I had such an interesting interview yesterday, for a couple of reasons.
A local nurse contacted the newspaper and asked if they'd tell her story of volunteering with the USS Iwo Jima as it sailed around Central and South America on a good-will mission. The ship spent (or is spending) four months setting up temporary medical clinics in impoverished regions and giving equipment and training to local hospitals. She traveled with the ship for one month. So, the editor called me because this kind of story is right up my alley.
"Right up my alley" is such a colorful word picture, isn't it? It's in my part of town. It runs right by my house. It's my niche. I digress.
Anyway, this nurse doesn't live around here anymore, but she agreed to drive up here and meet me some place. Because she would have her dog with her, she suggested we meet at the park, which was a great idea except we were expecting a crazy storm. The front brought the worst storm that Chicago had seen in 70 years and tornado warnings all over Indiana, and it was heading due east to hurl all sorts of bad stuff on us. Still, we agreed to meet around 2:00, which we calculated was an hour or two before the storm was expected to hit.
I got there a few minutes early and chose a bench beside the duck pond where ducks and geese swim, and I could feel a slight breeze. I shot this little video, and you can see by the shivering leaves that the wind was increasing by the minute:
My nurse arrived and joined me on the bench with her little dog, and I took out my black book of questions. We talked and talked, smashing spiders that invaded our space because we both hate them and swapping stories about our different volunteer experiences. She voiced what I had felt when I returned from Romania—when you spend time helping people in need, you come home to your comfortable surroundings and can't help but look around for more opportunities to help. Wherever you go, you wonder what you can do of value because all the Stuff really means nothing in the long run.
As we talked, the wind grew stronger and stronger, and leaves were blowing all over the place. I had to keep one hand on my notebook to keep the pages from flapping back and forth just so I could jot down some answers with my trusty mechanical pencil. Finally, we decided we should head for cover, said good-bye and took off. I made it home well before the worst of it hit, but the predicted storm turned out to be a disappointment. I love weather drama and was hoping for thunder and lightning and crazy wind, but all I got was about 15 minutes of mediocre wind and rain before it blew through like a piece of bland toast.
Now, I've got a story to write, with nothing but clouds outside for external interest. The nurse's story is inspiration enough, though, and a little weather drama would just add some extra color.