just floating, or at least that's how it appeared. I couldn't believe it. "I guess the storm drain backed up again--I should call Maintenance about this!" said the keenly observant clerk as he tried to direct me through the shallowest part of the pool. All I could think was, "Again? This has happened before, and no one thought to check this out today?". It's been raining most of the last couple weeks around here, and it shows no sign of stopping. The storm when we parked was particularly fierce. Ten-day weather forecasts have mostly that little cloudy icon, with "showers" and "rain" predominating, although I'm not sure exactly what differentiates the two. Since we live in a very suburbanized area, where everything is paved, there isn't a way for the ground to keep up with all this rainfall--rainfall we desperately need. So we flood. Talk about insult to injury. Back to the car: I stood there, holding the little hand of my baby girl, and pondered this soggy mess. I wracked my brain trying to figure out a way to get around this problem. My car was completely surrounded by water. The clerk had it easy, since there was slightly less flooding at the back of my SUV, where he was loading my groceries. Plus, he wasn't wearing clogs. Cloth clogs. Read: absorbent. Finally, I figured out the truth: there was no way, absolutely no way to get out of this mess except to dive right into it. Yes, it was going to feel cold and disgusting. Yes, I was going to get wet. But I was already getting soaked standing in the pouring rain wondering what to do, and it wasn't getting me any closer to dry clothes and a warm and toasty fire at home. So I stepped in. . . .and I was right: it did feel cold and disgusting. Also, the water started wicking up my pants legs, something I hadn't thought about. I gave a little dramatic gasp, said something like, "Eeeeuck!" and tossed my little girl into the back seat. And proceeded to begin The Drive From Hell. To say, "It was a dark and stormy night" would be accurate. Hey, sometimes, it really IS a dark and stormy night. It was so stormy, no one was doing more than 45 on the freeway. I hydroplaned not once, not twice, not three, four or five times during that ride home, but six times. Scary as all get-out. People were just flying all over the road, in little swervy manuevers, and I'm betting I wasn't the only one with white knuckles. You've heard the expression There are no atheists in foxholes ? Well, there are no atheists on roadways like this, either. Or at least there shouldn't be. I'm no atheist, and I felt especially close to God during this horrendous ride home, with my soggy shoes and soggy pant bottoms.

How about you? When faced with a less-than-desirable situation, do you hem and haw, or dive right in? Keep in mind, there weren't a whole lot of options for me, but I still hesitated. I really, really wanted something supernatural to happen right then and there, like perhaps a very minor earthquake, just big enough to make a teeny-tiny crack in the parking lot and drain some of that nasty cold water so I could get to my car in comfort. I'm laughing about it now, since some time's gone by and I can find it humorous. Plus, I'm warm :)

And tomorrow, I get to go shopping for another pair of shoes. I think I'll pick a store on a hill.

No comments: