At the Horseshoe Road Inn by Gary D. Crawford
Down at the Horseshoe Road Inn the other day, I was nursing a second cup of coffee and listening to the chit-chat. The general topic that morning was the strange weather we’d been having this year. Someone said they heard it was the hottest summer in Maryland since they started keeping good records in 1895. And without rain for such long stretches, it looked like we were going to lose all the corn. But the rain finally did come – in buckets. Some places reported nearly four inches of rain in an hour.
One town up the road got so much rain so fast that the streets were flooded three feet deep in some places. Their new sewer system no longer lets the storm water mix in with that other stuff, causing their sewerage treatment plant to overflow. It’s a lot better health-
wise, but those old storm drains alone just aren’t up to the task when it really pours. It seemed like everybody had a weather story to tell, but the topic was getting played out when this guy Nance spoke up. He said he had a weather story to top them all. Now most of the time Nance doesn’t talk all that much, so when he made this announcement it sort of got our attention. A couple of the dozers sat up and went over to the counter to get refills. Nance waited until they got settled down again and we were all listening up. “It was one day toward the end of the last dry spell,” Nance said, “maybe ten days or so ago. It was gray and overcast all day long, but still no rain. I was sure hoping something eventually would fall out of all those dark clouds. Well,” he said, pausing for a sip of coffee, “it did.” “I was minding my own business when all of a sudden I heard a real big thump. Felt the house shake,” said Nance. He called out to his wife, Allene, upstairs to see if she had fallen, but she said no and asked if he was all right. “She thought I’d pushed over the filing cabinet or something, it was that loud.” “Maybe something fell over in