After all the rain, I’m ready to dry out a bit

Here’s one piece of conversation you won’t hear this week:

“Boy, we need the rain.”

Well, we needed it and we got it. We were begging for rain two years ago and now we’re waking up each day to the dreary, foggy morning that adds to the already-gloomy mood that’s usually reserved for Monday mornings.

It’s like living in Seattle. It puts everyone in a bad mood. I hate it when the folks here at work are in a bad mood. They have guns. I don’t like it.

What the water can do is scary and impressive. Overflowing creeks and rivers can devastate low-lying areas. It’s unimaginable, but people are swept away.

I live on a hill, on the top of a subdivision that is on a hill. Flooding is not going to happen. We’re more likely to have consecutive days of non-stop thermal convection or frontal-lifting clouds. (As if I need to tell you that.)

What I found instead was a magical world of mushrooms in my yard. These monster mushrooms wasted no time in taking advantage of the one-week monsoon. The dogs are barking at them thinking they’re really, really pale intruders.

I’ve got weeds on steroids now. It’s out of control. I put weed-killer on them and they cussed at me. This is nuts.

We’ve found, once again, that as much infrastructure as we put in this city, one good week of solid rain easily sets up back 50 years. Interstates closed, more than 100 roads closed, bridges closed. What a great excuse not to work!

You know what else is out of control? The weather people on television. They’re loving it! Okay, I get it — it’s raining and it’s raining hard and it’s your moment. Short of a good ice storm or tornado, this is it. You guys and gals are center stage.

I love the weather people. I just don’t know where they come from. (I think perhaps they come from pods placed here many years ago.)

Weather people are the “regular folks” of local news. They don’t resemble mannequins, but rather humans —until the weather goes nutzo on us. They have mastered the art of conveying seriousness on the television. They’re okay with the rain because it’s gradual. We’ve had a week to figure out what’s going on.

But wait until the obligatory February ice storm! (Note: If you’re a reporter new to the Atlanta media market, wait until the ice storm and the assignment editor sends you out to Taccoa to film a (&$)$*&$)-ing snowflake! Then you get to tape the bulldozer, over at DOT, moving sand from one end of the parking lot to the other while the PIO in her hard hat tells us “We’re ready” while 50-million residents head for the store to buy milk and bread! It’s awesome! No reality show can top it!

But let’s wait until February to play with that one.

The fact is, weather is the leading reason for conversations, and has been for gazillions of years. My grandma Berry grew up in Arkansas, and then Oklahoma, where weather was a big deal — big deal as in droughts and the occasional tornado that came along and moved your barn and a dozen cattle or so over to the next county. You could call her and, regardless of why you originally called her, in about eight seconds the topic turned to the weather.

Now I’m doing it.

The weather is probably the most single, influential thing that we talk about, probably because we have no way to control it. It’s an endless source of amazement for us.

If a really, really bad thunderstorm hits when I’m at home, I grab a cigar and go sit on the deck — which is half-covered — so I can just watch the trees sway and the rain and small pets go sideways down the street. It’s nature flexing a bit of muscle. It’s captivating. When it gets out of control, it’s scary but captivating.

For now, though, I’m good with the water. I’ve had enough. I’m ready to dry out a bit and get the chainsaw out and cut some of those nuclear mushrooms down.

22 comments Add your comment

ATC

September 23rd, 2009
5:43 pm

As a resident of Carrollton, I am happy that I, too, live on a hill. We drove in from out-of-town on Sunday evening without knowing anything about the way the weather was behaving. Too tired to watch the tube, we slept through the thunder and lightening. We had our two cups of coffee on the porch as usual (retirement is wonderful). Then people we know from out of town started calling to see if we were ok. Seems our little town made the national news.

Oh oh, I think that it has started raining again.

Patrick

September 24th, 2009
8:51 am

Never mess with a cop in a bad mood. He (or she) has a gun, handcuffs, a taser, and a Mag-Lite flashlight that requires 4 “D”-cell batteries.

