This past weekend, we planned to take our boys camping for the first time. They were beyond excited. In fact, they were so excited that two weeks ago, Beloved Husband and the boys set up the tent in the back yard to let it air out (I was out of town at the time). Apparently, they forgot it was outside, and a thunderstorm hit around 5:30 in the morning. A few hours later, BH dumped several gallons of water out of the tent. I guess Mother Nature thought it needed a good wash.
For two weeks after that storm, we had no rain. Not a drop. Even the clouds - when they bothered to appear - were half-hearted and wispy. Weather forecast for our camping weekend: sun, sun, sun.
Friday: we collect everything we need: tent, sleeping bags, thermarests, yadda yadda. The boys have never been quicker to help than when we asked them to get everything together in one place. Weather forecast: 30% chance of thunderstorms. Hmm. We can take our chances with that, since 30% chance of storms means 70% chance of no storms.
Saturday morning. We pack up the car. The boys are racing to put stuff in the trunk as fast as they can, and they're both itching to buckle up 30 minutes before it's time to go. Just to be on the safe side, we check the weather forecast: 70% chance of storms. Severe thunderstorms. BH and I dance around the issue of whether or not we're really going to pitch the tent and pretend we're going to camp, or whether we're going to crush two weeks of anticipation while the sun is still shining. We give the boys a heads-up that weather might end our trip early.
Saturday afternoon: Keep checking the clouds rolling in. No towering thunderheads, no sign of rain, just a lovely afternoon for fishing, grilling, and other fun stuff. Might be a good night for camping, after all.
The drops are so cold and so big they feel like hail (the 6YO is convinced they are, until we tell him they're far too wet and don't hurt nearly enough to be hail). By the time we reach the car, we're completely drenched. BH starts the car and we head home.
The world turns gray. Wind buffets the car, driving rain in a constant onslaught against the driver's side. Then the clatter-thunk of hail joins the thrum of rain. Hail stones slide down the windows until they're bounced off by splashes of rain. Ahead of us, the painted line on the road disappears. We see an oncoming car's headlights only when it's about 20 feet away. The slightly rutted road starts flooding.
I spot a stand of trees on the left side of the road and tell BH to pull over next to it. He does, and we wait out the worst part of the storm in the shelter of the trees. Once we can see the road again, we continue on. On the other side of the lake, the roads are dry - the storm hadn't gone that far south.
So much for our sun, sun, sun.
I blame the tent.