Weather or not, here I come

So much of our country has seen extreme weather this year and it continues to be unpredictable and in some cases unbearable. How about the winter months where so much of the northern US was buried – literally – in snow? I watched the headlines and chatted with friends in the Boston area through those dark days and wondered how they would continue to function in spite of their weather.

The extreme weather patterns seemed to have shifted and Mother Nature set her site on the Midwest, including my home state of Ohio. Talking with a person this weekend, she had told her friend we have only had rain twice this summer – one time for 11 days and the other for 17 days. She’s not far from the truth. It has rained almost every day since the calendar flipped to June.

I’m beginning to wonder if it is me and if there is a cloud following wherever I might go. We were on vacation in early July – we flew into Las Vegas and went sightseeing in Arizona and New Mexico. I wondered about that lingering cloud when one evening we stepped out of a casino just south of Vegas and I felt a plop and then another, before the sky opened and dumped rain on the desert. Yes, we got wet and laughed about it. It didn’t remain quite as funny when we were driving through the Painted Desert of Northern Arizona and were forced to pull over and wait for the deluge to stop – lightning and rain fell from all around, flash flood warnings were issues, and all we could do was wait it out. Remember folks, the desert, especially in summer, is not supposed to have rain, yet we experienced it over half of the days we were there. I have the photos of rains and rainbows over the beautiful desert to prove it.

How many times can the weather channel app on my phone play the emergency weather alert sound to let me know another thunderstorm or flash flood warning had been issued? The answer must be infinitely because it seems to be sounding the alarm daily. It was alerting me in the desert and it continues to ring at least once daily now that we are home. The one day it didn't rain this week it still went off - sending me a warning notice that it would be dangerously hot.

Sometimes the forecast does not call for rain, such as this weekend when we traveled to Kentucky, a short 2.5 hour drive from home, for an MS Expo. But that cloud followed again and the drive turned in to 4.5 hours of nightmarish weather, the worst of which was when that weather app alarm went off while I was in the restroom at KFC, where we had sought refuge from the storm. When the shrieking notice began, I audibly cursed at the thought I might have to stay in that Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant until the threat passed.

Just like my friends in Boston, a little bit of weather can’t be allowed to stop me in my tracks – there are still things that must be done that require leaving the climate-controlled comfort of my home. Or the cool air conditioning of the car. I just wish that my MS allowed me to translate the sense of urgency to get in out of the rain and lightning, to my legs when moving in and out of the car. The ability to rush out of the rain has long since left my body. Those yellow caution, slippery when wet signs mean business. Floors and roadways do get slippery and create hazards for those of us who already walk carefully due to MS, and force me to move my feet even slower just in case…. I would rather be wet, or even struck by lightning, than fall and break bones.

Weather or not, we still have to function or make an attempt at it. Lingering indoors until it improves just isn’t an option but I’m just weary of doing it with an umbrella in one hand and my cane in the other, and a slow shuffle with my feet.

Wishing you well,


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