We’ve had bad thunderstorms each of the past five days. Even worse, the storms the last two days have struck during the morning and evening commute times. High winds, lightning, and heavy rain are scary enough. Having to be on the road during the worst of it is even worse.
Yesterday was a memorable day. It had rained all night, but the intensity really picked up at 5:30 am when my wife and I were woken by the sound of the thunder and we realized our power was out. It’s tough to get ready for work with no power. I couldn’t shower or shave. I couldn’t iron my clothes. To get into the garage, I had to use our remote garage door release for the first time. I have to thank my father-in-law for recommending that I get that. Without it, we could not have gotten into the garage at all, except with an axe.
In the evening, our brass quintet was scheduled to play at an area nursing home. When we left work, my wife and I could see the very dark clouds that were appearing over the area where the nursing home is located. My wife agonized quite a bit over whether to stay home or go with me to the gig.
If she stayed home, she would be bundled up in the basement watching the constant weather alert interruptions on the local news (which is another subject I could expound on). Although she would feel relatively safe, she would be worried about me. Worrying about uncertain situations is harder on the nerves, I think, than known threats.
If she went with me, she’d be stuck in the middle of the storm, which is not something she would want. However, she would not have to be worrying about me being in an uncertain situation. She would be all too aware of exactly what was going on.
In the end, she opted to go with me to the concert. It started pouring rain about 5 miles from the nursing home. It was only 6:30 pm, but it felt like it was the middle of the night. We were traveling down 2-lane country roads that did not have streetlights. I had never been to this nursing home, so I wasn’t sure exactly where some of the turns were. I thank God that my wife decided to come along because she helped me find the last road and she also realized we had missed the driveway much sooner than I would have realized it.
After we arrived and unloaded, my body was still quite tense from the drive. Our french horn player, who had arranged the gig, told me we could start early if we wanted to. That was the last thing I wanted to hear! I was hoping to be able to start the gig a little late so I would have some more time to settle down.
I settled myself down as much as possible, and we started our first piece, Sousa’s “The Thunderer”, about ten minutes early. It was simply coincidence that we picked a march that matched the weather. The first couple songs were a little shaky for me, but in trying to focus on making a good sound and playing expressively, I was able to settle down after a couple pieces.
It ended up being an enjoyable concert. The audience was very appreciative. They hummed along on tunes that they knew. They clapped along with some of the livelier pieces. Some of them even danced during our closing number, “The Pennsylvania Polka.” One resident rolled her motorized wheelchair right in front of the group and spun it around in circles like she was doing the polka.
All in all, the audience’s appreciation made the trip worthwhile, despite the trials and tribulations we went through.