(MAPLE IV) Drenched!

I think today’s post will be a Freewrite with the seed “rain.”  I have one somewhat stockpiled paragraph, and will then bifurcate.

It seems that some of my memorable bike rides recently have had weather as a factor… and that factor has often been rain of some degree.  Rain and thunderstorms are a natural part of weather in the Midwest during the spring, and although they are fascinating while inside, they are frightening when driving, and even more so when biking.   Yesterday, there was a severe thunderstorm warning, and torrential rain around 18:50.  I was at Seabury for SPG Improv practice, and the skies got threatening.  Rain fell heavily, so some of us waited in the vestibule for it to calm down.   It calmed down, so I used this as a chance to unlock my bike and hightail it back to Engelhart.

Of course, once I got onto Haven Drive, the rain started up again in strength.  It was REALLY SCARY biking down Orrington, because there was audible thunder (even though I didn’t see any lightning), and the rain was so hard that it was heavily disrupting my eyesight, forcing me to blink and severely cut my speed.  There were also already flooded parts of the road.  If there were any other irregularities in the road, I could have very easily wiped out.  This is one key reason why I use gear that makes me seen.  Thankfully, the inner contents of my backpack were largely dry, but they did accumulate some moisture… including the bottom of my journal and exams that I had to grade.

Visibility hampered by weather is one of those things that you might take for granted if you don’t drive or bike.  When I was younger, I didn’t see why it was so important, but after learning to drive and driving through some severe thunderstorms and torrents, I realized how difficult it is to see when the rain is coming down in sheets.  Plus, it makes the roads more slippery.  Yet, the only time I got into a car-car crash was when the roads and weather were perfectly calm!  Not much I can do about someone else’s negligence.

Although, when at a distance from the storm (i.e. inside a sturdy building), it is quite relaxing to watch the severe weather blast outside, because lightning displays are fascinating to observe.  It’s the Fourth of July without having to worry about hearing “Proud to Be An American” on the radio… that’s for you, Molly!  Of course, when I was younger, I had NO courage about thunderstorms, despite the fact that I was fascinated by weather.  I remember reading a book in elementary school called “Thunder Cake” or something like that, where baking a cake helped a kid overcome fear of thunderstorms… an old family tradition.

Yes indeed… sometimes traditions can develop from the most mundane things.  Interestingly, it seems that I now associate improv with foul weather, because some of my times at improv practices or shows have followed or been followed by storms or rain.  It rained pretty much every Thursday during my first quarter at Northwestern, the first summer practice I went to had a severe thunderstorm that sent at least 60 Weather Channel severe weather alerts to my phone, and the last two years, the Thursday on or just before Cinco de Mayo has produced a storm that freaked me out.  This year, though, I did not wipe out!

Whew–that last paragraph contained a sentence that was certainly a run-on and went too long.  I grimace having to read them, but one of the things about my free-write is that I do not use the backspace key (although I will admit that I correct spelling errors if I catch them immediately).  We can’t all be Unvanquished, curses to William Faulkner!

Out of time.  Try and do better next time.

Today’s counts and nugget:

Today is Day 4 of MAPLE.

היום שבעה ועשרים יום, שהם שלושה שבועת ושישה ימים לעמר

We’re conquering the fort! Conquering the fort!  Conquering the fort today!

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