The Cross House
Today, I arrived at the Cross House.
It’s 90 degrees with very high humidity. It feels like an oven outside. But…the lawn needs mowing.
I work hard at keeping the lawn mowed and edged because it conveys to the community that the house is being cared for. It is loved. Yes, the outside looks much, much better then it did when I purchased the house, but few things more easily convey cared for than a crisp lawn.
I opened the door of the air-condition car and…ugh. Soooooo hot. Then I looked at the lawn. It was mowed like six days ago so it was not out-of-control but it had lost, you know, that oh-so-great crisp look.
I debated. Run inside and turn on the AC? Or torture myself for beauty?
OK, y’all know the answer.
Out came the mower. On came the hat. And off I went.
I promised to do only about 20 minutes. This afforded most of the front done getting done. Then I dashed into the house, shirt soaking wet, grabbed a bottle of water, a dry shirt, and then sat in front of a powerful fan for 15 minutes while depressing myself looking at the news on my iPhone.
Revived, I climbed up the scaffolding to fuss with a built-in gutter which is not doing its job.
Ninety minutes later, I realized that the temperate had significantly dropped, and wind had miraculously appeared. I glanced up to the sky. It had turned ominously dark. Scarily dark.
A storm was on it’s way!
This being Kansas, every storm has the potential to be very bad. Indeed, just two weeks ago, around 5PM, the storm sirens in Emporia suddenly went on. And stayed on. And stayed on. EEK! EEK! My iPhone revealed that a tornado has been sighted south of Emporia! EEK!
I looked at my huge wooden house and thought: You have survived 124-years. You will survive tonight.
And then I left, to drive 20 miles home.
Today, on the scaffolding looking at the ominous sky, an unexpected and quite absurd thought flashed into my mind: Oh! You can now finish the mowing! It’s soooooo much cooler! This wind is fabulous!
And, like a madman, I did just that.
As I mowed, the wind kept getting stronger and stronger, and I had to pull my hat down tight to keep it from blowing to Missouri. The sky grew darker and darker. To the west the sky was terrifyingly dark. EEK!
I mowed away. The wind furiously pulled at my shirt. But, hey, I wasn’t sweating!
With nary a raindrop still, I finished mowing. I looked top at the sky. And shivered at the sight. Then what did I do? I pulled out the weed-whacker. Of course! Because a mowed lawn just ain’t really right without this last bit of manicure.
While whacking away, there was still no rain. As cars passed me on the adjacent highway I assumed some where thinking: Who’s that fool?
Then, just as I finished, a drop of rain hit my bald head. Hurriedly, I ran to the car to put the whacker inside.
As I walked to the house, the sky opened up, like a huge punctured water balloon. I raced up the stone front steps. Under the protection of the front porch, I turned and was awestruck. I was looking at an Indonesian monsoon.
Darting inside, I was stunned by the temperature reversal in just a few hours. Two hours previous, there was no discernible difference between the outside and inside temperature. Now? Outside was 70 degrees; inside was still like an oven.
As rain blasted the house, I stepped into the dining room and looked out the huge window.
Uhmmmmmm….did I just see…