Severe Storm Warning

I had a feeling yesterday that today was going to be one of those days. I left my house hours before the sun came up and headed west in my car into one of the worst storms I have seen in years. I helplessly watched cars slip off the road as I drove slowly through snow, torrential downpours and flooded streets.

My plan was to see my family in Santa Barbara before heading to Anaheim but changed course midway because of the pounding rain and poor visibility. I wrapped my fingers tightly around the steering wheel in the ten and two o’clock position praying I would arrive at the hotel safely.

Once I pulled into the hotel parking lot I breathed a sigh of relief and listened to the heavy raindrops hit the metal roof. I was happy to be dry and safe. After wrestling with my luggage and settling into the room I thought I would make a well deserved cup of coffee. I turned on the bathroom faucet to fill the little carafe and the faucet handle snapped off with the water running full force. Shortly after calling the front desk, the maintenance man who appeared to be drunk inspected the bathroom sink. He slurred, “I’ll be right back” and left with the broken handle, water still running.

Not knowing how long the maintenance man would be gone I stepped outside to check out the view from the little balcony and the door locked itself behind me! I paced back and forth trying not to panic in hopes that someone would show up in the parking lot below to come to my rescue. After a few long minutes the drunk maintenance man came back and saw a noticeably frustrated woman outside the room with her nose pressed against the sliding glass door. He unlocked it and probably wondered how she managed to do such a dumb thing.

At this point it would have been wise to stay in the room and call it a day, but I wanted to pick up some snacks and tea at a local Asian market as it seemed like the storm was subsiding. Not long after I left the parking lot, heavy rain pounded down once more making it nearly impossible to see where I was going. I was determined to get to the market but found myself lost in a neighborhood riddled with gang tags on walls, windows and mailboxes.

After a few harrowing detours, I finally made it back into the hotel parking lot and got a call from home. I was told that my ceiling was leaking! I could imagine the rain soaked roof caving in and ruining my little sanctuary so my gratitude was quickly replaced by a feeling of despair. I knew this kind of thinking can be hazardous so I told myself how grateful I was to have made it safely through the fury of Mother Nature and that I have someone in my life to share joys and burdens with. I started to relax in my hotel room, faucet and patio door repaired and turned on the television news.

I knew then that things could be a lot worse. The National Weather Service just issued a severe tornado and flood warning for parts of Southern California. I will not worry about things that are out of my control. Come to think of it, they are all out of my control.

About Karen Elaine

Artist, author and teacher.
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One Response to Severe Storm Warning

  1. elaine terranova says:

    just read your story about your battle with cancer. i found your page on tim holtz blog. i, too, was diagnosed stage IV this year. happy to hear success stories like yours. i’ve been feverishly spending my time creating and hope that i have many more years to do this. take care.


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