• Darko Jelisavac

Rain, Goodwill and Gratitude




I finally bought a raincoat, I guess that means I'm staying a while.

I moved to Georgia in May of 2014 from Utah. The weather is a lot different here, after being used to high desert, low humidity and big snowstorms, I am confronted by lush landscapes, ice storms and days of rain. In Utah, it didn’t really rain, it was either dry or snowy. Here, it rains, a lot.

For six years now, I've been in denial about the rain. Instead of owning an umbrella, rainboots or raincoat, I go about my business like I did in Utah, and I'm often wet. The rain here is heavy, it truly pours down, it puddles in the streets, it makes it hard to see. I often think to myself, "it's no big deal, it will stop soon, it's just water, I won't melt."

Recently, I've been spending a lot more time outdoors while at work. Teaching yoga as well as helping out at a Medical Center two afternoons a week. I put on PPE, relieve RN's and LPN's and direct patients where they need to go: "Covid testing is from 8:30 until noon", "The pharmacy is to your left", "Flu shots are through a drive through tent, next to the ambulance bay", "Do you need a wheelchair?" I enjoy the break from teaching as well as feel like I'm assisting our health care workers.

With Hurricane Sally coming through this week, it was really, really wet. On Thursday, I taught a yoga class (inside) and walked out to pouring rain. I was due at the Medical Center in about an hour and a half. it did not look like the rain was going to let up. If I am outside for four hours, I am going to get hypothermia. I guess I need to do something about that. I'm also hungry, I should do something about that too.

With the cold rainy morning, I was craving something warm and comforting. Something substantial that would take me through the upcoming wet afternoon. Ah, Waffle House. I pulled into my familiar spot, sat at the high bar and ordered my usual breakfast from Brian: double order of hash browns "garden style", a side of cinnamon raisin toast and a cup of decaf. I always enjoy going there, everyone knows me since my dad was a regular for years. We would have lively conversations at the high bar or corner booth. My food was steaming when I got it, so cozy and satisfying.

After eating, I looked outside. Still pouring. I looked across the parking lot, of course! The new Goodwill is right there, wonder if they will have a raincoat for me. I walked across the parking lot, getting soaking wet on the way, put on my mask and went inside. It was still early in the day, not lots of people. Where are the coats anyway? I stroll into the women's section, find "Size "M" racks and start flipping through hangars. In no less than a minute, there she is.

She's perfect, a classic belted trench coat in a bright color with a removable hood, pockets too! I smile at my luck. I slide it on and immediately know, you are coming with me, you are my raincoat. I flip over the tag, a bargain at $6.99. I'm smiling as I make my way up to the register, of course I will round up to support your mission. I spent $8 and I'm riding high. Off to the Medical Center I go.

I'm happy as I make my way to my post, sporting my new find. I'm greeted by "That's a great raincoat", "I love raincoats, where did you get that?", "That's a great color, love it."

I am filled with gratitude. Grateful for the rain, being able to work, Waffle House, my dad, Goodwill and of course, my raincoat.