When you take the same route every day, the spots you pass take on landmark status. On my walk to the post office and back every morning, I know at each point exactly how long it should take me to make it home. Today as I left the post office carrying an armful of mail, I looked up at the threatening sky and asked the rain goddess Tess if she wouldn't mind holding off for another eighteen minutes.
As I passed the Crystal Cathedral-like glass-enclosed orthodontist's office, I said, "Please don't let it start raining for twelve minutes."
When I reached the Baptist Church, I begged for nine more minutes of dry skies. This is where I would have voted, by the way, if I hadn't mailed my absentee ballot last week. Business looked brisk.
Two minutes later, passing in front of the elementary school, I prayed not to be caught in the midst of a horde of stampeding fifth graders on their way out for a field trip. Again.
At the ski lodge-like wood-paneled medical complex, I said, "Please give me five more minutes before the rain starts."
At the bus stop, I silently asked the guy in the wheelchair not to back over me.
By the time I rounded the last corner, the sky was a bit lighter and the threat had passed, for the time being. When the monsoon began two hours later, I was safely entrenched in my living room looking out. At that point you couldn't have pried me out of the house again with the jaws of life.