Incomer Musings

By Louise Froggett

It was a dark and stormy winter night. The wind blew and the rain slashed and, instead of sleeping, I worried. Worried about the things on the balcony: the things we should have moved; the things that should have been laid down on the balcony floor instead of standing up like sentries.

So, I lay there in bed doing an inventory in my mind. What was out there? We didn’t like the way the screens impeded our view, so we had removed one from a window and had taken off the sliding screen door. They were standing up, leaning against the wall with a stack of four outdoor chairs snugged up to them, keeping them from moving. And the chairs were sitting on the table top that had already flown off the balcony once.

I heard a noise…sliding, grinding. I hopped out of bed and rushed into the living room. The rain was streaking all over the window and I couldn’t see, so I opened it. Big mistake! The sheer curtain flew all around my face, then was sucked outside. Then I saw the chairs; they were almost to the other side of the balcony, dragging the table top beneath them, and the sliding screen door was whapping against them. I leaned way out and managed to grab the edge of the door. Now what?

Exactly…now what! I hung on for dear life with the wrath of the weather gods beating upon me. Very soon I was wet, cold and half strangled by the curtain. My fingers were numb from clutching the icy metal door frame and I couldn’t think what to do. I was afraid to let go of the door, and afraid to go out onto the balcony in a 90km wind knowing I’d never wrestle the door inside by myself. My husband was blissfully sleeping (without his hearing aids, of course) so calling to him was useless. So, I began to whimper.

Panicked whimpering led to sniveling and then I heard, “What ARE you doing?” I was saved! Thankfully, my husband had wakened, wondered where I’d gone and come searching.

After donning coats and proper shoes, we stepped out into the night. The wind was fierce, the cold shocking and the rain swirled around us. We hung onto each other and struggled over to the screen door, which was now right over by the outside wall. As the wind screamed in our ears, we dragged the door back towards the sliding glass door shuddering behind us. Somehow, we got the screen door inside, but not before ripping it on the corner of the bricks. We then laid the chairs down and grabbed the table top, bringing it inside as well. The window screen was gone.

The next day was lovely; you’d never know it had been so bad the night before. We arranged for the screen door to be taken away and we moved the chairs to a better (hopefully less windy) place on the balcony. When we threw the table top into the garbage bin, we found our mangled window screen. Someone had found it and given it an unceremonial burial. We kept very quiet about its origins.