How Mother Nature Tried To Stop Me From Having A Good Time This Weekend
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How Mother Nature Tried To Stop Me From Having A Good Time This Weekend

TRIED being the optimal word.

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How Mother Nature Tried To Stop Me From Having A Good Time This Weekend
Maclaren Krueger

I love rain. I mean, I could sit by a window and listen to rain patter down on the roof for hours. Curled up in a blanket, Netflix, lightning, claps of thunder, sheets of rain, and black heavy skies. It’s comforting and cozy and, as strange as it might sound, motivational. I get more done when it’s raining than I do when it’s not (which isn’t always great because it doesn’t rain that often). I always say that Seattle would be my ideal city to live in. Besides, when it’s raining there isn’t any expectation to go outside and do something. Not that I’m against to being outside. There are lots of fun things to do out there. But it’s just nice to occasionally not be expected to frolic in the wild flowers from sun up to sun down.

But that’s not why I’m talking about my love of rain. I’m saying this because there are very few situations where I actually dislike rain. Before I go into that I’d like to mention that I often profess to long for thunderstorms. I want it to be gloomy sometimes. I want the branches on trees to whip around in the wind and have the rain come down sideways.

Because of my love for inclement weather, when I’m desperately bored or desperately sick I find myself switching to the weather channel to watch Storm Chasers or those other severe weather shows where tornadoes rip apart houses and mud slides trap cars. However, one situation where I don’t like rain is if it’s coming down in sheets outside my window and the tornado sirens go off. No matter how brave I think I am, you will find me in my basement with a flashlight, food, and the TV turned to the Weather Channel for real time weather updates.

The other occasion when T-storms and I don’t mix is in the car. And I’ll tell you why because it just happened to me yesterday. My mom, my sister, and I were driving from our home in Wisconsin to Iowa City. We knew it was supposed to rain when we left. However, we didn’t know that the storm was supposed to follow us on our way to Iowa nor did we know how severe the weather was going to be. Turns out, the weather was very severe and, yes, it did follow us most of the way there.

If I had been sitting in my living room behind the safety of a window I would have enjoyed the storm. I might have been a little unnerved -- but excited unnerved. When you’re driving seventy miles per hour and the rain is coming down in sheets, on the other hand, it’s not quite as fun. When we first got on the highway we could see the storm front moving in. Half of the sky was a bright, evening orange while the other half was dark gray and ominous. It was the kind of front you’d see in a movie like Twister. Of course I took pictures because it was beautiful in an eerie kind of way. Maybe it was just my overactive imagination, but I could have sworn the clouds had taken on a greenish hue.

Once we were fully under the cloud cover it got considerably darker. Though it was only six thirty at night it felt more like nine. When the rain started I thought it was going to be a nice, pleasant summer storm. It turned out to be one of those dark, nasty summer storms that you hear about in tornado alley but that doesn't actually happen that often.

Thunder rumbled and lightning shot from the clouds in such quick succession that it felt like a strobe light. Living in a suburb, I had never actually seen cloud-to-ground lightning. Out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but farmland for miles and miles and miles, I saw a lot of ground lightning strikes. However, I also saw a whole lot of nothing.

And when I say nothing I mean rain. I saw a whole lot of rain and nothing else--not even the road. And when I say I didn’t see the road I mean that I couldn’t see the road. The rain was coming down so hard that you couldn’t see ten feet in front of you, and that is no exaggeration.

You know how everyone moans about construction and would rather die than go twenty miles an hour on the freeway? Well, construction was our saving grace out there in farm country. The only way we knew we were in our lane and not drifting was by the reflectors on the traffic cones.

You know how everyone hates tailgaters? You know how you just want them to pass you and get it over with? Well, for about an hour in that horrid weather we had a car going the same speed as we were behind us: thirty miles per hour. No one wanted to pass and be alone on the road in that weather.

You wanna know how I judge a storm’s intensity? It’s by how many cars are parked under bridges waiting for the worst of it to pass. I counted at least three during the really bad stuff (and three more car accidents to match). It got to a point where, though we were only two hours away from Iowa City, we were seriously considering getting a hotel for the night.

It was the kind of weather where your rational brain convinces you that it’s just rain and even though there are flash flood warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings and it looks like it’s midnight out there even though it’s only nine o’clock you’ll get through it just fine. Except that doesn’t exactly stop the irrational, unconscious part of your brain from worrying and being afraid that you’re going to crash or get caught in a flood zone or get lost because you can’t see the highway signs. You’re isolated and at the mercy of the storm and civilization is another hour away. So even though I convinced myself that it would be okay and that I should just stay calm, my stomach was in knots.

After grueling hours of going 30 mph in a 70 mph zone, we finally outran the storm. One crisis averted. As I checked the weather in Iowa, however, I discovered that there had been an excessive heat warning that day. It had been 109 degrees Fahrenheit. During my college visit today it had been muggy and hot, creeping into the 90s. I’m the kind of person who sweats easily. Just standing in a hot place and I will sweat. So I was dripping by the time we got into an air conditioned building. Besides, I don’t like hot weather. Call me crazy, but I could never live in California. In fact, 90 degree weather is exactly why I want to live in a place like Seattle. Just to give you an idea of how muggy it was, as we were walking, we commented that you could cut the air like a knife and that we might as well have been swimming around the Iowa State campus.

This was supposed to be a fun weekend. But trying to scare me away with deadly storms and excessive heat is not nice! And it’s not going to work! I still had a good time at Iowa State, and I had a good time sitting in a McDonald’s just outside of farm country eating fries with my family and waiting for the storm to let up. So I am going to enjoy the rest of my weekend in Iowa, gosh darn it, and you can’t stop me, Mother Nature.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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