6/11/2016

Don't Rain on my Fair

We were told right now, in June,  is the best prices you can get on cruises. Oh, that was
before our neighbors got to know us!  Then they said the hurricane season in Florida runs from June to November so you might want to wait till January to go cruising! I suppose that means we are in the 'in crowd'!

We've also been told that having grandkids down here in the summer months isn't the best time. It rains regularly in the summer, infact almost every afternoon. It is like clockwork, around 3 or 4:00 p.m. It is hot so the advantage is it does cool you down. However the neighbors say lots of young grandkids don't enjoy the rain and getting wet.  Well, they never met ours or heard of the County Fair we took our two grandkids to years ago in Tennessee or they would never have bothered telling us that!

The day started off beautifully, sunny warm and two excited children in the backseat.  We were on our way to the fair, something we had done every year with our granddaughter and lately with her younger brother.  Sometimes the third brother was with us but this year, just the two of them were going.

It was two years ago and it feels like yesterday when I reflect back on the experience. The traffic back up was so bad we must have sat in the car well over an hour to get a parking spot. Jake had to have been around 3 and Ava was 6.  We were so far away, the lot we were directed to was on the other side of a main road right off the interstate. It was so far out the golf cart rides did not even come over that far to pick up walkers coming into the circus!  Now that is far out indeed!

We walked quite a distance to get to the closest golf cart pick up spot and breathed a sigh of relief when we finally got over to that side of the road. We were finally within the area they had roped off and were picking up passengers. And off we went to what we thought would be a fun filled adventure at the fair! 

After a few hours of some festivities, we noticed how dark the sky was getting and it was obvious storms were brewing. We decided we better head home before the rain hit, we had a long way back to the car, even once we got the cart ride back.   So, as we made our way out of the large enclosure area where we were touring farm equipment for my grandson and eating dinner. All of the sudden we heard storm sounds, thunder and people making a commotion and yelling it was raining hard.

As we maneuvered close to the doors we saw it was coming down pretty good but realized we had no umbrellas as there had been no sign of rain, no prediction of any either when we had left our house.  So, we were, at the time creative.  My granddaughter I had let buy a collection of Barbie items that were inside of a cardboard flat board. I told her to hold that over her head. My husband gave his ball cap to our grandson Jake making him an official Spartans fan with a hat that covered his ears, nose and practically throat! He was non-to-thrilled but we kept telling him without he would get water in his face.

Off we ran in the direction of the line for the golf cart pick-ups. As we approached it, we looked at each other in sheer horror. Not only at the rain picked up in intensity, the line had quadrupled.  And there was no cover there, no cover anywhere!  All of the people in line, and now us, were flat out standing in a torrential rain fall waiting for golf carts, mind you, that could hold no more than 4 people at a time.  At this point, the kids and I were mortified and Jim was trying to maintain some degree of control as if this was just a minor flaw to the day.

As we waited, it became painfully obvious, especially as Jake insisted on being held as opposed to being in  ankle-deep  muddy water, there were not enough workers that had showed up to do pick-ups that Sat. night. It appears that, due to the rain, many had not shown up. Imagine that, not wanting to work in the rain, when they had the luxury of being undercover while driving as opposed to be standing out among the elements for like an eternity in pouring down rain.

By now, we were soaked completely through, were getting nowhere and decided, perhaps we should start walking towards our car. We saw others doing that. Our thoughts were, especially with two young children, certainly someone would see us waterlogged, and offer us a ride to our car.  We explained to the grandkids what we were doing and I was shocked as they laughed finding it all very funny, as humorous as I was displeased by how we all looked, like drowned rats.

So we began our process, slowly but surely walking through the long never-ending parking lot. We tried to avoid puddles the best we could but there were many times, they were simply unavoidable and we would all have to walk smack dab in the center of a pond.  Jake was held most of the way but was having such a good time; he would have preferred to be put down. Ava’s cardboard quickly became limp and we only made it about a quarter of the way through the parking lot and Barbie’s items started following out to the ground as one by one, I grabbed them and stuck them in my backpack. The inside of the backpack was the only thing between the four of us that was dry!

Jake started really getting into the idea of a water party as he began taking off the hat and using it to collect water so as to drink. We had no idea how anyone could be thirsty in these circumstances, we were drowning and my son’s boy was feeling parched.  More and more cars started pulling out by this time as we drudged along with water pooling off of every inch of our bodies. The cars were literally lining up beside us and yet, not one offered to give us a lift. Infact some seemed annoyed at times that we were in their way. It was as if we were supposed to apologize for walking in their way in this torrential rainfall with these two small children.  Looking back, perhaps I should have tapped on someone’s window and apologized.

I kept getting flustered about it and finally decided, oh heck, Ava was right. She had said numerous times to me Grandma it’s all right this is fun!  And then, it was! It was hysterical! We were waterlogged like you would not believe. We felt like we could spit fish out of our mouths. We all four had water pouring off of every part of our body, our shoes were squeaking. When we finally made it to the lot on the other side of the main street, we agreed with the kids, off with the shoes, why not, they were coming unglued and useless! Our feet hurt with rubbing on wet shoes and walking for so long.

We stood outside the car, the four of us, cracking up!  I went to hug my granddaughter to tell her what a great good girl she was and she told me not to or I would get her wet and we all burst out laughing again!  And then came the quick thinking part, what about getting into the car…… 

As the first stroke of luck of the day, there was a huge doggie blanket in the trunk.  So right by the car, in the darkness, since hardly any cars were left, none by us and only the lights of the police cars, the kids removed most of their sopping clothes done to undies. We literally picked one up on each side of the car and threw them in the backseat and then snuggled them up like two bugs in a rug in that prickly old doggie blanket and turned on the heat, mind you this was in the dead of summer.  We got in the car, drove home and laughed the whole way.


So when my grandkids come to Florida this summer, if it rains, do you really think it will stop them or us from doing anything? Infact, Ava and Jake would think nothing of it if they got caught in a downpour with Grandma and Grandpa! My grandkids are up for downpours! 
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