When it rains, it pours

Published 9:25 pm Friday, August 21, 2009

On the horizon, I could see my retirement years creeping over.

And, halleluiah! I could see my ship coming in – the USS Colonial.

Now, it was not a big ship, but it was sufficient to keep this ol’ gal afloat for a while in the event of the brewing of an unexpected storm.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For a long while, I was cheerfully sailing along toward Retirement Isle, then the sea got a little uncertain. The waters got rough, the wind howled and dark clouds rolled in.

Some folks on the ship got nervous and lowered the lifeboats, got in and sailed away.

The rain started to fall. The thunder rumbled and the lightning flashed.

Other folks put on life jackets and jumped ship, paddling away with their heads just above the water.

Not me. I was going to ride out the storm.

The waves roared and thundered and crashed into the USS Colonial knocking it this way and that. Beat the ship and battered it until it began to take on water and started to sink. I was standing on the deck when it went down. I was not alone. For the first time, I completely understood the meaning of, “the ship of fools.”

Underwater is not a comfortable place to be, especially if you don’t have a nose clamp. I didn’t.

Now, I’ve never considered myself to be exceptionally smart. I never thought that I could be a brain surgeon, an expert analyst on cable TV or state treasurer, but I did think that I had a little “common sense.”

I don’t.

Even though I had no apparent knowledge of stocks and how they rise and fall, I should have had enough common sense to get off a sinking ship. I was not the captain of Colonial. There was no honor in staying.

But I’m an optimist. Like my granny, I believe that everything will come out in the wash. I just wish that she had told me that sometimes what comes out in the wash goes down the drain – unless you put in the stopper.

Actually, what stock I had in Colonial Bank was not all that much by any standards except mine. But it was something that Daddy had entrusted to me, and I didn’t do a good job of looking after it. I’m disappointed about that.

And, as it often happens, “When it rains, it pours.” That’s what Mr. Morton put on his salt boxes to hype his product but, over the years, the slogan has been adapted to fit many adverse situations.

I found it applicable to mine.

In the same week that my ship sank, the transmission went out in my car, the washing machine started to leak, the turntable in the microwave stopped turning, the hot water heater went out and I got shortchanged at a fast-food restaurant.

But in the whole scheme of things, what’s a little bit of rain in our lives. After all, life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

So the rain was just a reason for me to dance.