Saturday, July 2, 2011

Back to the story...

If you have no idea what I am talking about, read the previous post One of the worst experiences that we have had.

To continue the story, while I have been face to face with a mad skunk, which is better than being face to behind with one, I do think I have experienced something worse.  I know, it is hard to believe.  I almost can not believe it myself as I am typing this, but here we go.

Last week we had a pretty good chance for rain.  In June, in Texas, rain is very exciting and can be something that you need to prepare for.  The storms were supposed to be pretty wide spread, so we felt like we had a good chance at some free watering.  My Full-timer and I had a list of places to go on that particular day, but we felt like we would be back in plenty of time to get things nailed down before it got crazy here.  We were correct because we ran our errands and made it back in time to get the barns ready.  We ran through the list of chores to get the animals in and taken care of and to get everything in the yard cleaned up. 

It is never fun to have to go pick up your stuff from your neighbor's yard.

We really only had one area of major concern left, and that was our stock trailer.  As you have read, we are still in the middle of our garage remodel, and we have used the trailer for a bit of storage.  There really isn't anything major in there, but there are things that I would prefer not get wet.  I wasn't really worried though.  We have a large tarp that we have covered the trailer with once before when it was full of hay.  We had loaded the hay with a storm moving in and when we made it home there was no time to get it unloaded before it hit.

Not a problem, right?

We get the animals taken care of and head to the hay barn to get the large tarp.


We are currently using the large tarp around the walls of the chicken coop.  I had put it up there this winter to help hold some of the heat in the coop for the girls.  They generate a little bit of heat on there own, plus I had given them two lights.  I had just never taken it down.  While it would have only taken about 15 minutes to cut it down, I decided that was too much trouble.  We were okay because we had two smaller tarps that we could use instead.

Public Service Announcement:  When you have an option of one large tarp or two smaller tarps...always go with one larger one.  Especially if there will be high winds involved.

So, like an idiot, I grab the two smaller tarps and some bungee cords and set about covering the trailer.  It all went relatively quickly, and we were done and inside waiting for the storm.  We even relished the extra time by taking in a really bad chick flick.  My Full-timer and I were completely relaxed, comfortable, and enjoying our movie.  The Man in Charge was working late on business, which is why we were watching a chick flick, and we felt like we were sitting pretty.

Always a good feeling.

I don't remember what time the storm blew in, but the Man in Charge called at about the same time to check on us. 

He's good like that.

The winds had picked up, but we were not seeing any precipitation yet, and certainly no hail.  I was chatting on the phone talking about who knows what with him, when I walked to the door to take a peek at the trailer.  We were starting to get more lightening and I felt like the rain was near.  One peek through the blinds and I was shocked to see that our tarps were flapping in the breeze.  I explained what I was seeing to the Man in Charge, and told him that I had to go.  I don't know if he said anything back because as soon as I said, "Go," I threw down the phone.  I was certain we could fix it before it started pouring.  I yelled for my help, and we grabbed our rubber boots and headed outside.

As we were refastening one side of the tarp the bottom fell out, so to speak.  I mean buckets of ice cold water started falling from the sky.  It was shocking to be getting so wet, so fast, but it was even more shocking that the water was so cold.  I mean, take-your-breath-away cold.  Needless to say, we were working fast, probably a little too fast because it was lightening like crazy all around us, but once we had it fastened, I ran around to check the other side, only to see that we had pulled it too far the other way.  Now the side that was getting the brunt of the storm, was completely exposed.


We ran for the garage in dismay.  We could not believe what was happening.  How could this be happening, and why was the rain so cold?  I know that I can not properly convey to you how cold it was, or how heavily it was falling.  Standing in the garage, trying to figure out what to do next, a huge wind started blowing and the whole thing broke lose.  We went from having one side exposed, to having both tarps blowing and barely holding on.  This is when my Full-timer said, "I don't think that we can do this."  She later would say that she didn't remember saying those words.  I am certain that she probably didn't remember saying them out loud.  She should know that I just can not back down from a challenge like that.  I think it is genetic or something, but I just can not do it.  I am sure that after I heard her words, I must have just looked at her for a second, and then I ran back out in the rain. 

