with Lynne and Leslie

Five Minute Fridays: “See”ing through rain, princely husbands and the kindness of karaoke-singing strangers

by SweetMidlife


Leslie here!

This is a story about seeing, or not being able to. It’s a story about frightening pop-up storms, flash flooding and the very real fear that you might not be able to get home through them. It is also a story about friendly ports in a storm, the kindness of karaoke-singing strangers, the comfort that is Steve Perry and the lengths a husband will go to to make sure his wife gets home safe.

It’s about last night, when a girl’s night out with a friend was interrupted by a call from the Husband, saying that the scary unseasonable rains that had drenched the Florida afternoon were returning. So I hopped in the car and headed home for what should have been a 20 minute drive. Ha ha. Should’ve been. The skies opened up, not just with rain, but with wind, the kind that blows buckets of wetness vertical, across your windshield faster than your wipers can brush them away. And then the rain settled into a roiling funnel on flooded streets. At night. I couldn’t see past my windshield wipers, and I was briefly very nervous about making it home soon – or, for one hideous moment – at all.

“Encourage my soul, and let us journey on, though the night is dark and I am far from home,” I sang, trying to be louder than my pounding heart, pulling over first in a sketchy gas station parking lot, then at a 24-hour Walgreens lot for about 45 minutes, texting my husband as I went. Then, a block later, as traffic lights ahead blinked mournfully, I gave up and pulled over into what I hoped was a real space at a local haunt we like – BECAUSE I COULDN’T SEE THE GROUND.

So I sat there for ten minutes, waiting for a let-up in the rain that never came. Oh, God…what to do? And then through the deluge I could just make out…a karaoke singer! Wait, it’s Thursday! Karaoke night! I hopped out, running slo-mo through ankle-deep waters that soaked my long skirt, and just kinda stood there happy to be dry. And 30 seconds later I heard my name, because Alex the karaoke guy could tell I was stranded and really needed to sing some Journey.

And as I waited for another two hours for a way home, for the crazy squall to stop, for maybe a lift from a kindly patron, I saw not only an increasingly relentless storm outside but a community of equally stranded, in some cases a little drinkard skunkard, folks inside trying to pass the time out of the wetness, to share a song and a smile. A few even offered to drive me home, as soon as they could, you know, drive. And then, my husband called to say that he was coming to get me, even though he was home asleep safe and dry, because “You’re my wife! What was I do? Leave you there?” And it took him 35 minutes to drive a couple of miles, and he lost visibility a few times. But he came to get me, because he’s awesome that way.

And for the first time that night I saw through the storm. And it was beautiful.

3 Responses to “Five Minute Fridays: “See”ing through rain, princely husbands and the kindness of karaoke-singing strangers”

  1. I love this Leslie and I love karaoke. I’ve experienced the Forida deluge too. It lasted maybe 20 minutes but it scared me to pieces. So glad you made it home safely and found a beautiful story to tell afterwards.

  2. Shoopp11@aol.com' Challis Lyon says:

    Nice to hear this story on so many levels. I’m so happy that you made it home with your wonderful husband!

  3. must stay safe! karaoke fun! husband awesome!

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