A few weeks ago, Isabel got caught in a rain storm without an umbrella and without a jacket while waiting on the street corner for the school bus. Since then I have been trying to be more mindful that it is necessary to watch the weather report regularly. As remedial as this may sound to locals, this is a revolutionary concept to this former Phoenix resident who is accustomed to weather reports that sound a lot like a skipping record. “Today will be a hot one. Tomorrow hot and the five day forecast is hot.”
In my effort to be better prepared, I checked the weather Monday night and saw that Tuesday afternoon had rain in the forecast. Isabel and I came up with an “escape rain” plan in the event it begins to storm as she is making her way from the school bus stop to my work. Great, right? I was so on top of my game! Can’t you hear me being named Mother of the Year? Well…
It was sunny and clear as I went about my regular Tuesday morning routine. I did notice that the wind was picking up but I didn’t sense danger looming while heading home to get ready for work. Forty-five minutes later I emerge from the bathroom all gussied up to the sound of rain coming down in sheets! It seemed as though this came out of nowhere. As I scrambled to find my umbrella which was still packed in some box, the rain began to slow down. I ditched my efforts to find the umbrella and decided it was safe enough to just run to the car. As I stepped outside, I noticed it was remarkably warm. To most people, this would have been a clue; but I simply thought, “Hmmm. It’s so warm. This is kind of cool.”
I manage to get into the car without being completely drenched and drove to work. By the time I’m a mile into the drive, the rain had completely stopped. “Perfect! That was short lived!” And then I looked out my window. To the left I saw the strangest looking cloud I had ever seen. I tried to tell myself that I didn’t know what that vertical thing was in the sky but I knew it wasn’t good.
I decided to turn on the radio to sing along, like the rock star that I am, in the hopes I would be thoroughly distracted from the ominous cloud, the ominous cloud that I was pretending was not what I knew it was. Rather than hearing music, I heard full coverage on the funnel cloud that was escorting me to work. It looked, felt and sounded like a scene from the movie Twister. It was an unsettling yet fascinating thing.
Now, let’s review for a moment how this story began. Shayna is making a new habit of watching the weather report so she is better prepared. Sometimes, though, information gets filtered through prior experience and a lack of genuine understanding results. Here is where I begin weather story number two.
Friday night I saw the freeze warning. Well, that didn’t seem like any big deal. We got freeze warnings a few times a year in Phoenix. Other than cold, I figured it would be life as usual getting to work in the morning. Do you feel another lesson coming on?
With just enough time to get to work, I leave the house. The WHOLE car was covered in ice… ice not frost. Everyone at work was trying to tell me that was frost. It was a ¼” thick! I never saw anything like this before!! I tried to create visibility by using the windshield wipers. Epic fail. I tried pouring cold water on the windshield. It just froze. Clearly, I needed to scrape the windows, but with what? I didn’t have anything. Roomie suggested I use a credit card. So there I was with my Starbucks Reward Gold Card scraping all of the windows.
As I tell my wonderfully helpful co-workers my morning drama, they repeatedly asked, one at a time, if I had the defrost on and if I had let the car warm up. Now, why is it that I find out these “must knows” AFTER the fact?!
Perhaps there is a lesson here for me about becoming a Southern girl: Check the weather report every day and anything you think you know about weather, throw out the window; because you’re not in Kansas…er… Phoenix anymore, Shayna.