2013-07-10 / Editorial

YES OR NO

Don Lively


No surprise. It had rained for two weeks straight. Rain. Lifeblood to the crops, gift to the farmers, boon to the lakes and ponds and aquifers. Rain. The bane of outdoor event planners. And the decision to postpone the event or to gamble with the weather rested on one pair of shoulders. Little ol’ mine. I’d gotten to the site early and I’d brought along my trusty laptop so I could have up-to-the-minute weather information. There I sat, alone, where the biggest Independence Day celebration our town has seen for quite some time was scheduled to begin in a few hours. It wasn’t encouraging. The most recently updated hourly report showed that there would be rain showers every hour until midnight. Not good. So, with much trepidation, I made the only decision that seemed rational. Postponement. Then I frantically began the phone calls. Stop the fireworks crew from loading up and heading our way. Reschedule the water slides. Call off the city crew preparing the site. Hot dog man. Shave ice lady. Caught them all in time. Then I went to all the pertinent Facebook pages and posted the postponement announcements. I got responses almost immediately thanking me for the updates. Success. But while I was making all those calls and posts, unnoticed by me due to my attention to the vendors and the folks, something happened. The rain stopped. Back to the laptop. No surprise. It had rained for two weeks straight. Rain. Lifeblood to the crops, gift to the farmers, boon to the lakes and ponds and aquifers. Rain. The bane of outdoor event planners. And the decision to postpone the event or to gamble with the weather rested on one pair of shoulders. Little ol’ mine. I’d gotten to the site early and I’d brought along my trusty laptop so I could have up-to-the-minute weather information. There I sat, alone, where the biggest Independence Day celebration our town has seen for quite some time was scheduled to begin in a few hours. It wasn’t encouraging. The most recently updated hourly report showed that there would be rain showers every hour until midnight. Not good. So, with much trepidation, I made the only decision that seemed rational. Postponement. Then I frantically began the phone calls. Stop the fireworks crew from loading up and heading our way. Reschedule the water slides. Call off the city crew preparing the site. Hot dog man. Shave ice lady. Caught them all in time. Then I went to all the pertinent Facebook pages and posted the postponement announcements. I got responses almost immediately thanking me for the updates. Success. But while I was making all those calls and posts, unnoticed by me due to my attention to the vendors and the folks, something happened. The rain stopped. Back to the laptop. Decisions, decisions.

We all make dozens of them every day.

What to wear to work.

What to eat for lunch.

Which phone mails to ignore and which emails to delete unread.

Whether to stay in bed and thereby blow off all other decisions.

Decisions.

Some are bigger than others.

And some, if one makes the wrong call, can make one look like the biggest idiot since Goliath underestimated a little redhead named David.

Our little hometown hasn’t had a 4th of

July fireworks show for the past two years after having one for more than twenty straight years with never a rainout. The group who has always sponsored the event wasn’t able to continue the tradition and folks around our neck of the woods really missed it.

That void is what led to yours truly being forced to make a decision that had the potential to make me look abjectly foolish.

I had been asked to take on the task of bringing fireworks back to our area and since I love the 4th and all that it means, I gladly accepted.

It was going to be fantastic.

A full blown event.

There would be water slides for the kids, old fashioned games, patriotic music and food vendors.

Fireworks at sundown.

Many people helped in the planning, donors, board members, volunteers, city employees. All would share in the success of the event.

There was just one problem.

The day had arrived and it was threatening to rain.

The most recently updated hourly report showed that there would be NO rain until midnight.

The exact same dadgum website that I’d checked 45 minutes before!

I hope that the Lord, and my cousin RoRo (her office was in easy earshot) will forgive me for the unbridled string of cuss words I let loose at the top of my frustrated lungs.

For a brief second I considered calling back all of the vendors.

“ I was just kidding! We’re on! Come on down! “

Talk about looking foolish.

I called a trusted advisor, a young woman half my age and ten times more mature.

“ It was the right decision. Just calm down and go home. “

I did finally go home but I didn’t calm down right away.

I agonized for the next two hours while I watched the clouds break and the sun come out and stay for the first time in two weeks.

But then God smiled on me.

He probably winked at Jesus and Mama and Daddy first, but He smiled on me for sure.

Black clouds returned.

Just about the time the event would have started the rains came back.

Thank you Lord!

Weather.com was wrong!

I was right!

Whew!

It rained on and off all evening and just at sundown, when the fireworks would have started, there came a shore ‘nuff gullywasher.

That’s when I finally knew that I wasn’t going to look more foolish than a certain Philistine giant.

At least not that night, for that decision.

As for our fireworks show, I picked an alternate date that, according to long range weather forecasts, was supposed to be sunny and warm.

That was then, this is now.

Now it says it’s going to rain.

Here we go again.

Lord? Help?

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of Howlin’ At The Dixie Moon. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com and visit his website, www.DonLively.com.

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