We had a day today!
We had plans to get together with our friends, Amie and Evelyn (and baby Sadie), but hadn't planned what to do. When Amie and I spoke in the morning, it was such a gorgeous day we decided to spend it outside. We agreed to meet at Indian Island Park, where we could play at the playground, ride bikes and scooters, and go to the beach. Great.
We ate lunch, packed snacks, put on bathing suits, got towels, bikes, and scooters into the car, and headed for the park. We went to the playground and the kids were all having fun, and Amie and I enjoyed ourselves chatting. For a while. Until the two park guys came up to the playground with weed whackers--we knew the noise was going to be unpleasant, so we gathered the kids and headed up the trails for the beach.
The going was a bit slow--we had Emma on a trike, Ben on a scooter, there were some parts of the road that were sandy, and Amie had Sadie in a stroller with their gear and I had a stroller FULL of our gear. Plus we had to keep moving aside when cars would come by, which meant everyone stopped completely till the car was gone. It is a fair walk, not sure of the distance but it took our caravan at least fifteen minutes to walk it. Finally we hit the beach. A sigh of relief--we could settle here for an hour or two before we had to head home for the dinner rush.
The kids immediately went into the water. Amie and I settled on towels in the sand, and I had my coffee and Amie had some snacks and fed Sadie some banana. We were chatting away as we do when her phone rang. It was her husband David, calling from work. He asked if we were near the cars, because there was a pretty severe thunderstorm just south of the Lab (where he works, about 20 miles from where we were sitting....)
We looked at the sky. It was mostly blue, but with some threatening clouds over to one side. We thought, okay, well, let's just enjoy ourselves a bit more and then head home. WRONG!
We heard thunder, and immediately called the kids out of the water, getting to our feet to gather our things. The rain began, just lightly at first. It got heavier as we went up the beach to the stroller, and heavier still as we started down the path. (Remember how we had to keep stopping to get out of the way of cars on the way to the beach? Well, now imagine that everyone is LEAVING the beach, all at once, because of a thunderstorm. You'll get the picture of how often we had to stop!) We began light heartedly at first. After all, the kids were already wet, and we were walking through the woods, so the trees were mostly protecting us, though there were some frightening claps of thunder and some rough lightning strikes. Ben was getting a bit worked up (he doesn't enjoy getting wet from the rain, anyway, much less in a thunderstorm!) and I was trying to calm him and keep Emma with us, when the sky opened up....
It poured. I don't mean just a little. I mean, I was wearing capri jeans and a wraparound blouse and they were SOAKED through. My jeans felt about twenty pounds heavier, my hair was dripping, and I was having trouble seeing because there was so much water running down my face and into my eyes that I had to make sure my contacts didn't pop out. I was miserable, and kept thinking of the contents of my purse, the cell phone, the towels gathering all the water they could hold---and then, I remembered I left the van windows open! It was a gorgeous day when we'd left the car, and I didn't want it to get too hot in there....
There were huge puddles, we could hardly see, the kids were alternately laughing and complaining, and all I wanted was to be out of this nonsense. Then the hail began. Yes, hail. As in little pellets of ice falling from the sky. Finally we reached the van and Rachel started it so she could shut the windows. I tossed stuff into the trunk willy nilly, jammed the bikes and scooters in, and gratefully got into the van. I had to take a towel that we keep in the front to dust the dashboard so I could dry my face enough to see; then we used the towel to dry as much of the dash and doors as we could. What a nightmare!
When we got home, the work continued as I had to wash everything--clothes, towels, bathing suits, coverups, even Ben's hat had gotten soaked. Everyone was "freezing" and wanted a shower or bath and then to put on their pajamas. Plus the dogs needed walking, the mail was waiting, the snack bag had to be emptied (luckily everything remained dry in the zipped bag under towels), there was clutter around the house from our hasty departure that afternoon, and dinner to be made. I was so happy to get into dry clothes that I left my shower till after dinner.
The rain was ending as we arrived home, but since then we have had several other showers, including a thunderstorm while the sky was bright and sunny. Who says the environment isn't screwed up???