Saturday I woke up irritable, short tempered, cross, crabby and was convinced that the world was plotting against me. The strange weather was going to beat up my tomato plant, my new flower garden wasn’t blooming fast enough, my cats clawed most of the wallpaper off my bedroom shelf and I found myself wanting to get even with everyone and everything. I chewed out a couple of telemarketers before breakfast then walked around grumpy and useless for the rest of the morning and afternoon. I paced. I know I’m bad off when I pace. My own crabby father paced whenever he was irritated and that was most all of the time. Others were steering clear of me. I was a virtual time-bomb waiting to go off. Of course I couldn’t work. I wasn’t creative. I had no ideas. Worst yet we had paid a lot of money to go to a concert that night at the Maryhill Winery. “Earth, Wind and Fire,” I mumbled into a strong cup of coffee. “Right, those old guys aren’t worth ten bucks let alone over one-hundred.” We were to go with our neighbors, Sara and Jeff, great friends, but even their friendship didn’t cheer me up. “I have nothing to wear,” I screamed at my closet. “Sara will look so good and I’ll look like my flannel shirt hillbilly self. I hate my clothes. Old Levi’s and Get Fuzzy tee-shirts… but then what parties do I get to go to where I need to dress up anyway? (mumble, mumble) I live so friggin’ far out in the woods,” I whined to myself, slamming plastic hangers hard into each other. (Honestly, I was a little Joan Crawford like.) My cats hid. Cody kept to himself.
Also we were actually worried about a nearby fire. I tried to come up with every excuse necessary to stay home. “What if the fire surrounds our house while we’re gone?” I asked. Ron in his wisdom told me quietly to calm down (of course that made me even madder.) So I called Jeff (the king of our Search and Rescue). He said no worries and that the fire was heading the other direction. No more excuses. I must go. I must be calm and appear happy.
We get to the concert. We park at least one thousand miles away from where we need to be. We all pile out of the car and pack up chairs, purses, blankets and every other thing we might need and haul it all up to the entrance. We get searched for any “illegal” liquids. By this time it was about six o’clock. It was getting cloudy and cold. Black clouds filled the sky, an orange glow came from the west (from the fire), and people were everywhere. (I hate big crowds). It took some time to settle in. Ron was not talking to me (he knows when my dark side is loose). I’m cold. I’m hungry. Sara and Jeff get food while we watch our spot. We have a long time to wait and I feel the first raindrops. “Oh, crap,” I mutter “what next?”
Sara and Jeff come back and it starts to rain. Jeff bought a bottle of wine. It cost thirty dollars. We go for food. We stand in the wrong line. We’re now getting very wet. We change lines. After what is an eternity we have our food in our hands. We walk fifty miles back to our spot. We eat with our blanket over our head. My corn chips and salsa blow out of my hands, nearly hitting the people next to us. I somehow save my burrito. Lightning. (A cheer from the crowd) Thunder. (another cheer). We’re blinded from the lights shining on the audience from the stage and can barely hear the tiny warm up singer hawking her new CD over and over. She doesn’t move while she sings. More thunder, rain and lightning. Then wind. I know my head is going to explode. And then…
A break in the clouds, the wind dies down, a beautiful sunset paints orange and red from the west and just as the sun is going down a rainbow appears to the left of the stage. It’s dark, I’m warm, I’m full and we’re all on the edge of our seats (or blankets). A little girl carrying a bouquet of light sticks and ribbons crosses our path.
The stage lights up. Blue, red, pink and yellow flashes precede the grand entrance of “Earth, Wind and Fire”. The guys enter. They are loud. They are a celebration. They play the familiar music from my past. I smile. I rock. I dance. My storm is over. I turn to Ron and quietly whisper in his ear, “If there is a heaven this is just what mine would be like.” He smiles. We buy a thirty dollar bottle of wine. We get down. We get funky. We dance.