It didn’t start out as a dark and stormy night. The heavy rains came after my husband and “outdoor chef,” Bruce, stood at the grill, out in the open, grilling our feast of hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers. Since we love grilled food better than cooking it on the stove or in the oven, he was determined to continue grilling. Our family, under the roof of the screened in porch, overlooking the back yard, stayed nice and dry.
My brother-in-law, Pat, asked me for an umbrella. All I could think of was the one on the back floor of my car. I would not have even gotten wet retrieving it, as my car was in the garage. However, that meant a flight of stairs down and part way across the basement to the garage, and time was of the essence, as the cook was almost drenched.
Instead, I ran to the hall closet, and to my surprise, what luck! An umbrella peeked out from the top shelf. I grabbed it, gave it to Pat who sprinted through the house, across the porch to the outside cooking area. Pat covered himself and Bruce with the big black umbrella. It was a little too late. Bruce was already soaking wet. You could ring buckets of water out of his shirt, as the rain dripped down his nose. Pat meant well. Eventually, our soaking wet chef changed into clean, dry clothes.
I was in the middle of biting my hot dog as we listened to the beat of a torrential downpour, which continued all through dinner. The winds, which were later deemed to be 60-65 miles per hour, whipped up debris. Our border of 400 plus pine trees bent half way over to one side, and then to the other. I thought each tree might snap in two like a piece of celery.
Of course, a ton of debris from the shrubs, trees and grass blew into the in-ground swimming pool. Poor Bruce! He had just vacuumed and cleaned the pool that morning. The lights flickered and dimmed a few times inside and outside of the house. The electricity hung on and stayed with us.
After everyone left the barbeque, Bruce and I started to clean up the porch and kitchen areas. I turned on the little TV in the kitchen. Naturally, it was no surprise when the screen went blank as if I was watching a scary movie. As usual, we lost our cable TV because of the severe thunderstorm. And this is how it went that dark and stormy night!
At about 8 p.m. we heard a key turn the lock at the front door. As soon as the door opened, I could see our daughter, Allison’s frame standing inside. Then, we heard, “Hello, I’m home!”
I wondered to myself, “Why is our lovely daughter who had moved away three weeks ago back at our house?” So, I asked her.
“The storm knocked out the electricity on my entire block. We were not allowed to drive down our street because it was flooded! The police had it completely blocked off.” Her fiancé, Dave, was not with her. He was returning to the Maryland State Police Academy, where he lived Monday through Friday for training. Therefore, Allie came alone.
Our home is always open to family. It was so nice to have a surprise guest, our daughter, come stay with us for the night. While the miserable dark and stormy night was so awful, our Allie coming home was wonderful. Just like old times!
Read more by Marlene Wolff Solomon.