It's Raining Ideas

Today a sudden spring snowstorm hit our front lawn. It was a mad circus of fluffy flakes blowing with absolute frenzy and a chaser of bullish sunshine. The Chief and I resumed our window-watching seats (where we always sit when a storm hits) and witness the entire snow globe experience. If you read my blog much (thank you) you know, this window-gazing happens often around here. We are a happily home-bound family thanks to a baby who continues to nap bi-daily. And lately, the skies have been throwing a lot of atmospheric entertainment our way. Nothing thrills like moody weather patterns--within reason, yes.

But out of our large, busy, front window view we always witness a most disheartening occurrence: people caught in the rain, wind or snow without the aid of an umbrella. I feel so helpless watching them defenselessly guard against nature's pelting attitude. In the three years we've lived here, and taken up the art of people/weather watching, I've never seen any Gene Kelly moments. People don't just spontaneously sing in the rain like I grew up thinking they do. Actually, people getting caught in the rain are desperate people, not dancing people, MGM.

Then today I saw something that really did me in: a mother with two small children getting whipped around in the torrential snowstorm. I can't go on like this, I said to myself, watching the innocent people of this world battling an ominous sky. If people are allowed to dream big, by golly Josephat, I can dream small. And my small dream is to start a project called Umbrellas for Strangers.

Umbrellas for Strangers is a home-run charity (basically, The Chief and me) wherein we collect umbrellas in a secure, dry area of our Green Room. On a day like today, we will watch vigilantly out the window. Upon our viewing of a stranger caught without covering, we will dispatch an umbrella to the unaware stranger, thus saving our new friend from wetness, annoyance and possibly pneumonia/death. When that stranger has no more use of the umbrella, he/she can kindly return it to our doorstep (thanks is not necessary, and we don't eat treats from strangers, unless they are pre-wrapped treats, Snickers and the like).

Of course, if it's a person we know (an unStranger) we'd invite them in to wait out the storm. See? Because we know them. Hopefully they'd be people that like to tell stories or play the piano, nothing like being stuck inside for an afternoon with a bore hog. Which reminds me... all depends on the success of Umbrellas for Strangers, but if things go well, I'd like to start a charity for boring people. People who find themselves in social situations without anything exciting to say, people who are equally caught unaware as the people without umbrellas but in a different sort of way. I present: Scoring for the Boring.

Wait a minute, who said I was dreaming small?


*photo above was taken during our first rainstorm together, go team Umbrellas for Strangers!

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