We've had a lot of stormy weather lately, and on the worst evening so far, I was ready to lay down my life for the storm door I had installed on our house this spring.
As purple clouds roiled through the sky and rain assaulted our yard and the wind picked up hard and fast, I wasn't about to let some tornado make off with the glass replacement door that I had lovingly and patiently and crookedly hung on our back door. (Yes, the sad door I've told you about before.)
I said goodbye to my wife, who is a good woman, and stepped outside. I pulled the main door shut to give the wind less suction on the glass door, which I latched firmly behind me.
Then I stood with my back against that door as leaves and pine needles flew through the yard and the burst of wind energy swelled.
"Not this door," I said to the sky. "Not today."
It was an empty warning, because really, what chance do we have against the invisible invader that is air?
I didn't have to wait long. The storm hit a crescendo, and as it did, I heard a pine crack in the near distance, toward the road outside our subdivision. I couldn't see anything falling, but I knew that a tree had plummeted to earth. Then, as suddenly as it had come, the storm fled.
Minutes later, I saw flashing red lights bouncing off the wet houses and trees, and I knew that emergency workers were dealing with that tree.
Cars passed by on the part of the road visible from our house, so I knew the tree had not completely blocked the passage.
Things could have been worse, I knew. The storm had been merciful in its brevity. My door stood proud, no worse for wear; well, no worse than when I had awkwardly installed it.
Several days later, I went into a computer store, and I noticed that the shop's glass door was propped open in high-90s heat.
I asked one of the employees why that was.
"The door is broken, and no one here knows how to repair it," he said. (I don't think it had been damaged by a storm.)
I looked around at a great number of highly trained and knowledgeable employees capably showing customers how to work their computers or repairing their cell phones for them. I started to say in jest that I would fix their door if they would fix my phone, but I stopped myself.
Did I know any more about doors than I did phones?
No. Even though I had done everything I was supposed to do in replacing my old storm door -- some of it several times, in fact -- I had to accept it that some things simply aren't meant to be.
That's why, the next time the weather turns ugly, you won't find me cowering inside. I will be outside in the middle of things, protecting my storm door from the storm.