Monday, March 27, 2006
Tumbleweeds in the storm
This morning I had to go to the post office. I like to take the back road and avoid traffic, and I noticed all these tumbleweeds piled up against the fence. It made me think of the tumbleweed story.....what do you mean you haven't heard the tumbleweed story!! Well, let me tell you....
Throughout our years of RVing, HB and I have met some great people. One particular couple, Rob and Katie, we met one summer in northern Illinois. They are from Alabama and travel to Illinois each summer, spend the fall in Alabama and part of the year in Florida. But they have never traveled out West.
Katie was particularly inquisitive about tumbleweeds and asked me all kinds of questions about them. She had only seen tumbleweeds in movies or on TV and for some reason was fascinated with them. I explained to her that they were very common in the West and that sometimes they would blow and gather along fence lines completely forming a wall.
Well, HB and I left Illinois and Rob and Katie went back to Alabama. We stayed in touch as we had all become good friends. A few years later HB and I were traveling in the West and we stopped at an RV park for the night. After being cooped up all day it was nice to get out and stretch my legs. We were walking around the park when I realized that there were tumbleweeds all around. They made me think of Katie, and I wished that she was there with me to see the tumbleweeds blowing, tossing and turning in the wind.
Suddenly I remembered that I had a fairly large box in the RV and a lightbulb went off in my brain! I would send her an authentic tumbleweed! I found the box, gathered a tumbleweed that just barely fit, taped it shut and the next morning we mailed it off to Katie.
It just so happened that at that very time there was a rather nasty storm brewing in the South....I think they refer to them as hurricanes! Now Rob and Katie have some property way back in the woods of north central Alabama where Rob goes to hunt. (Katie usually goes along even though she doesn't hunt.) It's back down a long dirt road. When the weather is good, no problem but if it rains, the road gets muddy and there's one place where it gets a little dicey and sometimes floods out.
The package arrived a few days later, right in the middle of the storm! The mail carrier, who knew Rob personally, called to say there was a package but that the mail truck wouldn't be able to get back into their property to deliver it. So Rob arranged to meet the mail carrier out on the main road to accept the package.
The drive out the dirt road was pretty bad....rain was blowing and swirling all around the truck as Rob made his way, and then he came to the bad area and sure enough it was beginning to flood. He decided to chance it anyway because he didn't know what the package was or who it was from....the mail carrier hadn't said.
Meeting up with the mail carrier, Rob got the package into the truck and drove back through the rain and through the flooding area. He arrived back at their RV, drenched to the bone, dripping water everywhere, holding the package in his hands.
What could it be? It didn't weigh anything! They were both surprised at the light weight of the package and couldn't imagine what was in it.
When Katie opened the package to find the tumbleweed, she laughed and was completely amazed that I was able to send it to her.....Rob, on the other hand, exclaimed "You mean I risked my neck in a hurricane to get a damned TUMBLEWEED?!"
Rob never lets me forget this little episode, and over the years we have laughed about it but I'm sure at the time he didn't find it too funny.
P.S. I think Katie still has the tumbleweed! She threatened to put Christmas lights on it but I don't think she ever did.