The weather in McHenry, Illinois, started out beautiful, with mostly sunny skies and cooler temperatures that were only supposed to get in the low 70’s, making it the perfect day to do some gardening. My 12-year-old daughter and I had gone to Wal-Mart and found $5 bags of Dutch Irises, Gladiolas, and Dahlias on sale for $0.25. I bought $40 worth of flowers for $2, and we couldn’t wait to get home to start planting.
When we walked out of Wal-Mart, the skies were still mostly sunny and the temperature felt great. We drove toward our house, which is only 10 minutes from Wal-Mart, and as we approached our subdivision, the sky became cloudy, the temperature dropped and the rain started to fall. We were laughing about the sudden rain as we stuck our hands out the windows to feel the cool drops. When we were turning onto our road only a couple of minutes later, I pointed out that the rain had already stopped and it was sunny again. As we were pulling into the driveway, we noticed the landscapers were next door working on putting in our neighbor’s stone patio and walls. We hadn’t expected to see them on a Sunday and, as my daughter pointed out the tarp they had over some of their materials, I wondered if the weather was going to hold out for them to be able to do their work and us our gardening.
My daughter and I gathered our things and went into the house to have a quick lunch before heading out to start planting our flowers that we were so proud of getting for such a great deal. I went to the garage to get out the gardening tools as my daughter brought out the flowers. We no more than got ready to start planting, when a large, dark could floated over our house and raindrops started to fall. It didn’t seem like it was going to be much, so we stepped onto the porch to watch the rain, which then proceeded to become giant drops that my daughter couldn’t resist going out to run in.
By this time, my 2-year-old niece came out to see the rain and, when she saw my daughter running around in it, she had to join her. They ran around a little bit and then headed back to the refuge of the porch with me. It continued to rain a little longer, so the girls went in to get an umbrella to head back out for another run around in the giant raindrops. I patiently watched the rain, deciding whether to wait or to just head out into it and plant those flowers. The rain let up a little bit and I could wait no longer, so I left my refuge and started to plant the Dutch Irises as the girls continued to run around with the umbrella. My daughter saw me planting and came over to hold the umbrella over me as my niece headed back up onto the porch. A few minutes later, the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started, and the sun was breaking through the clouds again, so my daughter joined me in our planting expedition.
As we planted our flowers as fast as we could, wondering if it would start to downpour at any second again, I noticed that the landscapers were still next door and had come back out of vehicles and other places of refuge to continue their patio project. I was surprised they hadn’t left and thought they must have been as determined as I was to accomplish what they had set out to do. The sky clouded over again, but the rain held off as we proceeded to plant all 54 of our Dutch Irises, so we decided to try to plant a couple of Dahlias by our Dwarf Sunflowers that were coming up.
My daughter and I worked on digging the first hole and planted the first Dahlia without a single drop hitting us. As I was about to start the second hole, I noticed a big, dark cloud, that was definitely threatening rain coming toward our house. I started to dig and the drops began to fall, but not too hard and I wasn’t even getting hit because I was in a perfect spot right next to the house. I thought I should start to clean up, so I called my daughter over to finish the hole. I grabbed a piece of cardboard I had used to kneel on while planting the Irises and walked through the raindrops to the back of the house to throw it away. As I walked along the side of the house, one of the landscapers looked right at me like he was surprised to still see me out there, just walking through the rain, especially when the neighbor across the street was running from her car to the house like she might melt if a drop hit her. Well I was just as surprised to see the landscapers still out there working in the rain and found it quite humorous that we must have been cut from the same mould.
I threw the cardboard away and continued my casual walk through the rain as the drops became larger and came a little faster. I cleaned up a couple more things and then helped my daughter, who was still safe from the rain in that perfect place by the house, plant the other Dahlia. I then filled the watering can from the hose in the rain as it began to thunder, so she could water the Dahlias because they weren’t going to get all those wonderful drops falling from the sky where they were located, which seemed rather ironic to me. Then, laughing, we finished cleaning up our gardening tools in a downpour, as the landscapers called it a day, both we and they finally admitting when we’ve been rained out by the sporadic, mini-rain storms in McHenry, Illinois.