Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What a storm!

I almost didn’t go to my senior fitness session this morning. My whole body was sore from all the wetness that seems to have gotten inside. I have this belief that if one doesn’t go when he could, that second cancellation gets easier and the third and fourth and so on are become normal. So I battled through the pain and went. I must admit I didn’t do as well as I usually do, and had to eliminate one part of the plan. If I had gotten on that very low rowing machine, I’d be there for the rest of my life.

It is amazing, though, how much better one can feel by conquering that which he wishes not to do.

Now that was a storm! I hate it when storms with winds that powerful and rains that heavy come at night. All I can do is listen. The one that went through our region last night was one of those storms. Sure, it began in the late afternoon; actually we first saw some wetness around noontime, but I’m not sure I’d call it rain until the PM was well underway.

To make matters worse for me, Gator Wife and I were sitting in our den where the TV is, which is on the northeast end of our home. It was against the outside wall just outside the den where the wind and rain were hitting the house the hardest.

As dusk was turning to darkness, I was able to see the little creek we have separating our home and our neighbor’s house. The water was well over its banks and rushing by. The little bridge we have to make easy access to each other’s property was under water. That little creek is from two and a half to three feet deep, and perhaps even deeper in places.

At the far end it joins a huge drainage pipe that takes the water toward the ocean past a condominium development nearby. We had a veritable lake there. The only good thing about flooding on my property is that within moments of the end of a storm, the waterways are back to relative normal. Water is flowing most of the spring and summer, but it’s usually no more than a couple inches deep.

“Where are the pictures?” you might wonder. I was tempted to go outside and take some, but it was raining so hard that both my camera and I would have gotten totally soaked. I’m not that dedicated. Also, I do have some mobility problems and the very sloped land was extremely wet and I didn’t want to take any chances. So, I don’t have any pictures this morning.

The yard is so near normal already that heading outside this morning for pictures would show nothing of all the action last night.

I would put this storm into a category I call “Florida Storms.” I recall when I lived in the Sunshine State the spring/summer storms we had. It would rain so hard that we could hardly see across the street. Unlike the storm that came through here last night, those storms usually ended with five or ten minutes of beginning.

When GW and I were first married, we drove to Florida to meet my parents. It was our first summer after a November wedding. Actually they had met but briefly at the wedding and this trip gave them a chance to get to know each other. We had chosen to drive as it was also what we would call our real honeymoon so we could see at least part of the country.

When the time came to drive home, we headed south out of St. Petersburg to take the Tamiami Trail, route 41 I think, to Miami, then up the Florida east coast toward Maine. It was before Interstate Highways were prevalent. It wasn’t long after we said goodbye to my parents that we ran into one of those storms. GW had never seen rain that heavy before. I simply pulled off the road and told her to wait just a minute and we’d be on our way.

Sure enough, in less than five minutes we were back driving in bright sunshine. She never forgot that storm and last night’s pounding on the side of our house brought back some memories. The difference was the Florida storm was only for five minutes or so; last night we went to bed in the pounding. And I hate being in bed with a storm like that outside.

We learned this morning that the mid-coast of Maine received more than three inches of rain and much of the rest of the state got an inch or more. My very unofficial rain gauge showed we receive 1.75 inches out on deck. The ground is wet, but our tarred areas are already showing some clearing. That might not last, however, as the forecast suggests we could be getting showers through much of the rest of the week.


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