Fire danger: HIGH

This morning at church, Bill Sr. told me that we are in the middle of the wettest spring and summer Coldwater has seen in 70 years. As if to reinforce that point, around 8 o’clock tonight, the sky opened up and dumped four inches of rain on Coldwater in less than an hour.

Fifteen minutes into the storm, all my rooms filled up, and I turned on the “NO VACANCY” sign.

Twenty minutes into the storm, a young couple came in to ask whether I’d mind if they waited out the storm in my lobby. I told them to go right ahead and went to get them a couple of towels.

By the time I got back, they had taken Grant’s spot on the couch, and he was starting the espresso machine.

“Sierra, I’d like you to meet Jerry and Monica Larson,” he said. “Monica is a former student of mine.”

The couple had gone to a Route 66 festival in Kansas and were planning to cruise back home at a leisurely pace, but after learning that their neighborhood had been evacuated as a result of forest fires in the mountains around Flagstaff, they decided to drive the whole distance in one shot.

Seeing their exhaustion, Grant put the kibosh on that plan. Instead, we made them a couple of sandwiches out of the pork shoulder Grant had smoked this afternoon, and then he gave them his keys and sent them to his house for the evening, with the understanding that he would stay in my lobby, monitoring the situation in Flagstaff, and call them immediately if he got any news about their house.

Grant is now dozing off on my couch. Meanwhile, I am pretty sure that I will get absolutely no sleep at all, what with the most attractive man on Route 66 sleeping in the next room….

— Sierra


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