Soggy days bring out the ducks in us all
Rain, rain, go away.
Normally I like the rain. I like to curl up with a good book and soft blanket, work on my scrapbooks or genealogy, or drift off to sleep as the raindrops clatter onto the metal roof at home. On mild days, I like to wiggle my toes in the puddles formed in the back yard, stomp so the water splashes my legs, raise my face to the sky for the baptism of nature.
Last Sunday was a nice and quiet day at home as I enjoyed the peaceful refrain of the falling rain and, at long last, local author Deborah Grace Staley’s “A Home for Christmas,” the second of her Angel Ridge series of books. Monday was a work day, but the rain wasn’t a horrible companion. Tuesday, though, the waterworks had become like three-day-old fish or guests who linger too long — it was beginning to stink. Badly.
Here’s the reason: My car has a slight problem. When it rains, the trunk, the floorboard of the back seat and driver’s side floorboard get very wet. When it rains as long and as heavily as what was experienced last week, I feel like I’m floating down the road in a boat with the plug pulled. I usually have towels in the car to sop up the excess but had not gotten around to it when the time came to leave Monday. I knew there was water, but when you’re in the car and the motor is started and you think about having to run the gauntlet of pouring rain, disarming a security system, explaining to the dogs why you’re already back, finding towels and taking care of it, nope. Forget it. I’m going on to work.
Something had to be done before leaving Tuesday, though, given the amount of water standing in the car. I remembered to take towels outside with me; three towels later, with the deluge still going strong, I sopped up enough to get going and laid another towel in the back floor to, I fervently prayed, soak up enough to keep my feet out of a couple of inches of water in the front. I threw the wet towels in the garage and jumped in the driver’s seat — only to discover that the few seconds the door was open was more than enough to saturate the seat.
No time to change, so down the road I went.
I hope the ladies at the DAR meeting who honored Donna Wilson, Times Too editor, and me with the club’s media award didn’t think I’d peed my pants. My coworkers assured me in the few minutes between arriving at the office and then heading to the meeting at the library that I didn’t look as wet as I felt.
Oh, and then there are the wet feet, a most uncomfortable predicament.
With water standing in the parking lots at the library and at the office as well as in the distance from the photographer’s car to the door of my next assignment, my shoes and socks soon had the consistency of saturated sponges. I sincerely hope they did not have a foul smell. I suppose you could say “fowl” odor, though, since I felt like a great waddling duck splashing through the waters. It would have been no surprise at all to have found webbed feet when I finally got home and peeled off the offending footwear.
Another problem with a vehicle that holds water in all the wrong places is that moisture condenses on the inside window surfaces. I keep newspapers handy to wipe them off, which actually is a pretty good tip. The newspaper makes excellent window cleaning cloths. It helps to remove the scum that builds up and keeps the windows from being so streaked. Works much better than paper towels, and doesn’t leave lint.
What is really fun is when the outside temps are below freezing, meaning that I have to scrape the inside of the vehicle rather than the outside in order to see. Newspapers are not so good when that happens ... Old plastic cards, like the ones you get replaced every year from your insurance company, work very well, though.
My hopes of beginning to dry out were dashed Wednesday when I once again saw weeping skies after hearing that the rain would move out by noon. Mother Nature apparently does not listen to weather forecasts.
I saw a Facebook poster that sums up the weather in East Tennessee. Don’t know who created it, but the text reads: “Tennessee has two seasons, winter, summer. And they usually alternate days within the same week.”
Oh, yes. I fully expect either 80-degree days or 15-degree snow days any time now.
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)