For those of you who haven’t heard, Southern California is currently being beaten by a “Category Four Winter Storm”. It is pouring, windy, and for the first time in my life, I know what sheets of rain look like. As far as storms go, it’s not the worst I’ve been in, but lordy lordy you would think the world was ending.
The scene: Southern California. It’s windy, and very, very rainy. I decide that rain isn’t a good enough reason not to ship something I sold on eBay, since I promised it would go out today. I bundle Little Man up in a wool coat, put my packages in a reusable cloth bag, and proceed outside.
I am promptly slapped in the face by the full force of wind driven rain. It feels like very large needles are slapping me. Little Man gets a bewildered look on his face and tries to look up, but can’t due to the huge raindrops hitting him in the face. In the short sprint to the car, I manage to A) drop the keys twice and B) get completely soaked. Little Man looks like he just got out of the bathtub.
Upon reaching the car, I fumble to get the car unlocked. This takes about 10 seconds, which feels like 10 hours. I shove the bag and Little Man into the car as fast as I possibly can, and throw myself in after them. We’re now smushed in the backseat and wet all the way through. A wrestling match ensues to get LM out of the wet wool coat and into the carseat. I seriously consider how nice it would be if I could drink a shot of whiskey right now, to build up the courage to go back outside for 2 seconds and get in the front seat.
We drive to the post office and park in front. I consider using the umbrella, but a woman walks past with one that has been blown inside out. I put on the Tula, pull LM into the front seat, and wrestle with him to get him into the carrier. I put my rain jacket on backwards, so the material covers LM as much as possible. We dash into the post office.
Upon returning outside, a river has formed around our (very small) car. It’s high enough that the door on the low side is halfway underwater. I squish us all into the backseat again, and yet another wrestling match ensues to get LM out of the Tula and back into his car seat. Bribery may have been used.
We attempt to drive away from the river, and the car temporarily floats a bit. We attempt to head home, only to find the gate to get back on base has been shut down because a tumbleweed made of palm fronds has smashed into it. We make a u-turn, and I debate about what to do. I decide the best course of action is to get some lunch and go to Kidsville, where it will either be very very busy or completely empty on account of the rain. A mental battle ensues- do I take the interstate, which will be slick with oil and rain, people will either be driving way too slow or way too fast, and where my little tiny car blends in to the wet pavement, or do I take the surface streets, which have several low spots that may be more than my car can handle without becoming a watercraft? I decide to take surface streets down five exits, then hop on the highway before the really low point.
We stop at Burger King’s drive through. I once again wish for whiskey as I roll down the window to order. The man informs me that their credit card machine is down, and I (of course) left my wallet with all my cash in the back back. I thank him, curse silently, and drive to Jack In The Box next door. Whiskey is wished for yet again as the window goes down again, we order, and we pull up to the window to pay. Our food takes forever. The gas light on my car comes on (why oh why didn’t I fill up last night when Little Man was having a meltdown??).
We drive to Kidsville, where I once again do some contortionist style wiggling to get LM situated and everything in one bag to dash inside. We wait for ten minutes, hoping the rain will give up a little. It doesn’t. We make a mad dash inside, but still manage to look like we recently emerged from a bathtub.
Kidsville is fairly full, and LM has a great time playing while I eat my burger and get some valuable reading time. When it’s time to go home, I call one of my friends who lives close to the gate on base and learn that the gate is open, but there’s a river running through base. I cross my fingers and drive home, only getting incredibly wet in the process. We survive the winter storm, but our banana trees on our porch blow over multiple times.