Thursday, March 20, 2008

Oh, Didn't It Rain?

The local TV station is calling the two days of rain “A Rain Event.” That seems appropriate. In fact, Jim Razor said there has never in recorded weather history been this kind of rainfall in our area. I hope it never happens again!

We are blessed to live on a hillside, and our roads to town were passable yesterday, when I carried out my plans to do numerous errands.. One corner had rain over a wider area than I had ever seen before, but there was room on the left side of road to drive safely on the gravel.

Once I got to Marion, I picked my roads carefully around town. Nevertheless, I was soaked over and over each time I had to leave the car to do one more errand. My raincoat was soaked through despite my umbrella. Wading through all the accumulated water when I stepped out of the car, my shoes and sox were constantly soggy.My slacks were wet half way to my knees. It felt wonderful to be safely back home and change clothes and put on warm fuzzy socks on my chilled feet.

Listening to the weather forecasts last night warning that today’s situation would be worse, I was almost afraid to go out despite my volunteering to help man the Southern Illinois Writers Guild table at John A. Logan College’s Club Day. My straggly hair had not recovered from yesterday's drenching. I really did not need to be seen in public! While I was still deciding if I should go, Pat Evans called that she could not make it as a friend called her just as she was heading out the door to tell her that Route 148 was closed.

Not wanting Jim Lambert to have to work the table alone, I decided to see what our roads looked like. I knew Route 13 to Carterville would be fine. I needn’t have worried. That one bad curve had drained during the night. Unfortunately, many people were not so fortunate. The damage continues to rise including two deaths that were reported tonight when a pickup drove through water and was floated away by the swift current.

At the college, the parking lots were almost full, so most of the students had made it to class despite the flooding. I hurried in to join Jim, who had our table all set up. It was fun to visit with Fog Gilbert on his way to class and then again afterwards when he came and sat at our table awhile. His students stopped by, and one young woman said he had made class so interesting that she only missed that 8 a.m. class one time—when she ran out of gas on the way to school and had to be rescued by her grandfather too late to go on to Fog’s class. And she said his class was not even in her major. Harry Mosley stopped by and visited with us as did SIWG member Deana Smith. We gave her books for her charity book basket.

I even got a glimse of Adrienne Barkley Giffen caught up in the beat as she came down the hall from the booming music in the cafeteria. I had just walked that way after hanging up flyers for our March 29th Trail of Tears Association meeting at Saline County Museum at Harrisburg. I too found myself walking to that beat also even if I am a senior citizen.

It is always stimulating to be around college students and to know how many opportunities lie ahead of them. And it is especially gratifying to meet the writers among them. We are hoping some will show up tomorrow night for our Critique Night and bring some of their writing to share.

A nice ending to the day came as we watched Texas A&M win their first conference game and beat Baylor 7-0.

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