Friday, July 21, 2006
Rain Rain Go Away
Or don't really, because I don't want to water the garden. I guess I can't have it both ways, can I?
Speaking of rain reminds me of the camping trip Bear and I took a couple of weeks ago. It was sunny and nice all day. We went swimming in a mountain stream (COLD!), had dinner and s'mores around the campfire... all around a great day. We even played cribbage and rummy by lantern light. (That's us above).
At about ten p.m., we started hearing some thunder rumbling, so we decided to go to bed. Bear almost immediately fell asleep. I stayed awake to watch the approaching storm from the open tent flap/window. We were camping on the side of the mountain so I had a great view as it came closer, and closer, and closer...
Now let me say here that I am not normally afraid of thundershowers. That being said, I have never been out in the worst thunderstorm I've ever seen in nothing sturdier than a tent I bought at Wal Mart. It was a bad storm, too. Chain lightning arced across the sky, illuminating the tent from one side to the other, only to be followed by a hellacious crack of thunder. To judge how far away the lightning is, you count the seconds and divide by four. For example, if you get to 8, then the storm is two miles away. I started counting. "One thousand one... one thousand two... one thous-" BOOM! Another thunderclap. It's safe to say that I was scared by this point. I elbowed Bear, waking him. I pretended it was an accident. I think he picked up on my fear, as he slung an arm around me, pulled me closer, and promptly fell asleep again. I couldn't relax. The storm was so close at one point that I couldn't hear the thunder; it echoed away down the mountian away from us. Lightning was striking around us. I was sure we were going to die. If not from actual lightning, than probably from a tree falling on us.
Some part of my mind said that I was safer if I kept my eyes open. That maybe we would only get hit if I wasn't paying attention. So I watched out the window at the storm. Rain was pounding our tent, washing the ground out around the pole stakes (they stayed in, but I don't know how), battering the old tarp we'd thrown over us until it was almost all you could hear. Our friend Frenchie was in a tent about fifteen feet away, but if he'd called out, we would never have heard him.
After about twenty minutes, the storm abated a bit. It was continuing its journey, and I was relieved. I'd just about fallen asleep when I heard more thunder rumbling towards us. Another storm?!? I couldn't believe it. I "accidentally" elbowed Bear again, and whispered, "Baby, another storm is coming!" I shivered a little bit, even though it had to be 80 degrees in the tent.
"No, hon, that's the same storm... it circles around the mountain several times before it builds up enough energy to move down the mountain."
He was right - the storm came back twice more, stronger each time. It took hours before it finally moved off of the mountain and into town. Every time the storm would go away, I'd start to drift off, just to have it wake me up again a short time later. Each time, I was sure that this time I was going to be struck or squished.
Thankfully, we all survived. Both men laughed at my girlish fears, comfortably rested after a great night's sleep. I was a wreck, exhausted, strung out. I was glad when we packed up to go home. I slept most of the ride back into town, the sun warm on my shoulder.
Now they want to go camping again...
at 6:42:00 AM