I live in Bremen in Haralson County, and it seems like we got sideswiped by the storms. Oh, we got a good bit of rain from it. Probably a total of 8 inches, but no flooding was reported in my city, or any of the other neighboring cities. I think we’re in a higher elevation, which also contributes to being unfloodable. There’s a low-lying area down the street from us, but I didn’t see if it had been flooded. Probably not.

If your boss made you go in to work yesterday or the day before, regardless as to whether or not you had a decent way of getting in, he/she has no heart. I was watching the news Tuesday morning (you’re right, Steve: The weather people on the locals LIVE for moments like this) and when they said I-20 between Lee Road and Thornton Road was closed due to flooding, and all traffic was being diverted to both Lee and Thornton southbound, I knew there was no way in hell I was going to make in to work, in Norcross. Called my boss on his cell that morning and said I won’t be in. He was okay with that, said he didn’t expect a lot of people to be in due to flooding all over the place. Went into work yesterday, since an alternate was announced. One heck of an alternate. Should have stayed home yesterday. Took me nearly 3½ hours to get in via 120, to I-75, to I-285, and finally to I-85. I had contemplated turning around and going home a couple of times, but never acted on it.

Next time something this serious happens, I’ll either stay home until an “all-clear” is given, regardless if it takes days or even weeks. If I’m at work when it breaks loose, I’ll just check into a hotel, and pick up a couple of changes of clothes at the nearby Wal-Mart. There is no reason to risking your life commuting through weather as severe as what we’ve witnessed earlier this week. The world won’t end if you don’t finish that ultra-uber-important project before the deadline. Four men on horses won’t come a-knockin’ if you don’t meet your daily sales quota due to heavy rain or snow.

IhateEverybody

September 24th, 2009
1:29 pm

“Never mess with a cop in a bad mood. He (or she) has a gun, handcuffs, a taser, and a Mag-Lite flashlight that requires 4 “D”-cell batteries.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, GOOD ONE. That’s what shotguns are for.

mustang100

September 24th, 2009
10:18 pm

I HAVE noticed that NONE of the TV weatherhounds are admitting they missed forecasting a 500 year rain/flood event. The good folks at NOAA did issue a local weather alert Monday evening using the term “historical proportion”, and that was the only inkling I heard of all day to the magnitude of the disaster befalling us.

Wyman

September 25th, 2009
7:53 am

Toccoa is spelled with two “o”s and one “a” in case you are interested.

Festus

September 25th, 2009
8:03 am

What I enjoyed about the recent monsoon was that every talking head went to Wal*Mart and bought some chest waders. They found a mud puddle to stand in and tied a lifeline to themselves so they wouldn’t float away and did their on scene broadcast. Infotainment at its best.

David Sims

September 25th, 2009
10:21 am

I was just wondering, why are most of the retainment ponds in Douglas County dry? Are they not supposed to collect runoff water? Now I know the rain was too heavy for the retainment ponds to hold all of the water, but…they should be full and not dry. And if pumps in the ponds pumped out the water, they did as fast as they were filling. Too bad New Orleans did not have pumps as good as we have. Think the retainment ponds are useless as well as an eye sore?

rmbr343

September 25th, 2009
4:48 pm

Dussque, go home if you can’t play nice.

7/9

September 25th, 2009
8:27 pm

I’d like to encourage everyone to get swimming lessons for every child in their life; kids, grandchildren, neighbor’s kids, etc. As a professional in watersports I am always discouraged about all of the drownings I read about in Spring and Summer months. Quite often I read about someone who didn’t know how to swim but for some reason they were in the water…
Look around, the lessons are there and they last a lifetime.

KennesawDave

September 26th, 2009
4:56 pm

Hey Dussqe, I dare you to say that to one of Georgia’s finest the next time you get pulled over and it’s apparent that the officer is in a bad mood. Let me know how that works out for you.

