I cleaned house last night, because I had company coming over today and I wanted things to be spiffed up a little before people arrived. While I’ve known for a while there would be visitors to the dollhouse today, the incessant heat this week has squelched my enthusiasm for anything but reading in the basement. Granted, I have been to the pool a few times for workouts because the idea of being submerged in the cool water is more appealing than the idea of remaining puddled on my downstairs love seat, but in general, I’ve been a bit of a sweaty lump.
So I waited, hoping for a cooler evening, or a morning when I could work before the house warmed up in the heat of the day. Despite sleeping with the windows open and making the best possible use of my fans, the dollhouse was a cosy little barbeque all week. There was no reprieve for a woman desperate for a break in which to clean her house, which seemed like a very good reason for mother nature to do me a favour. No dice.
There I was, scrubbing and vacuuming and steam mopping (oh my!) while the thermostat on the wall kept me posted on the temperature inside the house: 30 degrees, thank you very much. I kept soaking a washcloth with water from the fridge to press against my face and the back of my neck: at times, I was sure that little wet rag was the only thing standing between me and melting. I felt like a poor cartoon that was “dipped” on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It was sad. It was sticky.
As I worked, I wondered out loud many times why it couldn’t just rain already. Alberta summers are regularly lit by the blazing sun during the day and by wild lightning storms at night. I’ve been waiting for a storm to roll in and cool things off, to no avail. Last night, after mopping my face as often as my floors, I finally gave up hope for a change in the weather and went to my bed, otherwise known as the crock pot.
At some point after 2 a.m., I was lifted straight out of my bed by a flash and a boom that happened simultaneously. Sherman was also launched off his bed and he immediately began panting and pacing, not whining or freaking out, but walking the floor like a father in an expectant 50’s sitcom. The light was so bright with each burst of electricity that a person could have performed minor surgery in fits and starts, like maybe a vasectomy, but not a liver transplant. Shortly after the light show was well and truly underway, the rain started, and it instantly filled the gutters and poured down the sides of the house.
Apparently, mother nature kept all the weather for about two hours last night. I got up to check that the awning windows were keeping the rain out of the house (they were) and to check with Environment Canada to make sure there wasn’t a tornado watch in effect. As relatively rare as tornadoes are in Alberta, I wasn’t willing to get caught in my bed by one. Luckily, and somewhat surprisingly, there was only a severe thunderstorm warning.
The storm raged for at least two hours, and it was so intense there was really no hope of sleep for more than a moment or two between the lightning strikes and accompanying thunder. After all that, the entire night of shattering noise and the sump pump chugging away in the basement (good boy!) the thermostat still read 29 degrees in the house early this morning.
At least I got lucky and the hail passed us by. My tomatoes, while a little battered by the pelting water, will recover in a week or so, and there was no damage to my property. Parts of the city flooded badly and part of some freeways were under water this morning. I have friends who lost their entire gardens, and a number of Edmontonians were forced from their homes by the water damage and sewer backups.
Be careful what you wish for, right? I spent the cold and rainy end of June hoping for warmer weather, and now I’m missing the drizzle we had earlier this summer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with an icy cold shower.
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