Michele picked us up last night to take us to the bead club. The clouds were gray and low, the wind pushing leaves about lazily. The monsoons are unpredictable. No guessing where or even if the storm would break. So we decided to cautiously venture out to the bead store.
We drove north up to Skyline looking for a sandwich shop on the way. As we went north, the rain began to splatter lightly and the wind picked up a little. A stoplight lost power just as we approached it on River road. Michele bravely and safely forged the intersection. The power loss was a bit surprising as I had not seen or heard any lightning or thunder in the area.
We continued on to Skyline where we pulled into a parking lot to feed the howling Kirin beast and consider our choice of eateries. The place we had hoped to visit was already closed for the evening. As I perched over the front seat to reach Kirin in her car seat the wind began to gust, the drizzle turned to a downpour. I turned to face forward as the wind rocked the car and the rain obscurred everything beyond the windows. Michele looked rather pale and I imagine I did as well. We agreed to sit and wait out the storm. The car continued to rock, the wind howled and sheets of water beat on the windows creating a cacophony. I thought of calling Mark but I would have had to yell into the phone to be heard over the incredible noise. Then the rain abated just enough to see the trees immediately before us in the parking lot and just a glimpse of the road beyond some 30 or 40 feet. The mesquite tree to our left uprooted and blew over onto the sidewalk with a small thud. A few cars were stopped in the roadway before us but I still could not see the far lane or the opposite side of the road. Kirin continued crying throughout this in fear lonliness or hunger or maybe all three. I climbed over the seat and unstrapped her from the car seat to hold her in my lap. We waited maybe another five minutes and the wind calmed to irregular gusts and the rain slackened to allow us to see across the parking lot. Michele and I could now talk without shouting at one another.
She drove us cautiously to the grocery store on the other side of the lot. People were dashing in and out of the grocery so we hoped to find food and shelter inside. Michele darted out into the rain, grabed Kirin from my lap and ran under the building’s overhanging patio. More ponderously and less gracefully I maneuvered out onto the wet pavement. Even with the cane to help, my boot slipped on the wet blacktop and I came within moments of falling onto the unforgiving asphalt. I caught myself just in time but sustaining a minor muscle pull in the right hip. Fortunately Michele did not see all this flailing about as she was occupied with getting Kirin to the patio. From the patio, Michele dashed and I hobbled to the entrance of the store.
To our surprise, the staff huddled in the entrance with several customers. The lights were out. The staff had flashlights. Managers were herding people out from the back of the store. They informed us they were closing up but we could wait in the entrance with them out of the rain as it wasn’t safe to send any one out into the storm. Kirin sniffled in Michele’s arms and then all the staff and customers admired the brave wet baby.
Wonder of all wonders the rain slowed to a drizzle and we could finally see all across the parking lot and into the roads. By now we were all soaking wet and shivering. We dashed ( I use the term loosely ) back to the car and turned on the heater. Cars were moving cautiously on the roadways through the blackened intersection. We agreed to try a few more miles in hopes of finding food power and shelter in the direction of the bead store. Michele drove most carefully with us. We stopped at Aj’s on Campell and Skyline to attend to our creture comforts.
Michele had never been to Aj’s so we had dinner and shopped. By the time we had enjoyed all the store had to offer the rain had stopped. The wind had settled to a gentle breeze. Rainbows arched across the sunset while the luminous silver, gray and multihued blues of the clouds hung over the Catalinas like a benediction from the Storm Gods. We drove home uneventfully with many good eats in our bags, full tummies, a sleeping baby and without any beads after Kiri’s first monsoon adventure.
My stars,girl…where have you been hiding this talent for writing????? I was spellbound!