I usually LOVE Spring. I mean I really do. It’s my all time favorite season. Probably because I’m an animal lover and oh, oh, OH the babies!! Also because I LOVE to toil in the dirt and plant things and work in my yard and HELLO it’s Spring! This year though? Not loving it so much so far. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing the calves, lambs, bird’s nests that surely have eggs in them, chicks, ducklings, goslings, etc… and I LOVE that it’s SO green this year, but it’s been impossible to really enjoy Spring this year. Let me tell you why:
- Spring in Wyoming is volatile at best. We have our worst snowstorms in the Spring. We can go all year with minimal snow and come April and May watch out! You could have 70 degrees one day and a foot of snow the next! When I was young I just loved this. The big Spring snowstorms meant snow measured in feet rather than inches and it meant heavy, wet snow that’s perfect for building snow forts and snow men. It also meant you could go outside the next day and actually play in the snow because it’s not 50 below zero with the windchill. It rarely hits 50 below here in ambient temperature but the wind blows CONSTANTLY here so you never hear someone say it’s -15 with a windchill of -50. Instead it’s “well it’s -50 today”. In Spring it’s rarely cold so the kids can actually play in all of that lovely white fluff! This year though? We had two piddly snowstorms, but we’ve had rain. Oh my gosh the rain!! A friend from high school actually posted on her Facebook status “welcome to Seattle, Wyoming”. I felt the SAME way. It has been crazy!! Last week it POURED rain for two straight days. Some places had 4 inches of rain in 24 hours. That caused a bunch of flooding both indoors and out for a lot of people. For us it was a great test of our new house. We discovered our house doesn’t leak! However we didn’t have a chance to put up window well covers since we moved in January and when one window well had 6 inches of rain standing in it the window did start to seep around the frame. All in all not bad though. Then the day before yesterday the Spring storms really hit with a vengeance. They are early this year. VERY early. Usually it’s mid to late June before we see severe weather. This year? We had tornado watches, actual funnel clouds were formed (thankfully not touching down), and then it HIT and we had golf-ball sized hail driven by 40 mile an hour winds. First, I wanted to cry because hello, new house!! Then I just prayed the windows would hold!! Elizabeth was absolutely terrified and Joey? Joey had a panic attack. I should probably stop here and tell you why hail scares Joey. A few years ago we were at Relay For Life (something we did every year from the time he was a newborn, there was even a write up in the hospital newsletter about the then 4-year-old who had been on the hospital’s team since infancy but that’s a story for another time) anyway, we were at Relay and all of the sudden the radio dj’s came over the loud speakers and said “GO HOME NOW”. The sense of urgency was something I can’t quite convey. There was a major storm coming with tornadoes and large hail and it was heading straight for us. I threw Joey in the car and headed home. We made it almost home before the hail stones started hitting the car. We stopped in the middle of the road with the other cars and ALL I could see was a wall of black with HUGE white stones hammering us. The first stone cracked the windshield of my car and they just.kept.hitting. With every stone it broke a little more. I can not tell you how terrifying that was. I was stuck in the car with my 4-year-old and I was FREAKING OUT. I quickly grabbed him out of the booster seat and threw him on the floor under the dashboard and covered him with my body. I can’t even tell you how loud it was. Then all of the sudden horns were honking and cars stopped around us started hauling ass out of there. I risked a glance around and still all I could see was this wall of black but I noticed the wind had picked up. I weighed my options and figured the cars facing us must have a better view and if they were moving we better move too. Driving in that? It causes the hail to hit harder. By now I was shaking like a leaf and trying so hard to stay composed so as not to scare Joey worse but inside? I was saying silent prayers with fervor and crying. We made it home fairly quickly and GOD BLESS FORD because my windshield held. I would later see that the only place it actually punched clear through the windshield was in the upper most portion of the windshield. Oddly enough that’s the thickest glass. My car was completely hammered but somehow that glass held. By the time we got home the storm had passed but within a few minutes I would find out what prompted those cars to move. What I couldn’t see was a tornado bearing straight down on us, driving those baseball sized hail stones. So, you can see why Joey is terrified of storms. At 10-years-old he still suffers from some PTSD from that day and I think probably always will. The storms the day before yesterday weren’t even close to as bad as that one was years ago but they were bad enough. Half of the town is hail damaged. My house thankfully suffered no damage. The hail here was ping pong ball sized, as it moved past us they got bigger, by the time it made it’s way a little further north they were golf-ball sized and they caused a lot of damage, the 40 mile per hour winds didn’t help. My dad’s cars on his car lot took some serious damage, my brother’s house did as well. A friend’s house really got hammered and had broken windows and skylights and water poured in to her house. It’s not over by a long shot. It’s early. Today they are predicting similar storms and possibly even worse. The Storm Chasers are in town (or so I’ve been told)! That my friends is NEVER a good sign! So, I’m not loving the weather this Spring at all, even though you get used to it, when it hits this early you can only assume it’s going to get worse and when you’ve had a house destroyed you really don’t want to think about what could happen to the new house you just bought! Thankfully no one was seriously injured or killed during our storms, people here know, if they issue a warning you get your butt in the house and stay there.
- I just realized pretty much all of the reasons I’m not loving Spring center around the weather! Sorry to be redundant! Anyway, can you say cabin fever? Elizabeth is bored, I am bored. If it’s not raining it’s MUDDY. The playgrounds are under water so we can’t go play at them. Our yard is a muddy mess because we haven’t landscaped it yet so we can’t really play there. We did take advantage of the break in the weather yesterday and go ride bikes on the road, but we want to go play on the slides and swings. Elizabeth wants to play in the sand and/or dirt. I want to plant flowers and get my yard in order. Without slogging through the mud we just can’t do any of this. Elizabeth is actually amusing herself by (not kidding here) either playing with her big ball in the house, rolling it around calling it “baby” and treating it like a baby doll (no I have no clue why, she has a million actual baby dolls) and/or last night and today she’s playing with plastic clothes hangers and her toy necklaces? I have no idea people. I am thankful she has a very active imagination that keeps her busy most of the time. The rest of the time she’s been a challenge. We tried the public library a few weeks ago and that was a DISASTER. She just does NOT have the patience to be good in the library. I am signing her up for dance class and swimming lessons when they open registration because I am just exhausted. I would also love a shower but I can’t take one unless someone else is home because she’ll spend that 10 minutes getting in to something she’s not supposed to be in to. It’s a good thing we’re stuck inside because in a stiff wind I might be toxic to bystanders.
- My allergies are KILLING me. I have had miserable seasonal allergies forever. When I was young I spent my Summers anywhere but at home. That usually meant at my grandma’s house in Colorado or at my uncle’s ranch. Before I could go either place I would have to have allergy shots. With all this moisture the pollen count is off the charts and my head feels like it’s going to explode. Today is Joey’s field day at school and Elizabeth and I are going but I feel awful. Hopefully the Sudafed kicks in soon and I’m going to have to make an appointment for allergy shots or I won’t make it through the rest of the storm season.
- School is out next week. Joey will be home all day. I am actually excited about this because he can entertain his sister so I can shower every day! I don’t know how I’ll handle that!! I am praying the weather eases off a bit. I am hoping to set up some play dates with my nephews since there really aren’t any kids on our street and as much as I love them all I do not want to be cooped up inside with all four kids. We want to be able to go to the pool or the playground and/or play in the yard!
The kids and I are going to tackle Spring cleaning this weekend. I wanted to spend the weekend planting flowers and playing in the dirt but the weather is supposed to be horrible so I am going to hold off buying my flowers. So far the forecast looks better for next week so I’m hoping to be able to get out there and start playing in the dirt. I just hope I can breathe while doing it!!