Journal Entry: August 18, 2014
This week we are in a high desert resort town a few hours from our house. We are gathered for a family reunion of my Dad’s kids, there are nine of us total. All with our own families. Everyone is here except my BPD sister. She doesn’t do well with big crowds.
We were lucky enough to entice both our kids to spend some time with us. Not a lot of time… but some. Of the week long vacation, our boys are here for three of the days. They have busy lives, lots of friends, places to be. They are a great distraction for me. I will take what I can get. I love cooking for them, and sitting out on the deck of our beautiful rental house watching the golfers and talking with our older son, who hasn’t lived at home for over four years. He’s a great conversationalist. We also watched movies and the kids played chess. Our older son is here with his girlfriend, and the younger is here with a buddy. Tonight we decided to go out to dinner, the six of us. It has been a gorgeous summer afternoon, 82 degrees, clear blue sky. Due to crazy kid circumstances, we actually have three cars here at this summer rental. We send the kids off in my husband’s new convertible. They are going to get a table at the local pub restaurant, while we take the dogs for a quick walk. We watch the kids drive away in the sunshine, their hair blowing in the wind. We take the dogs for their walk and then get them settled in before we head out to my car. As I open the passenger side door, I feel something cold and hard hit my arm. I thought someone threw something at me. Then I look down and it looks like hail. I look up at the summer sky and see one little cloud, but I feel more hail. The house next door has a metal roof and I can hear the hail hitting it. It is starting to come down. Crazy, it is still 80+ degrees. We get in the car figuring this will be a really short, fluke hail event. As we drive the 4 or 5 miles to the village, the hail is coming down harder and harder. Pretty soon there is at least an inch of hail on the ground, everywhere. The size of the hail pellets seems to be growing. I stop to take a picture. Where there are no clouds, the sky is kind of an eery orange color. As we slowly approach the village, we can see the storm is not lightening up, it is getting worse. The hail pellets are quite large now. The parking lot is flooded. My car is a sturdy SUV, so we are not worried. But I have summer shorts and sandals on. The hail is cold and I cannot see anywhere in the parking lot that is not holding at least 3 inches of water, and with hail floating on top of it to boot. We decide to wait out the storm from inside the car. The kids call to tell us it is going to be a while for a table for six as everyone ducked in out of the storm into this restaurant and it is overflowing. We wait, and wait, and wait. The storm is not stopping, and the kids are not calling to let us know the table is ready. I think we should just go back to the house. The kids do call eventually to let us know a table opened up. We wait another five minutes or so, and decide to weather the conditions and run into the restaurant. It is a bit of a run as we are parked at the outer, and least flooded part of the lot. We go for it, and man oh man is that hail cold. I am wading through five inches of solid ice cold water with hail swirling around my calves. My leather sandals are ruined. We run all the way into the restaurant because the cold is unbearable and it is still hailing. Inside the restaurant is not warm, because it is the middle of summer in a warm climate. The AC is on. I am shivering horribly and cannot get warm. I have to take my shoes off. My son offers me his sweatshirt. I do not even stop to question what my crazy son is doing wearing a sweatshirt in the middle of August. There wasn’t a cloud in sight when they left for the restaurant. I don’t worry about it, just bask in the warmth of the inner fleece lining. I am shivering, uncontrollably. I order hot tea. Everyone is staring at me, and I burst out laughing with my teeth chattering. How incredibly strange is this whole experience? But there I am sitting at a table with my little family, and loving it, hail storm and all. I wouldn’t have traded that feeling for anything. We had a wonderful dinner, talking and sharing, and being happy, together. Everything else is just not important in this moment.