Survival Guide for a Wet and Windy Spring

I don’t always appreciate Mother Nature’s sense of humor.

A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Durham, North Carolina to witness and celebrate my cousin’s commitment ceremony. She and her partner are millennial hippies and it was to be an all-day affair out on a farm, replete with music, food, and yard games. I had the perfect outfit selected – a calf-length cotton dress that would allow me to look cute while winning at capture the flag.

The closer we got to the date, however, the more clear it became that our vision of peace, love, and sunshine was not to be.

The forecast called for highs in the low fifties and almost certain rain. So we adapted. I added leggings, a cardigan, a scarf, and polka dot rubber rain boots to my ensemble – topping it all off with a fleecy Sherpa-style vest. Instead of frolicking on the lawn, we huddled around heaters in a giant tent and watched the groom and his friends gallantly dig trenches around the perimeter to keep at least some of the runoff out.

The ground was swampy and our fingers were frozen, but the potluck luncheon was a delightful array of vegan tacos, gluten-free brownies, and grains I’d never heard of. Friends played music, the bride read a poem, and we all stomped into the rain to throw handfuls of clover seeds at the couple’s bicycles – a blessing for an upcoming cross-country, two-wheeled road trip.

Nice try, Mother Nature, but it turns out that the weather has very little impact on one’s ability to celebrate love and friendship.

The weather can, however, impact one’s ability to sleep well at night.

A few days after returning from Durham, a line of storms barreled through Danville. When the emergency sirens went off at 10pm, my initial response was neither fear nor adrenaline but rather deep annoyance. It had been a difficult bedtime and the last of my wee beasties had been asleep for less than thirty minutes. Did I really have to wake them up and haul them…where? My two-story house is blessed with an abundance of windows so no room felt safe. We have a basement, but it’s a dark, dank, creepy place accessible only through the garage. There was no way we were going down there in the middle of the night unless I was positive that an F4 was heading our way.

Much grumbling and cursing and texting with friends ensued. One reported that her kids and her husband were hunkered down in their cast iron bathtub under a layer of couch cushions. The children were wearing bicycle helmets.

Perhaps I needed to take the situation a bit more seriously.

I rousted my kids and piled them into my bed, which is on the first floor rather than the second. If the roof blew off, surely that would be the better location. No tornados landed on our house, so it became an adventure rather than a disaster and we made it through the night.

Life is what you make of it. Whether it’s rain on a special day or other inconvenient natural phenomena, you’ve just got to roll with it. What choice do we have? So keep the bicycle helmets handy and pack some extra leggings. We’ll make it through spring yet!

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