When Tony Joe White wrote A Rainy Night in Georgia, he forgot the rainy mornings and the ever popular rainy afternoons and early evenings. After a beautiful Saturday, highs in the mid-eighties and sunny, the clouds moved in and by late evening, the rain started. Not a gentle spring shower, this was a heavy downpour with strong winds. I was happy that Shelby was able to take her final outing of the day just before things got interesting.
Early the next morning, I’m awakened to the familiar click, click, click, click of bare paws on a bare floor as Shelby goes to the window to check out the condition of her outside world. I could almost hear a few doggie expletives coming from her as we made our way to the back door, ready to start the day’s activities. After attaching her lead, I gave her a hug and told her to be quick about it and opened the door. One paw, then another made it over the threshold before she got hit on the head with brain chilling raindrops. Shelby turned, with panic written all over her face, and she dove back inside, feeling I’m sure like she had just encountered incoming enemy fire. Luckily for both of us, she has great bladder control and I was able to take “Ole Yellow Eyes out during a break in the weather a few hours later.
I’ve mentioned before that Shelby hates thunder and lightning and at its first sign, runs into the bedroom and sticks her head under my bed, leaving the rest of her body to fend for itself since she can’t edge any more of her anatomy in. Keeping to our usual Sunday morning routine, we cleaned house to a rock and roll beat. Many Sunday mornings are spent listening to Rod Stewart or the Bee Gees or Queen but this day was definitely a Tina Turner or Righteous Brothers situation. Things were picked up, floors were vacuumed and dishes washed and put away to the beat of Little Latin Lupe Lu and Ebb Tide. Shelby was grooving on the tunes and not paying attention to the storm outside.
Going for a classier mix next, I put in a Charles Aznavour CD and pushed the buttons. Nothing happens! I keep trying to get it started but to no avail. Now I can’t even get the door to open to retrieve the disc. OK, no time to panic. Numbers and letters start flashing across the display. Time to panic! My first thought is to pull the unit out from the wall and check all the connections. The entire stereo -- radio, phonograph, tape deck and CD player -- sits atop an old cigar stand that belonged to Jerry’s dad and is wedged in a corner next to a large, very old china cabinet filled with breakables. After emptying half the china cabinet onto the table, I was finally able to move it just enough to free up the cigar stand and pull the unit out for me to check the wall plugs and the connections. Nothing.
I then turned to the next logical repair process and slapped the blasted thing as hard as I could on its side. At first silence, but then a whirring sound and the door snapped open, teasing me with a glimpse of the CD before sucking it back into its inner working parts, reminding me of Jabba the Hutt snacking on a Klatooine paddy frog. I had just about given up and was already thinking of turning on the dishwasher to hide the noise from the storm when the door popped open once more and I was able to remove the disc. After sticking its drawer out at me a few more times and retreating, it once again went dormant. The stereo has not recovered and is now sitting back in the corner but luckily I had a backup system and we finally listened to French love songs. Over the never ending chorus beating down outside, our choices in music moved to Billie Holiday, Wagner and Rod McKuen and finished with a Sarah Brightman album.
As the day wore on and the rains continued, I had a clean house, finished some old projects, started some new ones and never once made it into the office. Shelby survived the storm, had more play time than usual and I hope she realizes that life’s obstacles can be overcome, partly because, the beat goes on.
PS I just stepped out on the deck this evening; work finished for the day. The sky is clear and dark blue, the stars just beginning to emerge. The frogs in the neighboring pond are singing loudly, their bellies full. Life is good.