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Sunday, October 03, 2004

Fool in the Rain

There are quite a few things I've meant to write about here but never got around to. How the smell-picture of Stone Harbor has changed in the last 10 years. The traffic weirdness the day George W. Bush was in the area. (I may have an opening for that one soon, since Dubya is coming back to town this week. Let's hope he remembers to take his medication. He looked like he missed a dose before the debate last week.)

This is something that happened last Thursday.

Up until now I have only missed dogwalks three times on account of weather: one morning each for the remnants of hurricanes Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. Other than that mornings have been clear and dry. Until this past Thursday.

As Jeanne was forced to our south on Tuesday, a confluence of weather fronts caused a sort of inland cyclone to materialize over the Great Lakes and spin its way eastward. This system passed over us on Thursday, beginning early in the morning.

I knew from the radar that there was a possibility of rain, but I misjudged the speed and intensity of what was coming. We had barely gotten out of the house when the drizzle began. Within half a mile it was a proper downpour, and after another quarter-mile I informed Haley that we would need to turn around.

We were halfway home when the rain stopped. We were both thoroughly soaked, and had only been on the road for about half an hour, so I decided we may as well continue our walk and see if we couldn't dry ourselves off as we did. I decided to hang a right at the next intersection and head west at least as far as my grandmother's old house and then turn around.

We walked along for a few blocks and I heard noises. People talking. Shouting. Arguing. Bickering. As we walked along I heard a man's voice shout "You don't need your goddamn T.V. set! Get the hell outta my house!" There was a smell of donuts and pastries and baked goods in the air.

Oh, no, I thought, as I looked up at the street sign. It was them. The bickering couple I had escorted to the police station more than two months ago. We immediately picked up our pace and began a series of evasive maneuvers known as jinking, turning corners and trying to put as many blocks of houses between us and them as possible. We approached my grandmother's house in a staircase pattern, and I would swear I could hear them for several blocks.

Needless to say, we were not quite to our predetermined turnaround point when it began to pour again.

The rain again lasted just a few minutes, but was intense enough to thoroughly soak us once again. The rest of the walk was relatively uneventful, except that I managed to lead Haley directly into a six-inch deep puddle. Normally this is a very obvious pothole that we walk around, not entirely unusual in size for potholes in Nanticoke, especially ones in back alleys like the one we were walking through. But filled with water from two brief but intense downpours it was fairly invisible, particularly in the darkness before dawn with extremely thick cloud cover. So I spent a good deal of time toweling her off that morning.

Tomorrow is another dogwalk. We'll see what adventures the morning brings...

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