Steve: The TV weather people don’t come from pods they come from those gigantic mushrooms that are growing your back yard. Some of them like Dagmar Medcap transform very nicely. :)

big john

September 27th, 2009
9:41 am

Enter your comments here

…. it’s Midcap…. I got your back Kennesaw Dave, and you’re right that is a nice looking ’shroom!
Hey Dussqe…send a ‘you tube’ with some of your interactions with GA finest.

KennesawDave

September 27th, 2009
4:51 pm

For the record Dussqu, I’m not a police officer. But I have friends that are and I would gladly be one if I had the abiity to do so. But certain physical limitations prevent me from choosing that line of work. I tell you what is even more of an oxymoron though… If you’re in a wreck, need help because someone is trying to hurt you, your family, or someone you hold dear, the police are the first to come to your aid and risk themselves to protect you. Now that’s an oxymoron!

Oh and one last thing… Please keep us updated on when you’ll be heading for greener pastures and the route you’ll be taking. I’m sure Georgia’s finest would be more than happy to provide you with a police escort all the way to the state line.

big john

September 28th, 2009
8:33 am

Enter your comments here

Wow! Somebody needs therapy, warm bottle of milk, deprogramming from taliban/al queda ideals and maybe a friend (I say maybe, don’t want someone to get killed or hurt)

KennesawDave

September 28th, 2009
9:30 am

Dussqe You obviously have a deep seeded hatred of police that despite whatever intelligent thought out point I make to you, it will be completely ignored. However, I will defend myself against your lambasting by saying these few things to you. First I am not in any way shape or form a Democrat nor do I have any Socialist programming. I believe in living in a country that is governed by the rule of law. If you want to promote living in a utopia of anarchy then that’s your right. I support your right defend yourself and your loved ones by way of a gun or any other means necessary. Unfortunately, there are those that don’t have weapons to defend themselves and that may not have a neighbor nearby such as yourself that would come to their aid in a time of crisis. The police are there to help those people and to ensure their safety. Do they get there within 10 seconds of a 911 call? No, of course not. We don’t live in an age where we can hit a button and Scotty beams a cop to our side. One day hopefully, but for right now I’m content in knowing that if something happens to me that there is someone that will come and help me if I need it. You can count on yourself for most things in life Dussqe but there will always come a time at some point where someone needs help beyond what they can do for themselves. As for me being a “sickening droll sheep” that’s just sticks and stones. You can think whatever you want of me. But at this point I’m ending the dialogue. You’re obviously not going to change your mind nor are you willing to acknowledge valid well thought out points and engage in a civil argument by evidence of the name calling and the viciousness of your comments in this blog.

Chris Broe

September 28th, 2009
3:06 pm

Mark Twain had the last word on the weather.

C+

Cubby

September 28th, 2009
3:43 pm

I should have been a meteorologist. It is the only job ever made where you can be wrong 110% of the time and not get fired.

Not only did they not predict the floods, they predicted rain through the following week. What happened when Monday got here? Nothing but clear blue skies. How’s that for forecasting the weather.

It’s just like GM, Chrysler, and the banking industry predicting this crappy economy. At least those people got fired but not our weather people. Safe jobs for all.

Damn, I should have been a weather guy.

shaggy

September 29th, 2009
3:48 pm

Dussqe, who is this person, and why should I or anyone else care?
How did that face sitting on Larry go? You sounded like you were happy about that. That KennesawDave guy is going to get jealous, because he thinks you are all his.
Did ya’ll just give up on girls or what?

Patrick

September 30th, 2009
1:09 pm

Someone at work told me that their son, who follows the weather with a passion, said these floods were due to a hurricane that dissipated off the coast of Africa, made its way across the Atlantic, and one of the bands of thunderstorms was picked up by the Gulf Stream down in the Gulf of Mexico and brought in to Alabama and Georgia. Just one of those freak storms we see once in a blue moon. If even that frequent.

fan

October 27th, 2009
5:46 pm

fan

October 27th, 2009
5:47 pm

fan

October 27th, 2009
5:50 pm

fan

October 27th, 2009
5:53 pm