Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dallas


Amarillo was extremely windy the morning we left. I had heard that Dallas was experiencing some weird weather, but it seemed like it was going to be moving out just as I was getting there.

But the closer I got to Dallas, the more grey the sky got. By the time I was in Dallas, the rain was coming down so hard that it was flooding all the street corners and making it hard to see. The windshield wipers were having a hard time keeping up with the volume of rain pouring down on us.

People on the street were getting routinely soaked by cars driving through the accumulated floodles at each corner. That's a word I made up to mean very large puddles that quickly formed due to massive and sudden amounts of rain.

And then the lightning started. It was really impressive, bolt lightning. At one moment I saw a bolt hit what looked like a cell phone or electrical relay tower. And it lingered and seemed to be striking repeatedly. I'd never seen lightning behave like that before.

I had just enough time to check into the motel room, shower, eat and prepare for class before heading out to the studio. But a wrench was thrown in the works when I arrived at the motel. River and I ran from the car to the front door of the lobby and were soaked in fifteen seconds. But the clerk at the desk told us that we couldn't check in because they had lost power and were only running on a generator to power the lobby and essentials. I was stunned for a while and didn't know what to do, and wasn't looking forward to going back out into the torrential downpour.

I wondered if the power outage had anything to do with that tower I saw get repeatedly struck by lightning.

I consulted the Motel 6 app and found another location fairly nearby and made my way through the treacherous, zero-visibility rainstorm to the address. When I got there,  the address was inside a business park, but there was no Motel 6. I drove around a couple of times, but couldn't see it.

I was beginning to realize that there was no way I would find and check into a room and get ready for class in time. I knew that I had to just simply go teach class and worry about accommodations afterward. So I drove to MoveStudio and waited for class to start.

While I waited, Shannon, one of the instructors I was teaching for in Dallas, said River and I could sleep at her home. I was relieved to have the option, even though she had dogs and lived about half an hour away.

Class went well. There weren't many students in the room, which wasn't surprising considering what was going on outside. I wouldn't go to class tonight if I weren't the teacher! But the good thing is that those who did show up, REALLY WANTED to be there and to have a good time. So we had a blast, just the five or six of us.

After class I called the Motel I had a reservation at, thinking maybe that the power had come back on and I could drive over and check in. But no. No answer. A recording saying they were having power problems.

Then I finally found a motel six that was nearby, had power and did exist! It was late before I checked in and fell asleep right after eating dinner.

The next day, the storms had stopped. I was teaching another class in Dallas so we headed back to the studio. There were a lot more people in this class, but the energy and excitement level was similar to the smaller group the night before.

It's so much fun to present this work.  Some of the student remembered River from the ROCKIN class I taught there last fall. And River, likewise, seemed to remember them. After class, we piled back in the car and took off for Austin.

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