I ran the gauntlet tonight, and it was worth it.
It is pouring rain. I drove out to the coast. (*For the second time today) Jim and Kate were at the end of that drive, bearing turkey soup loaded with fresh veggies, a glass of wine, a hunk of bread, and friendship.
I was too knocked out with a cold on Christmas Day to drop by then. Today seemed like a good day to visit, despite the rain. I had grown tired of staring at the lonely walls of my house, with only a box of Kleenex and my computer for company.
I packed a few extra things in case I was forced by the weather to spend the night. The road between here and there often floods. My worst fear, however, was that a tree would fall on my car while I was driving through the heavily wooded state park. A woman was killed in just such a manner a few years back on the very road I intended to traverse. During these winter storms, where it rains heavily for days, accompanied by strong winds, trees fall with some regularity. Huge Douglas Firs and Oaks. Not fun.
By the time I swallowed my last spoonful of soup I was ready to head out the door. I found my car in the pitch black driveway and backed out onto the narrow road. It was raining harder than ever. I tuned in to the local station. “Have Faith” crooned somebody.
My wipers were on full speed. I hit the occasional deep puddle, deep enough to slow the car with a hearty “whoosh”. I wondered if driving fast would decrease my chances of being hit by a falling tree. Less time in the forest means less chance of getting squished. “Mythbusters” proved that you get no less wet by running through the rain as opposed to walking through the rain. Does this apply to falling trees, too?
My heart beat faster as I entered the gauntlet, the deep, dark forest, the place where the road is lined on either side by gigantic trees. I talked to them, and asked them to please stand tall and firm in their roots, just for a few more minutes while I scooted on through. Mavis somebody sang “God is listening”. Were the trees listening? I was reminded of the many times I ran up the cellar steps of my childhood home, up and out of the dark, scary cellar, as fast as my little legs could carry me, scared out of my wits, sure that a boogey-man was hot on my tail.
I’m home now. I made it. The rain is dumping down on my dry little abode and I am safe inside, with nary a tall tree in sight.
*Earlier in the day I went to the coast with Ivan for a follow-up doctor’s exam after his bout with Pneumonia. All clear! His lungs are fine, and he is a strong, healthy, pesky teenager once more.