Sunday, June 29, 2003

Looking Into The Sky For Answers: Part Three
Copyright (c) 2003 Allen Steadham

My father left Austin at 5:00 a.m. Sunday and, according to him, depended on the 18-wheeler truck speeds as his radar detector because he made it to Fabens by 1:30 p.m. We were delighted to see him but we were soon faced with a new problem: Bill’s 9-piece drum set would not fit into a Honda Accord LX-i hatchback alongside my bass guitar, amplifier, keyboard, keyboard stand and clothes bags. So Bill had to choose between leaving his drums and coming home with us or staying and finding a way to get himself and his drums back to Austin. He chose to stay.

The journey home should have been long but simple. It was early summer in Texas. Armed against the Texas heat with an air-conditioned car, we should have been fine…except we were in Texas. Warnings and jokes about changing Texas weather are based in fact, not fiction.

As we crossed the Texas desert to head back to Central Texas, I noticed the really cool-looking clouds rising like nukes from the surface. There were a lot of them. I think I counted four or six easily, from multiple directions across the landscape, behind us and to each side.

“That one looks like the Enterprise-D,” I said about one cloud. Dad grunted in acknowledgment, probably trying really hard to stay focused on the road.

As the afternoon progressed, the sky wasn’t so cool-looking anymore. It was actually looking dark and rather stormy. The rain started light, followed by distant lightning and thunder. A minute later, sheets of monsoon-like rain were battering the car from multiple directions and the thunder was tremendous. This was too much for Dad’s nerves; he had to pull over. I volunteered to continue the driving.

No sooner had we started driving again when the hail started. We didn’t even know how bad our situation was. Undaunted and refreshed from the good night’s sleep, I increased our speed and drove on. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know at the time that rain-wrapped tornadoes often mingle with such weather.

By the time we reached Fredericksburg, the rain began to let up. Now it was only a matter of time before we reached Austin. It was midnight before we made it home to crystal clear skies.

The inner voice had been right...and that had gotten me home safely.

We had more guardian angels than we knew.


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