TALES OF DISASTER AND GOOD TIMES
Life is truly a grand adventure, or as that astute philosopher Forrest Gump once noted, it is like a box of chocolates. The day may start with a meticulously timed schedule that would make a railroad proud (at least in the pre-Amtrak days) but in my world the first derailment usually occurs by 5:00 in the morning, or fifteen minutes after I get up, which ever comes first. That, my friends is what keeps life interesting.
On Monday the schedule was full with every available time slot filled until at least 9:30 in the evening, and that wasn’t including the issues at the office to resolve. It was the type of day that has you looking toward the weekend with eager anticipation.
So, as is my custom, I kicked it off around 4:30 with eager anticipation. Item one, phones (one personal one business as I am on call 24/7), check. Item two, correspondence pertaining to the festival answered or added to the list of things that need to be addressed, check. Item three, conference call, rescheduled. Item four, confirm arrangements for interview on the Ray Carr Show on WCSB in Cleveland next Tuesday morning, check.
This was followed with Monday morning at the office, always a source of frustration, entertainment, and amazement. The carrot at the end of the stick was a dinner invitation from Dora, the Route 66 International Festival coordinator, her husband, Kurt Manley.
I survived until noon and then consumed a lunch hour as a follow up to item two on the morning list, finding answers to questions posed in the morning correspondence. Next, was an afternoon filled with customer resolution issues, a meeting with the manager of the Beale Celebrations event center (site for the Route 66 artists, authors, collectors, and associations exhibition during the festival)to discuss development of window displays for the festival.
Then with a tremendous sigh of relief, I locked the door, drove home under skies filled with heavy monsoon clouds, washed up, and then headed for our dinner appointment.
The conversation, the food, and the wine was superb. Soon, however, the onslaught of a fierce desert monsoon storm transported us back into the 19th century and dinner was finished by candle light. The darkness prohibited evaluation of festival related materials but not enjoyable conversation.
If I were to be allowed but one season to enjoy in the desert southwest, it would be the months of summer with its fierce and unpredictable monsoon storms. The raw, awe inspiring power, the quickening of the spirit as the lightening flashes and the rains pound down upon the achingly dry desert, the sense of pending renewal and transformation are a heady cocktail.
The past few years have been beyond brutally dry in my neck of the woods. Monsoon season has been largely absent or impotent with only little occasional bursts to mark its passing.
This year, however, is shaping up to be a bit like old times. Even better, the season in Kingman generally runs to about four weeks so we should have some greenery but not the storms come time for the festival next month.
As we set out for home last evening the storm had subsided but the aftermath in the form of waters rushing from the hillsides into the valley below had yet to crest. The ride home was truly high adventure.
The fifteen or twenty minute drive took almost an hour. Streets were closed or transformed into rivers. Debris, including mentally impaired motorists who thought their cars were speed boats, and high water tremendously hindered progress on streets that were open.
Displays of insanity were rampant and apparently resulted in one fatality. A few quick rules for dealing with monsoon flooded roads –
If you see a stalled Jeep floating down the street, chances are your Honda Accord will become a submarine if you try crossing to the other side. If you see a shed, refrigerators, and assorted items flowing by at a high rate of speed, attempting a stream crossing in a Jeep is a bad idea. Unless you can get the vehicle airborne and clear the swift flowing waters, attempting a crossing when the water is deep enough to flow in the doors of a lifted Jeep is a very bad idea.
Once again our stalwart Cherokee that has carried us across beach sands, through blizzards, mud, and over rock strewn territorial era wagon roads, as well as through LA traffic, transported us home without incident. Then the lights went out again and it was time for bed, but the storm had left a surprise that we would not find until this morning.
The pictures posted above tell the story. Well, surprisingly, at least the light in the workshop still works.