It’s About to Rain

I am sitting at our old kitchen table, which I know use as my writing desk, watching the slate gray clouds roll in from wherever they last were.  Thunder rumbles closer and closer and I’ve seen three lightening strikes so far.

I’m so glad I decided to work from home today! Sometimes I forget I have this lovely option, this option to stay home and write, instead of dragging my tail into the office five days a week.  I made the decision for today out of a fit of pique yesterday, when it turned out not one piece of office equipment was working, from the many printers on our network to the fax machines to the office email.  When I felt blood lust in my heart for Mike the IT guy, who told me our department was in queue and he would get to us, I decided perhaps it would be best to take  day and clear a couple articles off my “to write” list from the comfort of my own home.

I slept in an hour and a half later than I normally would, awaking refreshed and ready to run. As soon as I opened the front door gusts of hot air hit me, and I knew this run would be more like slogging than jogging, and indeed, every breath I took felt like I was sucking in water and I started sweating during my warm up walk. I can be what my mom calls “heat sensitive” and what  my dad calls “puke sick” in too-warm temperatures and I worried a bit about whether I would end up vomiting by the side of the road, but like it usually happens, when I push through a mental barrier I found myself totally okay on the other side of it.

My suburb was oddly empty today. I crossed paths with the neighbor S. has nicknamed the General, so much time does he spend patrolling the hedge between our yards, making sure we haven’t planted any unapproved flowers or something else equally deviant, and I stopped to pet his dog.  Other than that, I found myself virtually alone on quiet streets, passing yard after yard of dried up grass. I’m not sure if its because of higher gas prices or what, but nobody was running their sprinklers to water their lawns, and eco-friendly choice I heartily approve of (I’m politically against sprinklers) but between the heat, the hot gusts of air and the lack of life I found myself feeling oddly discombobulated. This must be what the end of the world feels like, I thought.  I recalled an equally hot day the first year I lived in Pittsburgh. It was mid- October and earlier, cooler weather had already started the tree leaves turning.  Hot winds blew golden leaves off trees and down Negley Avenue, the sun burned bright and high in the sky. I waited and waited for a bus that never showed up, and I swear not one car came down the road the entire time I waited.  The whole situation felt eerie and finally I caved in and walked back to my apartment to get my car.

It’s funny, now that I think about it – I can remember many, many hot days with pretty good recall, but very few cold ones. Perhaps that’s because I’ve experienced so many winter days in my lifetime.

Anyway. During my run, I caught that flicker of light…you know what I’m talking about? That flicker,  that comes when thunder storms are on their way. I don’t know how to describe it, exactly…I know I’ve seen the flicker countless times as a child, when playing in the lake or jumping on the trampoline in my backyard.  The sky doesn’t immediately turn gray, nor does the air suddenly cool.  It’s like the kind of flicker that precedes all of the lights going out…the deep blue of the sky suddenly lightens a bit, and it’s hard to find the sun that was blinding you only moments before.  The flicker means rain is on its way, eventually.

And now here I sit, a draft of my first article complete, sated from running and a strawberry/apricot/plain yogurt/honey/cinnamon smoothie, watching the clouds come.  And I am so happy I got to see the flicker, and feel the hot air on my face, and plod along the way I do. I’m not sure there’s much better, on a steamy summer day in a chain of steamy summer days, than to do good work and watch the rain come in.

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10 Responses to It’s About to Rain

  1. Dorothy W. says:

    Oh, very good decision to stay home, and wonderful that you have the option! I think that’s a very sane way to work.

  2. litlove says:

    That funny oppressive atmosphere before a thunderstorm always gets to me, too, and I feel such relief when it breaks. Working from home is just the best.

  3. Do you know I always get excited when Bloglines tells me there’s a new post from Courtney? This one didn’t fail to entertain. You have a way of providing such a visual, emotional and sensory snapshot of your life that I almost feel I’m there. Beautiful writing, thank you.

  4. Dorothy – Sane is the perfect word for it!
    Litlove – I love that moment when the storm begins…it signals such wonderful relief!
    Charlotee – what kind words – thank you so much. I feel the same way about your writing.

  5. auntjone says:

    Does every subdivision have a ‘lawn Nazi’? My sister’s neighbor will mow his lawn 2-3 times a week. She is also vehemently against sprinkling so I may send her a link to your blog! I’ve just discovered it myself and will add it to my daily must-reads.

    And don’t get me started on IT queues…

  6. Miss Million says:

    Oh….. happened upon your page and when saw about the rain, read it ….you know why? it’s raining here too.

    Btw, nice read it was.

  7. Emily says:

    Now you know how I feel every day (well, except when I’m stuck in a hotel room in San Antonio).

  8. adam says:

    good choice mate.
    it’s been raining in good ol’ england pretty much nonstop lately. bloody awful.

  9. Andi says:

    Working from home is a blessing I never quite understood until I started doing it myself. Now I don’t know how I’ll go back. And it’s good to know someone else is sitting at the kitchen table pounding away at the keys. 🙂

  10. Pingback: Psychogeographies « Tales from the Reading Room

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