Tag: storms

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: Approaching Storm

Isaac was in the kitchen making sandwiches. He paused to debate whether he wanted to slice the tomatoes into thin or thick slices. It was difficult to decide. He sliced thin circle off the end of the tomato and popped it into his mouth. Mmmmm. Tomatoes from the garden. Thick slices would be best for savoring the tomato flavor.

He reached for the kitchen knife and he felt a prickle rush across his scalp, starting from the back of his neck. He reached up and felt his hair moving subtly on his own without a breeze. Oh.

The prickly feeling spread to his nose, like a sneeze that wouldn’t sneeze. From the corner of his eyes, he could see the shadows move. He ran his fingers through his hair and rubbed his nose with the back of his hand. Then he washed his hands and finished slicing the tomato.

He assembled the sandwiches and placed them on plates. He sliced cucumbers and added them to the plates. What else? He took some apples from the fruit bowl and sliced them, adding the slices to the plates.

He twitched his nose. The upcoming storm must be a big one. After cleaning up, he put on a jacket and headed outside.

Marianne and Charlie were out in the garden. Charlie was weeding the strawberry patch, and Marianne was planting more lettuce. Isaac hurried across the lawn to join them.

“You won’t need to water the garden today,” he said as he approached. “There’s a storm coming.”

Charlie looked up and smiled. “I guessed that from the dark clouds.”

Isaac looked around. It was a little darker than normal for this time of day. He looked up. The dark gray clouds looked threateningly close.

“The weather report said it should last the rest of the day,” Marianne added. “That’s why we’re rushing to get done before lunch.”

Isaac rubbed his hand through his hair. “The weather report?”

“I check it every morning,” Marianne said. “It helps me plan my day.”

Isaac didn’t usually think about the weather, unless it was causing him problems. He looked up at the sky and his nose twitched. “Are you almost done? I think the storm will start soon.”

Marianne stood up and brushed her hands off on her apron. “I’m done. I just need to put my tools away. Charlie?”

Charlie stood up with a sigh. “I can be done whenever you are. There will always be more weeds to pull. I already pulled the biggest ones.”

As they put away the tools, the rain started. It was just a few drops at first, and then more. The rushed inside and closed the door. Less than a minute later, it was pouring.

Inside the house, it was dark, much darker than it had been just moments ago. Isaac turned on the lights. He smiled. With the start of the storm, the prickling feeling and moving shadows had stopped.

“This is the part of storms I like,” Marianne said, looking out the window.

“The garden getting watered for free with no extra effort for us?” Charlie asked.

She chuckled and shook her head. “That’s nice too, but I love being warm and safe inside when it’s raining outside.”

“Especially when you can hear the rain on the roof.” Isaac handed Marianne and Charlie their plates.

“And you can see the raindrops running down the windows.” Marianne took her plate with a smile.

Charlie turned out the lights. “It’s easier to see the rain outside with the lights out,” he said. “Can we eat lunch in the living room and watch the rain?”

“If we eat at the table in there and watch out for crumbs,” Marianne said.

They sat in the dark in the living room and watched the rain run down the windows. The rain drummed on the roof and made shushing sounds outside as it blew through the leaves of the trees in the yard.

“This is nice, but now I feel sleepy,” Marianne said.

“Me too.” Charlie yawned.

“There’s no reason we can’t take a nap now.” Marianne yawned too.

“You go ahead. I’ll get the plates,” Isaac said.

Marianne and Charlie left to take naps, lulled to sleep by the sounds of the storm. Isaac took the plates to the sink, and then returned to the living room to watch the rain through the window. He loved storms after they finally got started. Maybe he needed to start checking the weather report, too.

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