After the Rain

On our walk to school today, we got wet shoes (I need to invest in a pair of rain boots), wet pants and wet umbrellas. Walking in the rain is lovely as long as it isn’t too cold. I love the different scents; the water dripping down from the sky and the trees; the ripples in the puddles. The girls love the rain, too; they get to use their umbrellas and wear rain boots!

The girls with rain boots and umbrellas a couple of summers ago
Rain drops on my rose bush
Watch out, Itsy-Bitsy Spider!
Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head

One of the lovely things about rain is the rainbow possibility. Today Emmy and I were lucky; the sun started to shine and a rainbow appeared. Dark clouds were behind the rainbow yet, and it was faint and hard to see.  Once we walked into the preschool room, the teachers brought all the kids to the windows to see; the dark clouds were dissipating and the rainbow was shining brighter in the sky.

A faint rainbow after the rain during a Michigan vacation

Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. When a rainbow appears, the dark clouds are a reminder of the rain that just was. