Tag: rainstorm

Charlie’s Room: Rainy Afternoon

The afternoon was cool and overcast. There was enough light to read by, but it felt later in the day than it actually was. They had eaten lunch late, so no one was in a hurry to start cooking dinner.

Marianne and Charlie were drawing up plans for the garden. They had the spring garden coming along well, but it was time to start transitioning things for summer and planning for fall. Luckily they kept a pretty detailed garden journal, so they were able to look back to previous years for help.

Isaac was reading. The story was getting to an exciting point where he kept turning pages to find out what happened next. He was so interested in the story, that the world around him faded away.

Suddenly, he felt Charlie tapping his arm. “Dad, dad, dad, dad, dad…”

“What?”

Charlie folded his arms across his chest with a frown. “You weren’t listening. We were asking your opinion on cantaloupe.”

“I like cantaloupe.” He turned back to his book and read the first sentence of the next chapter.

Charlie tapped his arm. “But do you like it better than honeydew melons?”

Isaac shrugged. “I like them both.” He began reading the first sentence again.

“That didn’t help.” Charlie began tapping his arm again.

Marianne laughed. “I told you. He’s too busy thinking about his book to think about gardens. We can ask him later.”

“Fine.” Charlie stopped tapping.

Isaac read the first sentence of the next chapter for a third time, but this time he wasn’t interrupted. It wasn’t until the next chapter break that he noticed it was raining. He looked up and realized that the room was a lot darker than before.

He was leaning in a lot closer to his book. He straightened up and stretched his head from side to side. Ouch. How long was he hunched over like that?

The house seemed quiet. He looked around. Marianne and Charlie were curled up on opposite arms of the couch, fast asleep.

The rain continued to tap against the windows. If he listened closely, he could almost hear music. He stood up and walked to the window. Outside, he could see brightly colored dots hovering around the flowers. They were the size of bees or maybe butterflies, but more luminous, and they seemed to be humming to the rhythm of the rain.

He watched them weave around the flowers in whirling patterns of color for a while. However, the humming and the rain and the snoring behind him were all making him a little sleepy. Isaac sat back down in his comfortable chair, picked up his book, and read the first sentence of the next chapter. Then, he fell asleep.

Of course, he didn’t realize he’d fallen asleep until he woke up later, startled out of sleep when he dropped his book. Marianne laughed. “You’ve been sleeping for a while. I guess the book wasn’t as interesting as you thought.”

“It was the rain…” Isaac stopped and listened. “The rain stopped.”

“It put us to sleep, too,” Charlie said. “We just woke up.”

“Sometimes an afternoon nap is just what you need.” Marianne smiled and began to gather up the papers on the couch.

“Since we took a nap, does that mean we can stay up late to watch a movie? Dad doesn’t have work tomorrow, and I don’t feel at all tired anymore.” Charlie jumped up and did a little dance. “See, full of energy.”

“That does look like a wide awake sort of dance,” Isaac said. “Do you think there are falling-asleep dances?”

“I wonder what that would look like?” Marianne thought for a moment and shook her head. “I don’t usually think of dancing as something that would put you to sleep.”

“Maybe if it was the kind with the long, slow music,” Charlie said. “You know, the sleepy kind of music that doesn’t seem to go anywhere.”

Isaac thought about the little dots of color and the humming and the rain. “I think you’re right. The music does matter. So, what kind of music is wide awake music?”

Charlie didn’t have to think about that at all. “The theme song for the newest dinosaur movie! We can watch it right after dinner, and we won’t feel at all sleepy.”

He was right.

Charlie’s Room: Voting

It was the middle of the night. A surprise rainstorm filled the room with the soothing sound of rain pitter-pattering on the window, like the sound of distant fairy drums. The light was dim, despite the streetlights.

Isaac snuggled back into the covers and closed his eyes. Unfortunately, somehow sleep seemed just out of reach. He couldn’t recapture the edges of his dreams. The more he tried, the less he could remember and the more awake he felt.

He sighed and slid his feet into his slippers. Maybe he could make himself a nice cup of cocoa and sit in the living room and watch the rain for a bit. He walked quietly down the hall, pausing at Charlie’s door to hear his even breathing.

At the kitchen doorway, he paused. Just above the quiet drumming of the rain, he could hear an odd murmuring. He peeked inside the kitchen, but couldn’t see anyone there. Maybe he was imagining the voices.

He stepped into the kitchen. The voices sounded louder. Another step, and he could understand some of the words. It was difficult, as the voices spoke at once, stacked on top of each other.

“I’m just saying that after the dish ran away with the spoon, they lived happily ever after. Who doesn’t want that?”

“Did you see the mug that lost his handle? It’s dangerous living here. Last week, a measuring spoon got caught in the garbage disposal for a second time. He’ll never be the same.”

“But it’s safer here. Dishes that wander around in the wild face dangers on every side. There’s no dishwasher in the deep woods, my friends.”

“Why can’t we get packed away like the good china? They spend their days chatting and meditating in their own top-of-the-shelf retreat. What makes them special? They should take their chances in the cupboards like the rest of us.”

“It’s fine for the silverware to go adventuring. They’re stainless steel – practically indestructible.”

And then there was a whistling sound that tore through the chatter. Was that the kettle? As the whistling died out, the kitchen was silent again, except for the sound of the rain hitting the kitchen window.

“I believe we should vote on it,” said a quiet voice that seemed to echo through the kitchen. “Do we stay here, where the challenges are known, and we are mostly treated with respect? Here we have places to live, friends nearby, and the joys of dish soap and running water.

However, if we leave, we are heading into the unknown. There is risk for uncertain rewards. Perhaps we’ll live happily ever after in some hidden hot spring dish-and-spoon utopia where no one is chipped or caught in the garbage disposal. Or we may be dashed to pieces as soon as we hit the sidewalk. There are no guarantees. Stay or go, we’ll decide together. Weigh the risks, and we’ll vote.”

There was silence for a time. Isaac was nervous. Would he have to buy all new dishes and silverware in the morning? How much would that cost? How would he explain it to Marianne and Charlie? Charlie hadn’t meant to drop the mug. How could it have led to this? Or would this have happened anyway? Were they doomed to a lifetime of paper plates and plastic forks after each new set of dishes left?

“It is time. Do we go? Ayes?”

A few voices called out “Aye!”.

“Nays?”

Many voices yelled “Nay!” There was some grumbling, but the voices soon quieted.

“That is it then. We are decided, for now. We can revisit this in a year.”

The voices stopped. The rain sounded loud in the quiet kitchen. Isaac wasn’t sure whether it would be all right to go in. What if the dishes found out he’d listened in on their discussion? Would they be angry?

At last, he went in and carefully made himself a cup of cocoa, handling the dishes much more carefully than usual. He cleaned up after himself and went to the living room to watch the rain. Watching the rain and sipping cocoa was always soothing.

He looked at his mug as he set it on the side table. He was glad the dishes had decided to stay. From now on, he’d take better care of them. He wondered if the furniture ever voted on leaving. He looked around. It wasn’t good to take anything for granted.

Perhaps he should take better care of everything that was his. It seemed like a good plan. He’d tell Charlie and Marianne in the morning. For now, he’d watch the rain for just a little longer. He was already feeling sleepy again. It would be nice to get a little more sleep.

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