Sunday, September 13, 2020

Rainy Day Blues

Self pity is an ugly thing, a mood best shared with no one, except perhaps your dog, and even he doesn't amount to much as a rainy day for Rusty the wonder dog means nothing. When I first got him four and a half years ago (!) from thisisthedog in Homestead he hated the rain and tried to hide from it, a reaction I suspect from too many years spent in a back yard and on the street without shelter. These days he braves rain fearlessly, sure in the knowledge there is a towel and a dry bed waiting for him after his exertions. It's very annoying as I tend to melt in the rain and I preferred his fear of the wet.
Luckily I have hands and I can hold an umbrella so the new improved waterproof Rusty can't stop me from following behind him. The fact is every single day off I have had all summer has been spent under a dark rainy cloud. I'm not speaking metaphorically, nor am I referring to some depressive state of mind, I mean the phrase literally as we used to say before young people took the word "literal" and beat it to death in every inappropriate way.
Every day off I have had to deal with summer rains. I was at work on Friday looking out the window at blue skies, fresh breezes and puffy white clouds, but sure enough as six pm approached the black stripe on the horizon expanded and the closer I drove to my home 23 miles away, the darker the sky got. This weekend, my weekend off is a zinger: we have an actual tropical storm warning, The power of my days off!
If you were a halfway decent listener you would feel sorrow and a mild form of pity for me, but I know the only person who knows how to throw me a pity party is me. We had planned a Friday night in Miami in the van, some light shopping on Saturday and return Saturday evening in time for another overtime shift today. 

To drive to Miami with a promise of 40 mph winds and several inches of rain all day seemed in stupid. Especially as my wife would have to clean up the van alone while I am off earning overtime...That plan went over like a lead balloon as you might imagine and with my aversion to wet weather I couldn't see us teaching Rusty to have fun while living under a thundercloud. Poor me! Poor me! We stayed home and opened a bottle of wine.

We broke out some food we had bought and frozen on our summer road trip so we recreated a moment on the road while listening to the skies crack and boom and light up the canal behind the house. Aside from learning to enjoy rain, Rusty has also learned to not mind thunder too much. Far from running to the smallest darkest room he contents himself with looking anxious while hunkering down in his living room bed.
Rainy season is weird in Florida as it falls in summer a time of greatest heat and humidity. If you move here from Up North you will rejoice in winter if you aren't fond of snow and mist, but summers will confuse you. It looks like a damp nasty November outside but when you step out your glasses fog up and the hot humid air collapses over you like a furry fire blanket trying to suffocate you. Here there is no hint of cold damp Fall days leading up to Christmas.
September is the most frustrating month as you'd expect summer's heat regimen to be dropping away but it doesn't. September comes and goes as hot and humid as August with the added benefit of hurricane season reaching its peak of activity. Dry cool winter doesn't kick in properly until the second cold front which passes through usually in early November. There is plenty of time for me to have more days off turned into soggy days at home. Just my luck.
And then you drive home with a soaking wet happy dog with his tongue hanging down to his knees, your bottom wet and cold pressing into the leather of the car seat and not in a good way and you see Venture Out at the end of Spanish Main, the huge flagpole a landmark from miles away. And then of course you are forced to think how lucky you are and how dreadfully unlucky some people are. A wet damp day off doesn't always seem so bad, as it turns out.