Since the Residence Inn Birmingham Hoover's internet is slower than a drunken golfer*, I won't be photoblogging this trip to the National Forensic League speech and debate tournament. I'll have to paint pictures with words instead.
All my memories of the South came flooding back: the swamp water in the shower and the coffee, the stilted pines, the sweet, sticky scent of crushing humidity.
And the storms.
We drove into one this morning, two coaches and two students on the way to registration. Forks and sheets of lightning crashed all around. Blinding rain pelted the windshield, forcing me to slow down to about 30 on the freeway--and then I pulled over entirely when my passengers got a little antsy.
I pulled up to some kind of auto detailing place, figuring on parking until the deluge abated. The nearby intersection began to flood, cars crashing through red plumes of raging water. All of a sudden the other coach in the car said, "Jim, you might want to move the car." A river of swirling detritus was headed right at us--milk crates, cardboard boxes, PVC pipes hoping to block the nearest drain or swallow up the nearest rental car.
We made it out in time, though, and drove to higher ground, watching in awe as the storm raged away.
Ever since my undergraduate days in Texas, I've had at least one or two "storm dreams" each year.
It was nice to make it through a real one, for a change.
*Though this may be redundant.