Today I saw blue sky for the first time in what feels like months.
It was sunny and warm. (Albeit 103 degrees and muggy, but I’ll take it.)
I grew up in Florida so I’m used to the
summer weather patterns. Two hours of sunshine, 30 minutes of apocalyptic cloud-to-ground lightning, an hour of sunshine, and so on.
But the last few days have defied all meteorological paradigms.
The amount of rain has been of biblical proportions.
Many streets have been closed even in areas that don’t typically flood (like my neighborhood!)
I saw a photo in the newspaper of two 16-year-old girls floating on inner tubes, in their bikinis, down a flooded street in South Tampa.
Oh, to be young, and carefree and care less.
Oh, to not care about algae, or sewage, or amoebas crawling up your vajayjay.
I remember a similar feeling going down the Ichetucknee in college.
It was freezing cold, but I didn’t care.
I was blue from the cold water and tan from the sun – a sort of greenish color.
I was gulping up the spring water like wine, peeing in the woods, laughing and falling over boys – in my string bikini.
Now as an adult, wife, and parent, I am horrified at the thought of floating aimlessly down a shit-river of rain (and even more horrified by the thought of a string bikini.)
Now I think about things like flesh-eating-bacteria, and worms, and snakes, and insects, and drowning, and gastro-intestinal illness.
And cellulite. And dying.
At one point during the downpour, I drove through an intersection so flooded, I thought my little Prius wouldn’t make it, and then a tidal wave (from the car next to me) washed over my car impeding my vision for several seconds.
This is what I thought….
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I’M GOING TO LEAVE MY CHILD MOTHERLESS BECAUSE I DECIDED TO GO TO WORK IN THIS F*&K-ING MONSOON!!!!!!!!! THIS WAS AN AWFUL DECISION!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
But then the wave passed, and the road ahead was clear, and I was fine.
I saw several people get into fender benders and run off the road. Others were desperately trying to get out of their flooded cars and homes.
Even my sweet neighbor slipped (and sprained her wrist!) on the primordial ooze that had taken over our sidewalk.
The plants are overgrown, the mosquitos are breeding in the standing water, and nuclear-sized roaches are making their way into my house.
Coincidentally, the Tampa Bay Times just published an article revealing Tampa’s most impressive statistic. Cockroaches.
According to the article, the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest American Housing Survey, found that Tampa “is among the roach-iest metropolitan areas in the nation. More so than New York or Miami or Houston.”
Biblical rain, nuclear cockroaches, and girls in string bikinis on inner tubes.
I know I should be thankful for these things (well, maybe not for the roaches).
Because the pendulum of life swings both ways.
Before long, we’ll be praying for rain – wishing to save our dried-up rivers and thirsty plants.
Hoping for some relief from the blistering heat.
Plus, it’s always nice to live in a place where carefree-youth meander about on inner tubes and paddle boards, right?
Home sweet home.