The next morning did not look promising for our two foiled tourists. Raylene and Winnie stood by the window frowning as they watched the advancing storm drench the city.
“I don’t wish for the wind, but we could use some heavy rains like this back home,” Raylene commented as another gray cloud dropped yet more water on the streets below. “It would do the crops a world of good.”
“Don’t be silly, Raylene. If we got a rain like this back in Moose Knee it would flatten all the crops for a thousand miles around.”
“Not if it came at the right time, like in March before the farmers started seeding.”
“If it came in March, it’d freeze and the whole country would be one big skating rink.”
“I suppose,” Raylene admitted. “And we’d never want a wind like this.” They watched as another branch fell from one of the trees in the park beside them.
“I declare! They must not use enough fertilizer around those trees if the branches break so easily,” said Winnie. “I’m going to mention that to the Manager next time I see him.”
“Remember, this is a hurricane. It would take an amazing tree to stand up in this gale — and we’ll see a lot higher wind yet before the day is out. The Manager said the hurricane may knock out our power and we’ll be without until they get the generator running.”
“He’d better give us a discount for that.”
Raylene rolled her eyes. “It’ll only be for fifteen minutes or so.”
“ ‘Every penny counts,’ is what I always say.”
Right then the phone rang. Raylene picked up the receiver and recognized her daughter Naomi’s voice.
“Hi, Mom. How are you two managing down there? We hear Hurricane Celestine is moving into that part of Florida.”
“We’re watching its arrival right now.”
“And how’s Cousin ‘Thistle’ enjoying herself? She hasn’t blown away yet?”
Raylene sighed. “I wish…”
“Well, you knew…”
“For a miracle?”
“Dream on! Cousin Winnie will never change. She delights in disaster.”
“But I thought…”
Winnie interrupted. “I wish; I hoped; I guess; I thought. Are you paying by the word? Long distance rates are too high for that kind of babbling. Say something sensible or hang up.”
“Cousin Winnie thinks we’re babbling and I should hang up,” Raylene told her daughter. “I guess neither of us are feeling very cheerful this morning. We may spend the whole day in this room watching the rain fall.”
“Poor Mom. I’ll have your martyr pin ready when you get home. Would you like it engraved? How about Semper fidelis or Veni, vidi, vici Florida?
“Maybe just Mea culpa.”
Naomi laughed. “Bye, Mom. Have a great time — once the storm is over.”
Raylene said goodbye and turned to her cousin Winnie. “Come on. Let’s go down to the lobby and see what everybody else is doing. We can’t just sit here and ooze gloom all day long.”
Winnie’s face brightened. “Maybe we can have tea with that nice widower from Hershey, Pennsylvania. Love his accent — I could listen to him all day!”
Raylene smiled. Miracles do still happen, she thought as went to her room to grab her purse.