I’ve always found rain storms exciting – from the line of black clouds rolling in, to flashes of lightning, sheets of rain hitting the glass, and loud thunder claps. I press my nose against the window to watch the angle of the rain, the trees whipping around in the wind, and people blowing down the street unable to keep dry under their umbrellas. But rainy days have a bad reputation. Connoting some unexpected occurrence or emergency (you need a rainy day fund) they are weekend killers, the bane of your hairdo and new suede shoes. Thunder and lightning prompts the pool lifeguards to clear everyone from the water, and a wet outdoors keeps energetic children indoors. And it’s a lot less fun to be driving in that weather, with zero visibility and flooded underpasses, or walking as water pools and cars send up tidal waves over the sidewalks.
Rain may alter the course of your day, but it can be a fun imposed change. Going to the movies instead of the beach, or taking the kids to the McDonald’s ball pit instead of the park. A game of Twister or a picnic on the living room floor when the yard is too wet. Learning all the card games when the campsite is soggy. Catching up on that library book rather than trying to read it in the full sun at poolside.
When I was no older than 6, we waited out a storm in our basement. Mom had brought down a blanket, some snacks, a flashlight, and a radio. Maybe it was a tornado warning, but I wasn’t scared. Instead, it was fun to try to find news on the radio and shine the flashlight around the room. Our pantry of home canned vegetables was around the corner, and we had books; I imagined we could live down there indefinitely. Eventually an all clear sounded and we climbed back upstairs. Unlike Dorothy, I didn’t find a new technicolor world, just a wetter one. A few tree limbs down, and the sun starting to come out.
In our condo we have a wall of windows, so we get an amazing view of whatever the weather is. When the storms come, I think about whether our sky light will leak, or the water will pool too quickly and breach our sliding glass door. Adult worries. But I also get the IMAX-worthy wide view of the horizon, clouds and sky. It’s time to pull up a chair, and enjoy some popcorn with the show!