A weird week this has been. What we'd planned couldn't be undertaken because the entire Pacific Ocean decided to rise up and storm eastward over the Coast Range to our valley deluging us for many days.
Currently we have a 'lake' on the south side of our property which receives the raindrops with pitter patters all night long. Pleasant sound really. Said lake wasn't there a week ago. When it stops raining I am compelled to count the pets and children every now and again, to be sure they haven't been sucked into this mucky mire which Joe has named the La Brea Tar Pits.
Fantastically beautiful menacing skies and gorgeous sunsets have been the upside to these storms. Clean air, fresh scents, vibrant colors. Amazing cloud formations.
Driving to the grocery store, with Cassie at the wheel, we saw what looked to be the beginnings of a funnel cloud, Cassie's worst nightmare. Thankfully she didn't full-out panic and steer us off the road, jump out of the car, and attempt to run the three miles home, arms flailing like a lunatic. No, she kept her cool even while mildly hyper-ventilating. Talking her through her terror landed us in a large unused parking lot where we had a bird's-eye view of the gray, upon darker gray, upon darkest gray clouds which were moving rapidly and forming, yes, it looked like the top of a funnel.
We were transfixed, until Caroline piped up, "We're going to be those stupid people who sit there and say, 'Oh, look how pretty it is!' just before the tornado sucks 'em up!'"
THAT got Cassie's attention. "Mama! We need to go! Now!"
"Okay, okay, let's get to the grocery store and get our shopping done quickly, then we can get home where it's safe," I responded. Four wide brown eyes stared at me.
"The STORE??!!! It's right under the tornado!"
"It's NOT a tornado. Well, not yet. We don't GET tornados. Except for the one last weekend that tore the metal roof off that farmer's barn, but he lives north of here. We'll be fine. We'll be safe in the store anyway. It's big and strong," I lamely replied, failing miserably in my attempts to sound assuring.
We parked at the supermarket, looked up out of the front windshield of the car, and sure enough, there was a low, huge, dark, almost black mass of clouds directly above us which not only canopied the entire large parking lot but stretched its way over neighborhoods in four directions.
"It's like in the movie 'Independence Day' when the people look up and see the gigantic alien ships overhead," I said gawking in amazement.
Again, wrong thing to say.
"MOM!! THAT doesn't help."
With my two daughters sticking closer to me than normal, we managed to complete our shopping and exit the store only to find the alien ship had increased in size, descended, and was leaking. Leaking badly. Like heavy heavy huge-dropped, gigantic puddle-creating, splattering leaking. Oregon Rain. Flash-flood rain. Soak you to the skin while you run through the parking lot shoving a grocery-laden, gimpy-wheeled cart before you, rooster-tailing water onto other running shoppers, eyeglasses water-blurred so you almost get into someone else's Trooper rain.
It was wet.
But we got home without swirling around in a tornado with metal roofs, houses, cows, trees, and bicycles with doggies in the back baskets. We were dripping wet, laughing, relieved, and happy.
UPDATE: Friday, P.M., Oct. 5th - Our local weatherman just informed us that, yes, that big, black, alien ship WAS the beginnings of a large funnel cloud, and there were several others in the area that evening. Cassie is strutting around here like a little peacock. Read her comment. The Bible says that God preserves the simple. I guess that's why we made it out alive. I'm simple. The girls were just hanging on to me for dear life.