I was at a collegiate summer baseball game the other day when the ballpark staff came around to warn the crowd a storm was headed our way. They said we had about 5 minutes. While others debated whether the storm would skip over our little area or mused over the misnomer “F0 Tornado”, I watched in amusement as the wind and clouds turned a humid sunny day into a windy dark evening. I wish I had paid more attention to the weather in So Cal, but it seems to me the weather in the Midwest changes more suddenly and dramatically. Before I knew it, those 5 minutes were up and I’d lost my chance to make a safe, dry getaway.
I went to middle school in So Cal and I remember getting excited when it rained because our teachers would let us play Crab Soccer in the cafeteria with a balloon for recess. Our school, like many others in So Cal, was open, meaning the only true shelter if it rained was the classroom itself. There wasn’t much cover walking from building to building, but luckily it didn’t rain very often. A rainy day was a special treat.
As I got older, I had another reason to enjoy rainy days. My mom said I could only play video games when it rained. Perhaps there’s some Pavlovian effect that still affects me since, to this day, I am reluctant to play my any video games if it’s nice enough to go outside.
Hey, remember when it was snowing in APRIL? I had fun playing with Lego Marvel Superheroes back then…
I do remember some fun rainy days outside too. I remember racing leaves against my mom in the street gutter, making bets on whose leaf-boat would make it to the end of the street first. The most fun I’ve ever had outside in the rain was during an end-of-the-year school trip to Disneyland. I had a blast – IN THE RAIN – but I was at Disneyland on a school day so there were many reasons to be happy that day. Also, I was in 8th grade. Adults are not as impervious when soaking wet.
Other than that, I can’t remember the last time I embraced being in the rain in So Cal. The rain is cold and it stings your face. It makes your socks all squishy and makes your clothes cold against your skin. Of course, since rain is a rare event, it’s not too often I’m actually dressed for the rain, hence my discomfort.
One of the reasons my experience at UC Davis was so…not enjoyable was because it rains there A LOT. When I did my undergrad studies at UC San Diego, in sunny So Cal, it rained maybe 12 times in my 4 years there. And half of those times the sun was back by noon. When I moved from San Diego to Davis, I learned just how different So Cal and Nor Cal can be. While at UC Davis it rained at least 12 times during my first 6 months there. I remember it well because I was on crutches at the time recovering from knee surgery #2. Crutches slip on the sidewalk in the rain. Not fun.
I did not enjoy the rain in Wisconsin Spring time. In fact, in a previous post, I confessed the rain was one of the reasons I like Wisconsin’s Springtime the least of all four seasons.
But there was something different about this rain storm in Madison.
The raindrops were large but warm. Putting my arms in the rain, I was reminded of putting my hands under a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. Sticking the top of my head under the water falling off the side of the shelter reminded me of a nice warm shower.
This isn’t uncomfortable. This is….fun!
While those around me stayed huddled under the left field shelter, I inched my way closer and closer to the downpour. I’m sure I looked odd, but I didn’t care. Say what you will about me being a So Cal girl who hasn’t seen rain before, but I was having fun embracing the storm.
Since I was 35 weeks pregnant, I knew I couldn’t stay under the shelter for long. Eventually, I’d have to find a bathroom. And so I said my goodbyes to my friends and jumped into the nearest puddle. If you’re going to get your socks wet, might as well do it all at once instead of feeling the percolation of water through the fabric.
The water was so warm! I am not one of those pregnant ladies who jog, so I was thoroughly soaked by the time I made it back to my car. Since I’m a So Cal girl who loves the beach and the lake, I had more than one beach towel in my trunk. I was able to dry myself off enough to enjoy my drive back home. My legs weren’t even that wet because my big pregnancy bump shielded most of my lower half from the rain. All-in-all, I’d call it a good day.
What’s the most fun you’ve ever had in the rain?