Last night I woke to the noise of rocket engines on the space ship to Mars blasting off right in our back yard. I’ve never been present at the launch of a rocket powerful enough to lift a satellite into orbit, but I’ve heard it described as a sound that you feel with your bowels more than your ears. That’s what this sound was almost like. It was the sound of a cloudburst, thirty million billion zillion tons of water falling on our rooftop in the space of about fifteen minutes. Cats and dogs doesn’t begin to describe it.

I think this must have been at about two or three o’clock in the morning. Sorry for the approximation but I didn’t flip up the blind on my alarm clock to check. I’ve got a digital clock with an LED face that glows with what I suppose the designers thought of as a soothing green light. They thought wrong. When I turn out the lights to go to sleep, I want darkness. If I didn’t, I’d leave the lights on. So the thing I did after plugging my alarm clock into the wall was tape a flap of cardboard over the face. That way I never wake up to its digital glare of greeness in the middle of the night. I can still lift the flap up when I want to know what time it is, if I really want to. Last night I didn’t really want to, so the exact time the deluge fell on our house remains a mystery.

And I thought briefly about getting out of bed to check the basement for leaks. That has happened before, but then I put extensions on all the downspouts to channel the rainwater out into the yard instead of into a great big pool of swirling mud around the foundations of the house. Seemed like a problem begging for a solution. We haven’t had a leak in years, but I still like to check when it rains really hard, just to reassure myself. I must have already been feeling more than a little reassured last night, though. The need for a warm fuzzy quickly passed and I fell back into deep sleep while the dogs and cats were still pounding on peaks of the roof.

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