When I was 17, the older teenagers in my church went on a white-water rafting trip in the Appalachian Mountains. It was a nice, summer day and we had a ton of fun. Then, on the way home (about a two hour drive), it started to rain. And not just any rain–torrential downpour.
Growing up in Virginia, we were used to torrential downpours–after all, it is hurricane area. Summer thunderstorms are gorgeous…as long as you are inside your home watching your yard flood.
Well, we weren’t at home. We were in the mountains. Our church leaders, who were driving the caravan of minivans, couldn’t see the car in front of them. Our Bishop, who was at the head of the caravan, called all the leaders on their cell phones and told them to pull over. Now, you know it’s a heavy downpour when your Bishop tells you to stop driving!
We stopped for about 15 minutes before the rain let up, but that was the heaviest I have ever been in a storm in a car…until yesterday.
It had been rainy all day, on and off. When I left work to go home, it was just cloudy. After about 5 miles, it started raining. No big deal. What mattered more was the amount of splash up from the road and the cars ahead of me on Bangerter Highway. Then, the rain go heavier and heavier. Soon, near Redwood Road (for those of you who live in Salt Lake County), I had to have my wipers on the fastest speed and still didn’t have much sight. Then, all the cars in front of me stopped. So I stopped. And the semi-truck behind struggled to stop in the rain. I had a mini-panic thinking he’d rear-end me and squish me into the SUV in front of me. Thankfully, he stopped. But, as he did, a flash of lightening and a clap of thunder happened. Bad timing. Finally, the cars started going again, but at like 5 miles per hour. The reason? There was about half a foot of water on the road! Thankfully, it was only a few yards wide. But, the rain was still terrible with the terrible splash up. I knew the interstate was getting closer and I was scared to death to have to drive on it in this weather. I also had a feeling that I needed to pull over. So, right before the on-ramp, I braved another standing water corner and pulled into a McDonalds.
I called Justin to let him know of the situation. I was going to wait for a bit to see if the rain would let up. I didn’t know if it’d be 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 2 hours, or longer. But, I was prepared. I felt good about the decision to wait. And, it was a McDonalds. And I had my wallet. So, if worst came to worst–dinner!
I sat in my car listening to the rain pound on my room and slide down my windows. I could barely see outside my car. I thought to myself, if only I wasn’t 30 miles from home, I could enjoy this weather. I do love the rain. I just hate driving in it. And, I’ve never been a fan of I-15 in inclement weather. But, ever since I became pregnant, my caution of I-15 in inclement weather has risen exponentially! I was near to tears because I was afraid for not only my life, but that of my unborn son! I wasn’t going to risk anything that might harm him!
Thankfully, after only about 20 minutes of waiting, the rain let up a bit to where I felt comfortable driving in. I turned back on the car and hopped on the interstate. When I was about 10 miles from home, the rain had stopped completely and I could see blue sky. A smile immediately appeared on my face. I was so thankful to see that patch of clear sky.
As much as I love rain and storms, I hate driving in them. I’d rather sit, safe and cozy, and watch them. So, I love you rain, but please go away.