Monday, July 02, 2007

New Brunswick 1998

It didn’t snow very much in the winter of ’98. And the spring wasn’t particularly wet either. By summer, the state was under a drought emergency. You couldn’t water your lawn or wash your car and restaurants stopped automatically giving water out.

We were living on the bottom floor of a two family house in New Brunswick. Most of the houses on the street were rentals, converted from single family homes. Our house was unusual on the street because it had a double lot. I took care of the lawn for a little bit off the rent.

A couple doors down was a church—a holdover from when the neighborhood was more solidly residential. The priest ignored the water restrictions. Every morning he’d be out on the little patch of grass in front of the church in flip flops, shorts, and a guinea tee watering it with a hose. His grass stayed green all summer.

From June into July, my grass stopped growing. I could go weeks between mowings. Eventually it turned brown altogether and I stopped mowing. When I walked passed the church on my way to school, I cursed the priest under my breath.

Then one sticky August afternoon, one of those late summer thunderstorms rolled through. It was a great big storm. The sky turned black, the wind blew the leaves silver, and golf-ball sized hail clunked down on the window pains. Then an intense crash of thunder shook the house. A lightning bolt struck the steeple of the church, blowing the cross clear off and into the yard of a house a block away. I walked a little lighter passed the church after that.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Either you never told me this story back then or I've forgotten about it ... either way, it's nice to hear it (again).

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