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    Dancing in the Rain

    Laura Bradford Icon

    ~Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.~

    Is it just me, or is that one very cool sentiment?

    A little angel sent those words to me via a Piece of Flair on Facebook and it’s stuck with me ever since. Part of its initial allure, I suppose, stemmed from its impeccable timing. But it’s more than that. It’s about taking the whole lemons-into-lemonade mindset and adding a new twist…

    Sometimes the lemons are just there. And while lemonade might be yummy, it’s not the only option. Adjusting and celebrating is another.

    This past week my beloved sixteen-year-old car decided to retire. Two months early. :| A retirement I’d considered in some cobweb-filled corner of my mind yet discarded because I couldn’t handle it.

    Fate, however, felt differently…

    It all started on Wednesday as I was locking up for the night. As I was getting ready to shut the door, a shiny pool of oil on the garage floor caught my eye. And while I know nada about cars, I knew it wasn’t good.

    Still, he got the kids to/from school on Thursday and again on Friday, running like his normal reliable self. Yet every time I’d stop the car for longer than five minutes, there’d be a giant pool of oil under his front right corner.

    The first appointment I could get for him was Friday afternoon. My heart was heavy as I made the drive to the shop because I knew. I knew our days together were coming to a close. The “uh oh” from the mechanic as he looked under the hood pretty much sealed the deal.

    The verdict? A cracked head gasket.

    The reality? Cha-ching. Cha-ching.

    The price to make him well was way more than he was worth (purely in a monetary way, of course) and the nature of his latest ailment couldn’t be ignored like so many of his other little idiosyncrasies. You see, I’d been able to work around his broken gas gage thanks to the trip-ometer I reset after each fill-up. I’d even been able to figure out a workable solution for the way he leaked when it rained (a well-placed plastic bag can work wonders). His broken tape deck wasn’t an issue either—it had conked out years ago and I survived quite well.

    But the cracked gasket thingy? Not so easy to work around.

    Needless to say, I was forced to move up my timetable for purchasing a car. A car I simply wasn’t ready to buy yet.

    But, as the Piece of Flair said, sometimes you’ve just got to dance in the rain.

    Three or four hours after I drove into the dealership with a sick patient, I was sitting in my new car staring in awe at the power windows, the functioning gas gage, and more buttons and lights than I could ever imagine.

    Was I scared as all get-out to take the thing home? To park it where my Flintstone-mobile belonged? Absolutely. But I really had no other choice.

    So, instead, I danced…

    I tried out all my radio stations…slid the windows up and down a few dozen times without huffing and puffing…welcomed any and all rain knowing it wasn’t going to seep through the ceiling…and longed for a bottle of water to put in my first-ever cup-holder. When I finally got it home, I peeked out at it at least a half-dozen times just to make sure it was really there.

    It was. And it is.

    And you know what? The dancing didn’t stop there.

    No. No. No.

    In fact, on a total and complete whim (think impulsive college days), I took off on a ten-hour road trip Sunday morning only to head back again the next afternoon. It was wild, crazy, and absolutely wonderful.

    *Big happy sigh*

    And you know what? It’s a memory I wouldn’t have now if he’d waited the two months I’d wanted him to wait.

    So how about the rest of you? Any dancing-in-the-rain stories you’d like to share?



    12 Responses to “Dancing in the Rain”

    1. Nope.

      by Theo Epstein on May 27th, 2008 at 8:01 am

    2. If the business Gods don’t pull a Hail Mary and the last American owned big beer company heads to Belgium, I may be dancing. For now, I’m practicing the two-step.

      by Will Bereswill on May 27th, 2008 at 8:16 am

    3. Laura, I think I need a little of whatever it is you’re taking to keep the optimism alive. Can you drive your fab new wheels over my way for a quick infusion?

      Here’s to hoping I can learn how to dance - in the rain, out of the rain, in a new car to great radio stations…

      by Regina Harvey on May 27th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    4. No dancing for me, either. Can’t wait to see the new car!

      by heather on May 27th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    5. You rule, Laura.

      by J.D. Rhoades on May 27th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    6. I don’t know where you get the energy OR inspiration.

      I beginning to feel like I will never be able to achieve anything if you keep raising the bar on me.

      I do enjoy reading immensely, so keep it up.

      by Debbie K. on May 27th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    7. So dancing in the rain…. I think I can add.

      The day I got my port (a way for them to draw blood and put the drugs directly into the bloodstream) out after the chemotherapy was done I was an emotional wreak. I called DH sobbing. He was confused, “Wasn’t that a good thing?” He asked.

      So instead of going to work, I went to the art museum and walked for two hours finishing with a tomato and mozerella sandwich at the cafe. It was heaven and no one there talked about cancer at all.

      So Will, if the buyout happens, will you have to move overseas? I talked to a guy from Denmark at the blackjack table in Vegas and he said gas was $10 a gallon over there.

      by Lynn on May 27th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    8. Will, I see a Hail Mary coming…

      Regina, keep that persistence of yours I’ve always admired and the rest will follow.

      Heather, you will. Printer’s Row is right around the corner…

      by Laura on May 27th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    9. Thanks, Dusty. Your halo shines brightly! :mrgreen:

      Debbie, I’m not sure where the energy comes from except it’s better than the alternative. As for the inspiration as a writer–that’s easy for me to find *most times* as I simply have to remember the 10-year-old little girl who dreamed of being “an author.” And I’ve seen your writing–you’ve got talent.

      Lynn, I get that sobbing-when-you-should-have-been-relieved part. I think it happens because you try to be so tough so you don’t fall apart when you can’t. And when it’s “over,” everything you’ve kept hidden behind your courage comes racing out in one big cryathon. I think it’s normal. If it’s not…then you and I can be nuts together.
      Oh, and btw, your art museum day sounds perfect–a great example of dancing in the rain. Yay, you!!!

      by Laura on May 27th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    10. Laura,
      I must be getting old! I can’t figure out what you got. My car is maturing and I keep thinking of getting something new. I’m dreaming of that golden camaro I wanted in High School!!! There I go again, showing my age! I hope that you got something you love. Walt made me drive a car I hated for a couple years, it may have been a good price, but I’m still irritated that I had to drive it! (and you can bet he won’t make that mistake again!)

      So here are my word of wisdom; don’t roll down your windows! You will lose that new car scent too soon! Wait at least 6 months beofer anyone can eat anything in it…and water is only to be drunk unless you have a sippy or coffee cup with a lid on it.

      Happy driving!

      by Sharon Mayhew on May 27th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    11. I’ll take a wild guess. Saturn Aura

      by Will Bereswill on May 28th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    12. Okay, now THAT’S scary, Will.

      Laura’s Aura has a nice ring though, doesn’t it?

      by Laura on May 28th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

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