i was awakened several times throughout the night by the rain. i’m closed up pretty good in here, and i can barely hear things that are happening outside, so when i do hear the rain, that means it is absolutely pouring out there. and it sure was!

first of all, i own no umbrellas. it rarely rains out this side and where i work. i did get an umbrella when my son started soccer, because his league was in a rainy part, but one strong wind pretty much made it useless. then, my son couldn’t find his jacket. we then recalled it being at his grandma’s house. great. so we went to the bus stop, where there was a line to get on the bus, as they’re trying a new system out, and we were both drenched. no one else at the bus stop offered us an umbrella, so my poor son got soaked waiting to board the bus–the air-conditioned bus. plus, with the rain, the bus was late to school, so he missed breakfast. he said he was cold, wet, and hungry. 😦

then, it was my turn. everyone who knows me knows i hate driving. i detest it. i’d much rather someone else drive. but drive into work i had to, in the pouring, pouring rain. joy.

i was still soaking wet from the bus stop, so i was already feeling uncomfortable. but the rain was coming down so forcefully once i hit the main road that i couldn’t see very well at all. there’s a stretch of road that’s completely dark because there are no street lights there, so when it’s pitch black *and* raining, it’s very scary. also, the whole way to work, there’s absolutely no gutter system, so the water just pools up all over the place. you drive through puddles that splash up all around you, and it comes up onto the windshield, blanketing it with lovely, brown water. and that’s not counting the splash you get when a car drives by you. even with the wipers going full-speed, it’s difficult to see, and you’re just really being guided by the brake lights of the car in front of you, while also being blinded by the headlights of the oncoming cars. i’m really, really surprised there were no accidents this morning on that stretch of road!

the worse of it was on the curve going into the area where i work–no lights at all, but a dangerous curve in the road. that’s when the rain decided to come down its hardest. i drove soooo slow. i was so afraid that i’d hydroplane into the oncoming traffic, or into someone’s yard. then i remembered my tires aren’t really that full, since i’m such a girl and couldn’t figure out how to inflate the tires with the air pump at the gas station. so then i panicked about my tire popping. it’s what i could picture — my tire getting a flat, of all times, then, and i’d be stranded, cold and wet, in a very dark area of a not-so-safe town. i was gripping that wheel so tight! i was soooo relieved to be in the parking lot, safely parked at my workplace, that i stayed in my car for a good 10 minutes, not because it was pouring, but because i just had to catch my breath. that was horrible!

(and lest you think i’m overdramatizing it–i wasn’t the only one feeling the way. one of our newbies said she actually cried while driving in today, reciting prayers the whole way in. i wasn’t that bad!!!)

days like these, my sisters and mom will call me to beg me not to drive in, they know how dangerous it is. well, they don’t really know how dangerous it is, as they’ve never done it themselves, but they know from what i tell them. and this morning, again, they all called me to tell me to call in sick. it’s not worth the drive in. i was touched they cared so much…but i do have to go to work. but what really touched me? was when i finally got into my classroom (which i couldn’t get into for another half-hour because no custodian had shown up to work to unarm the classrooms!), i checked my email and found one from a former colleague, checking up on me, making sure i got in okay. now this person does know the drive, having been out here as well, so to know that this person was thinking of me this day was just so nice. i felt so special, you know? i like when people do that–out of the blue just kinda touch bases with you, even though we might not have talked for a while–just because they know of certain situations or something, and then they take time out of *their* busy schedule just to see that you’re okay. awww. that really made me feel good. i don’t get that very often. 🙂

then i hear that other schools around us were all shutting down. the high & inter. got closed. what about us? so not fair. even though i would’ve been upset to have driven there for nothing, and then just have to drive back in that rain…i kinda wanted a day off, too! but they decided to keep our lovely school open. which is just as well, as i suspect this is the only place some of these kids can keep dry and have a hot meal.

i had a total of seven students today. and of course, they were the naughty ones, who you know were sent to school because they’re too naughty to stay at home! 😛 but, even with just the seven of them, it was SO NICE. i could do so much. and these were kinda low kids, so i could really focus in on them and give them direct instruction. at the end of the day, they all came up to me and said this was the best day. and i understood. they got the personalized attention they needed, you know? see, low class size accounts for something, lawmakers!!!

it was still raining on the journey home, but it wasn’t as bad. i can’t really complain about all the rain–we never get it out here, and i’m always asking for it. i love the rain; i just don’t like driving in it. but, wow, i’ve never felt so nice and cozy and safe in my home. 🙂

but the one thing that did dampen my spirits–what really did break my heart, especially as i drove in to work, was knowing that on the left side of the road i drove, in the pitch-dark blackness, were families huddled up in their tents, cursing the rain and the wind. even as i worried about hydroplaning and my car getting a flat and trying desperately to see some sort of road in front of me, i knew that there were people out there, getting drenched and flooded out, with the wind probably whipping their possessions around. and even now, as i lay in my bed, warm under my blanket, with a roof over my head and walls to protect me, i still can’t help but feel a little guilty.

wa’-do that i have a house to keep me warm. though i love the rain and its cleansing feel, i know not everyone welcomes it. i’m grateful for what i have. wa’-do.



  1. scrivener Said:

    You know you couldn’t have called in sick. First, what sub would have come in your place on a day like yesterday? The school needs you on crisis days unless it specifically tells you not to come in. Yeah, it’s dangerous and scary (I was scared too, and my drive is nothing like yours!), but when you have a job to do, you have to do it until someone relieves you. Yes?

    But yeah. I was jealous, too. Mine wasn’t one of the schools that closed. 😦

  2. Lia Said:

    sorry! did my tone sound like i was grumbling? i didn’t mean to grumble. of course, i have to go in; that’s what i told my mom & sisters. even though all the subs live in the area, i just couldn’t not go. i did question why the decision was made that the schools all around us were not safe, but we were, but hey. again, it was probably for the best, for some of our students. and aside from the horrendous drive, i loved being with the kids that were brave enough to come to school. aside from the constant praise and thanks they got for coming to school on a day like this, i really felt they walked away with a LOT that day–if not something academic, then at least because the rapport between us was strengthened quite a bit, and they left school that day feeling confident, knowing that they have someplace warm and safe, with someone who cares for them. it would have been nice to get a day off, but really? i enjoyed being with those seven. they worked hard even though other teachers were giving their kids free days, and again, i think what was built most was the relationships. and for that, i’d not have traded this day for any other!

    i just needed someone to drive me. 😀

  3. Lia Said:

    oh. and someone to take away all the parents’ demands would be nice. and the admin’s. and the state’s. and the govt’s. and …

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