As I drove through a pop up thunderstorm on my way into Tallahassee yesterday I glanced over to make sure my umbrella was tucked into its appropriate spot in the catch-all pocket of the passenger seat door. Sure enough, there it was just waiting to provide an invaluable service. And if it hadn’t been there I knew there was another umbrella in the pocket behind my seat.
Studly Doright and I keep two umbrellas in each of our vehicles, plus spares in the house for visitors and one in his shop. We are a proud, multi-umbrella household.
For most of my life I didn’t even own such a device. I thought they were pretty when characters on tv and in movies unfurled their umbrellas to stroll through a gentle rainfall. In theory I knew they could be useful, but I grew up in the dusty Texas panhandle where most days it was too dry to whistle.
Unless one is an umbrella fetishist there is absolutely no use for an umbrella in places that might get rain three times a year. And when it does rain in Floydada, or Claude, Texas, the howling winds generally render an umbrella useless.
When our daughter was small she desperately wanted a colorful raincoat with matching galoshes and umbrella. We were barely living paycheck to paycheck back then, so something the child might get to use once in her life wasn’t high on my list of priorities. But she’d have been adorable in matching rain gear. Damned poverty.
How many umbrellas do you own? Is the number directly related to where you live? I considered making the claim that I could tell where respondents reside by the number of umbrellas they owned, but decided I’d just be guessing. I’m no umbrella soothsayer, after all.