There is a new “cloud” these days, a place where the internet stuff lives. There are several clouds I suppose. As I climb aboard, I hope they are not so drifty and temporary as the meteorological kind. This blog is on a cloud, and I link it onto Facebook and Google, other clouds. My friends Steve & Lucy have rock and roll songs I can listen to, on their music cloud. https://soundcloud.com/zebra-zeitgeist I’ve finally figured out how to Skype; surely those video-voice meetings mesh on some cloud. All my life, with my wool-gathering writing inclinations, I’ve often been accused of having my “head in the clouds.” Finally, that seems true.
Driving home today, I was relaxed, looking at sky clouds, with my head stuck in Chapter 18, definitely a puzzle cloud. With all that, I still had to keep myself connected to the car and the road. The radio helps me to stay grounded. Fingers on the buttons, I’m always searching for my favorite talk show hosts or the right music. By “right music,” I mean songs that speak for or to the characters in my writing projects. Usually, this means rock and roll. I don’t listen to advertising if I can help it; I can click off the obnoxious ones in the first syllable. These radio exercises keep my mind from drifting too far from the controls of the car.
Recently, the I-5 bridge over the nearby Skagit River collapsed suddenly; this event brought my father onto my wool-gathering cloud. My father was a great story-teller and giver of advice, especially about all things mechanical. Late in his life, shortly before he lost his voice to cancer, I was driving him home from a medical appointment. We crossed a little country bridge over a deep creek which inspired him to tell me (not for the first time in our long life together) his advice in case I ever found myself in a car accident involving deep water.
“Roll down the window first thing, so the water pressure won’t keep the doors from opening, so you won’t get trapped in the car.” Considering the condition of bridges, in our state and elsewhere, I have been passing Daddy’s valuable advice on to my friends on the ground, face to face, in the weeks since the bridge collapsed. One good friend was pretty sure that flying through the air, if a bridge fell out from under her, she would be too panicked to remember to open a window. Considering that, I have an addendum to Daddy’s warning.
“Whenever you cross those big old bridges, keep a finger on the window button.” If only in your mind. The engine will keep running until you hit the water. My wooly brain imagines that Creedence Clearwater Revival would be on the radio on the way through the air. If that stupid commercial for the feed store with the fake country accent started on the way down, I might hit that button too. Strong habits die hard.