Rendered Fat Content


" …the day hardly warrants remembering.
I hate it when that happens."

I knew perfectly well why there was no sun up in the sky. I'd been tracking lightening strikes for the prior couple of hours on the WeatherBug app. The line of storms had been moving steadily north and east, heading right for us. I mowed the lawn early. By the time I'd finished the chore, the temperature had dropped ten degrees and a gusty late March morning had emerged from the nearly-summer one. I'd hardly broken a sweat shoving that ancient push mower around the yard. I took this as a sign that I had been growing stronger for all my physical exertion this season, but I suspected the cooling wind. I'd opted to delay watering since the sky seemed as though it was aching to save me the trouble of hauling hose and placing sprinklers. It does little good to water when it's windy here, anyway.

The storm took her own sweet time arriving.
I retreated to the kitchen for a warmed over lunch then dismissed myself to listen to a baseball game between two terribly matched teams. I'd rather the score echo back and forth then even my home team secure an early and ever-widening lead. I probably dozed, the competition bringing all the suspense of a scripted exhibition batting practice. Still no storm. I switched to a novel, but not even the latest John Lescroart could hold my attention for long, drawn as I repeatedly was back to WeatherBug to track the approaching weather. I remembered a couple of truly trivial tasks I'd intended to dispatch earlier and wandered down through the garage a time or two, maybe three, sticking my nose outside to see if I could catch a lightening flash. Nothing.

Late afternoon and still no storm. I'm aching for it by then, having invested most of my day in mentally preparing myself for a downpour, for the real possibility of a power outage or perhaps, as happened last May, damaging hail. I feel secure enough in my position in the world these days that I hardly ever find myself obsessing over downsides. There have been times when I swear that I spent most of every day cowering underneath something, harboring unshakeable negative notional certainties. I understand how the weather works here now, and it hardly ever sneaks up behind my watchtower. Now, I more ache for the disruption in my otherwise far-too orderly routine. Some games, like the one I'd spent the first half of the afternoon half-listening to, would have been more exciting being rained out.

When the front finally passed over us, it seemed to break up quickly. A few short minutes watching BB-sized hail ricochet off the window sills to careen crazily off into the backyard; hardly a breath-taking spectacle. I never once feared for the newly-laid bedding plants. The chokecherry tree hardly lost a blossom. I only felt surprised when, once the storm had passed, I stepped outside to find genuine puddles and an authentic small stream struggling along the county road. The yard received the watering I'd earlier denied it, and in the superior, slow-release form of hail. But I had hoped for at least a minor catastrophe as a return on my invested vigilance. Last year, when an afternoon storm shreaded the roof and took chips out of exterior window frames, I quivered behind the front room arch window, which seemed certain to shatter before the concerted assault. I watched helplessly then as the deck disappeared beneath a few inches of deafening pea-sized hail. I could not muster even a weak defense as the chokecherry surrendered any hope of budding fruit.

I think of these storms as palate cleansers, a brief break in the continuum capable of enhancing the following same-old, an opportunity to experience entrenched complacency being crudely ripped from my grasp; small, survivable improbability generators demanding some following reframing and recovery. An essential spice of life. I won't denigrate the watering, but I do feel sorry about not losing anything in the exchange. No new beginning will follow this gentile awakening. Aside from a few diligent hours spent tracking the approaching StormyWeather, the day hardly warrants remembering. I hate it when that happens.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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