The Sweet, Mournful, Serenade of a Rainy Salt Lake City Day

Kyle and I, Beachy Head, England in the rain

Kyle and I, Beachy Head, England in the rain

As I wait for my car, the rain pounds outside.

“It never comes down this hard.” I hear someone say.

They sky is an ominous, medium grey. The wind is blowing. Inside, the air conditioner is freezing me out.  They ask me where I will be. I respond as if they should already know,

“Here.” My gaze immediately moves toward the window. “I am not walking outside in this.”

We both laugh and the manager cheerfully responds, “You mean you don’t want to do a little Gene Kelly walk outside?”

Again we both laugh. I am also equally impressed that she actually knows who Gene Kelly is.

“No.” I say.

The Coliseum Rome in the rain

The Coliseum Rome in the rain

 

They give me an estimate. I agree, and we both assume they will find something else wrong (they do). I gather my things and find my way to the line of semi-comfortable, medium blue-colored upholstered seats. “The Young and The Restless” plays in the background.  I pick up the remote, change the channel and turn the volume down. I hear the voice of an auto-shop customer on the phone.  He is wearing a cowboy hat.  It is black. His shirt is blue. I notice the words: “Cowboy” written across his chest. Eventually he sits down.

I unpack my laptop and listen while two women, one and employee, one a customer, talk about the people washed down the river.

“A women had twelve children in the van.” One says.

“They are FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I can tell by the way they fix their hair and by the clothes they were wearing.” The other responds.

I want to tell the two women that it is actually two families, including three adults and ten children. It is not my place, and really, why do I know this? Here is why. It is easy. I read a lot of news — probably way too much news. Local news is my favorite.  Instead of responding, I drift and think about images I have seen, pictures of FLDS women wearing long, puffy-shouldered, plain dresses of purples, grays and blues. I wondered what it would be like to be standing in a long dress as the brisk, muddy water raced by. It is heartbreaking and it is clear. Tragedy is tragedy, no matter who you are.

Driving back to Rome from the Amalfi Coast in a downpour

Driving back to Rome from the Amalfi Coast in a downpour

 

I look at my browser, type in KSL.com, and begin to read an article about the Zion National Park hikers who were swept away in another flood caused by the same storm. Three hikers and one FLDS child are still missing.

To drown out the noise I turn my music on. I am glad I did not forget my earbuds.  The Head and the Heart’s song “Rivers and Roads” plays.  (I do not expect you to know the song, yet selfishly I hope you do. I want you to feel the painful heartache only a mournful song can evoke.) I hear the crescendo(ed) phrase, “Rivers and roads, Rivers and roads, Rivers ’til I reach you.” My eyes tear up.  I smile as I think about how these relevant lyrics,like a warm blanket on a rainy day, completely envelop my multi-media melancholy.  

I stop to call Dave.

“Hey, they think we need back brake pads, rotors and hoses.”

He agrees. We already knew this is where we were headed. With Kyle nearly ready to inherit my car, I need my son to be safe. I stop to talk to the manager. We commiserate about our teenage drivers.

I have been thinking about my sons more than usual today.  Maybe it is the sad, dark rain.

Southern Utah in the rain

Southern Utah in the rain

Southern Utah in the rain

Southern Utah in the rain

Consequently, I am feeling that kind of heartache that comes with knowledge that time does indeed move forward. I know the time I have with Kyle and Eli is less than the time I have already had. Kyle is talking college. Eli just discovered girls. And to hold onto as much of them as I can, I have been forcing Eli to go on a walk each night. He always begins the walk disgruntled and pissed off. Never fear, he always walks his way to happy. Soon, as we hoof our way down the city streets, he is filled with delightful chatter, stories of new friends, longboard rides, and hilarious homework woes. The other night he completely blew my mind (in the best of ways) when he paused and said,

“Mom, do you think I can get into Harvard for comedy writing? What do you think I should do to prepare?”

“Absolutely!” I exclaimed.  

The fact that my son believes he can is something I always hoped for. Seeing it happen is beyond my wildest dreams. Go Eli!

Regardless of the rain, this evening I want to go for a walk with Kyle.  He has been busy with school and Cross Country. I miss him and wanted to make sure I am not missing something.

Costa Rica in the water, not the rain

Costa Rica in the water, not the rain

The Spanish Steps in the rain. Rome, Italy

The Spanish Steps in the rain. Rome, Italy

The rain keeps falling. Now I think about snails. Utah has a lot of them and they come out in the rain. Just the other night (when Eli and I were walking), apparently (so says Eli) I kicked one (a snail) high into the air.

Thoughts or is it sounds of rain keep filling my brain. Now I think about the rain in Costa Rica. There is nothing better than sitting in a hot spring in the rain.  Thoughts of Costa-Rican rain makes me think about all of our rainy travel (of course). I think about Rome. I often wish I could keep Rome safely tucked away for a rainy day, (just like this one). The first time we were in Rome it rained. It rained almost the entire time. It was a cold, wet and bone-chilling rain. Selfie-stick sellers quickly switched their pitch as soon as the drops began to fall. Step after rainy step, street vendors shoved umbrellas in our faces chanting,

“Five euro. Five euro.”

As we continued walking, the vendors would exclaim, “Wait! I sell it to you for three.”

Eventually, and when we were completely soaked, we bought two.

Dave outside of the Pantheon Rome, Italy

Dave outside of the Pantheon Rome, Italy