Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our First Big Storm!

Ever since we moved up to Northern California, my daughters and I have been looking forward to the first rainstorm. When you live in the land of perpetual sun, as we did in The OC, a little bad weather is like a holiday.

The first few months that we were here, it was VERY hot. Like 100-degrees-plus hot, with no rain in sight. But the locals kept telling us how awesome it would be when the seasons change.

Today, the weather definitely changed . . . for the worst. The good news is, we experienced our first rainstorm. The bad news is, it was a MONSTER of a storm. Heavy rains, the slanty kind, and hurricane-force winds, about 55 mph. I tried to get out of the car to retrieve my mail, but the wind blew me back in. No lie.

To give you an idea of how strong the winds were, look what they did to this tree:

My 12-year-old loved every minute of it. The first thing she did when she got home was put on her PJs (at 3:00 in the afternoon!) and make herself some hot chocolate. (That's my girl!)

That's about the same time that I realized my teenager was supposed to be at cross-country practice. Nah, she wouldn't have practice today, I thought. There's no way any coach in his right mind would let kids run in this weather. Sure, he had sent an e-mail early this morning to let parents know that if it was raining, they would still run. But this wasn't rain. This was practically a typhoon! Nah, she wouldn't be running today.

So I hopped in my car, braving the winds and rain, to go get her at the high school. She didn't have her phone. A punishment for a small infraction last night. I figured she'd just be waiting for me, since she couldn't call me, hopefully taking shelter somewhere. A few other cross-country parents were there to get their kids early, too, certain, like me, that practice had been cancelled.

But guess what? That damn coach made those kids run four miles in the pounding rain and hurricane-force winds! One of my daughters' friends, who was recovering from the flu (possibly of the Swine variety), was running in shorts and a tank top. Her mom was having a cow right there on the curb.

My teen ran by me in a soaked sweatshirt, her hoodie pulled way over her head. I gave her the most sympathetic look of concern I could muster. What agony, what torture she must be enduring! And then she smiled at me. Really smiled.

It was her first big rainstorm, and as she would tell me later, running in the rain is her new favorite thing.

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