Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Public Service Announcement From One Hillbilly To Another

We are a family of mistrusters. A family of know-it-alls who know what's good for the goose and each gosling, but can't be relied on to follow through with our own advice. Or so it seems.

Rain was in the forecast this morning. Rain, maybe some heavy bursts here and there, and some lightning. That's what the meteorologists told me. So off we went. I woke the #1 son three times, each one mentioning that a heavy downpour was on the radar, and he would probably run into it on the way to school.

The Pony and I arrived under a dark cloud with hanging-down wisps. Sparse sprinkles hit the windshield. I passed my purse back to him as we pulled into the parking lot. Surely you don't think I take my purse inside a building full of adolescents. I cautioned The Pony that we would need to jump out immediately. He was to grab the umbrellas from the back as I closed the hatch and locked the doors. He headed up the sidewalk in front of me at a rapid clip-clop, umbrella under his arm. I opened mine. Just as I stepped under the overhang, those black clouds released their contents. Superb timing.

I was a bit worried about #1. He refused to answer his phone. So with five short minutes left before first bell, I swiveled my rolly chair and watched out the front window of my classroom. There he went. So we all arrived safe and sound, though one of us wet.

Little did I know how much rain was due to fall into my life today. Sure, I heard it pounding on the roof, making my textbook dvd reader guy hard to hear on the projector. But I was busy, and didn't look out much. Five minutes before the bell, the intercom came to life with cancellations of games, sports practices, afterschool programs, closings of a nearby bridge, and the command that no student should drive through standing water on roads or bridges. Funny how I'd heard nothing about flash flood warnings. Of course, sometimes they are issued when our creeks are already on the way down.

This is not our creek. It's on the way to the bank. And it's usually just a trickle. This afternoon it was lapping over the bank.

The Pony and I were in for quite a scenic ride home. Water, water, everywhere, as high as we had seen. Even our new bridge by the mailboxes had orange cones along the side. Apparently water had run down the big hill and built up quite a torrent, eating away at the side of the bridge not yet inundated by the creek itself. Scary stuff, those tree limbs and munched-out gravel and blacktop. Our road was under a bit of shallow standing water. A silver pipe peeped out both sides, almost exposed, but the road was still passable. I have an alternate route in mind for tomorrow, just in case.

But here's the thing about the family of mistrusters. Farmer H texted me when school was out, warning me that in his work neck of the woods, areas were flooded that had never flooded before. So I should not attempt our regular route home. Duh. Like I didn't know that when the school announcements came out. I texted #1 at his academic team practice. Duh. He said he had no plans of driving through water over any bridge. I think the sight of that little red truck in the creek for a week after the last bout of flooding made an impression on him. Once we got over the deepest part of our gravel road, I called Farmer H. "You can't come home your regular way. Even if you get through, you can't get across your last little bridge." It's less than half a mile from home. That was news to Farmer H. He had planned on being able to come his way, not even thinking of that last obstacle. But he knew enough that he would not have driven through it.

See? Even though we all know how to avoid danger, we imagine each other too stupid to keep from becoming a four-wheeled vessel on a roiling sea of instant regret.


Chickadee said...

I thought about you yesterday and hoped you were ok...especially when I saw on the news the rapids that formed on streets and parking lots.

Then you didn't post and didn't post and I got worried.

Glad you're ok.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Assuming stupidity can be helpful in life .....

Hillbilly Mom said...

Chick,'re so sweet! We had a bit of a detour to get home, and the #1 son put us to cleaning the Mansion so his girlfriend could come over Friday night, so I was running behind. As opposed to those nights when I fall asleep in the recliner after watching Survivor, and post really late. Or when I spend too much time perusing the internet.

Yes. Once you get over that whole "making an ASS out of U and ME" part.