Last night some storms came through the mid south, and as I got into bed, I could hear the rain pounding against the walls and the roof of my apartment, sending the dogs into a tongue lolling frenzy of panic. Before I had a chance to turn off the lamp beside my bed, mother nature did that for me with a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning, blanketing everything in darkness, which wouldn’t have been too bad had the fan been allowed to remain on, at the highest setting of course. I have trouble going to sleep as it is, and when I’m too hot the task becomes virtually impossible, luckily after just a minute, perhaps sensing my anguish at the present situation, mother nature returned power to the apartment, so I turned off the lights and turned on the fan, and went to sleep without much trouble.
This morning I woke to an overcast Sunday morning, my favorite kind of day. The only thing that could have made it any better was if a cold front had moved in and it was in the mid thirties outside. Not having to work today, I decided to take advantage of the weather and decided to go downtown to walk along the river. As I pulled out onto the main road from my apartment complex, I had to switch lanes immediately to avoid a tree that had been knocked down overnight, a casualty of the storm. I avoided taking the highway, choosing to drive along residential streets, wanting to see if any other damage had been caused overnight. Along Walnut Grove which turned into Union I observed many more trees fallen into the road and the yards of Memphis residents. When I reached midtown all of the traffic lights were out, as was the case with most of the businesses there.
I saw several stoplights hanging from the wires, a couple of which that were snapped in half by the wind. When I got downtown and began my walk along the river, on the sidewalk above Riverside Drive, I watched a race taking place on the street below and tried to imagine dragging myself out of bed hours before in order to run, but had trouble doing so. I encountered a fallen tree, blocking the sidewalk in Vance Park, so I walked around it on the damp grass and continued on. The rain held off throughout my walk, but the clouds remained overhead, keeping the beautifully dreary morning intact. As I drove back home there were already crews of workers with chainsaws cutting up the trees in the road, trying to remove them as quickly as possible. I again passed the nonfunctioning stoplights and sat in frustration as I watched ignorant drivers speeding through without stopping, rather than treating each intersection as a four way stop as they should have. I returned home, and turned on the news to find out that more than one hundred and forty thousand people in the area were without power, and felt thankful that I was not one of them.