Can't do this!  Who does she think she's talking to?

While I now had a new challenge, you know, the one where you teach your kids...

Never say Never!
Never give up!
Rise to the challenge, regardless of how hopeless it looks.
Blah, Blah, Blah!

In the seconds that we stood in the garage, it had started raining harder.  There was a lot of lightening and even a few pieces of hail that had joined the party.  The shock of the ice cold water that hit me again, had me doubting.  I was beginning to think that she may be right, but I am too stubborn for that nonsense.  I was not giving in.  I jumped up on the trailer and started trying to pull the tarp back down.  Every few seconds, a huge gust of wind would hit.  It made it impossible to do anything but grab on with two hands and try to hold on.  That left a few seconds in between gusts to try to fasten bungees and tie-down straps.

Public Service Announcement:  What the heck is it with tie-down straps?  They are a great invention, but I am never able to just pick one up and use it with out having to mess with it for a few minutes.  Can I say that the middle of a torrential downpour is not the time to be trying to figure out how one of these things work.  I am scheduling time for tie-down strap training.  If you use these things regularly and have some tips, they would be appreciated.  If you want to learn how to use one, send me a message and I will let you know when the first class is scheduled.

I wasn't really sure when my Full-timer ran out of the garage, but it wasn't long before I realized that she was on the other side of the trailer trying to help me.

At times I think she wishes I would take up sewing or knitting or something.

I finally got my side tied down, and I was able to run around and climb up on the other side with her.  The rain was coming at us from the other side, and the trailer was not really blocking anything.  I just remember that it was raining so hard right in our faces that it was blinding.  My Full-timer said that she had so much water in her eyes that it was causing her contacts to move around.  Every once in a while we had to stop and lean into the trailer to shield our faces long enough that we could actually wipe them off.  The only problem was that every time we did that, it was like someone was pouring buckets of ice cold water down our backs.

Freezing cold water!

I am not really sure how long we were out there, but the wind kept whipping the tarp up in the air, we couldn't see, and we were shivering because we were so cold.  There was an unbelievable amount of lightening and a lot of thunder.  The hail proved not to be a major factor, thank you Lord, but we were struggling.  This is when my Full-timer just yelled really loud in a long, pleading voice, "Jeeeesussss!"  She says that she doesn't remember saying that out loud either, but I tell you it was the sweetest thing that I could hear.  It was not angry or in disgust.  It was pleading, and I just remember looking at her and thinking, "Smart girl!"  Now I knew that there were three of us working on this project and within seconds we had the thing moved back into position and tied down.

We ran for the garage, and looked back in disbelief at what we had just experienced.  The tarps seemed to be holding, and we were soaked and cold.  Have you ever been in a rain so hard that your rubber boots fill up with water?  This was the second time in my life that I had experienced that, and I hope it will be the last.  We headed for the door from the garage to the house at a sprint.


The door was locked.

We then ran back outside into the rain to the door into the mud room.


The door was locked.

It was at this moment that we both were in a panic.  I was sure that if we tried the next door, and it also was locked, my Full-timer might go postal on me.  I am sure that she has her limit somewhere, and I was sure that if the next door was locked, I would see it.  We ran around the corner to the back porch, and luckily the door was open.  Once we stepped in and the air conditioning hit us, there were words and bodies moving.  As I was trying to get my boots off without dumping water all over the floor, I just saw the back of her as she ran out of the room yelling, "I am just going to get undressed in the shower!" 

This was the second smart thing she had said that evening.  I was right behind her, running down the hall.  I only paused to hit the thermostat on the a/c.

We were plenty cold enough.

The funny thing was that after we both stood in hot showers.  We met in the living room at about the same time, dressed in sweats and sweatshirts.  I think we were in shock, because we both just sat down and didn't say a word.  She knows me well though, as I was sitting there thinking about how I could tell this story to you, she said, "Well, there is something for you to write about on your blog."  We then agreed that it was the worst experience that we had had in a long time.  I think for the next hour, we periodically would look at each other in shock and mumble something about how we couldn't believe how cold the rain was.

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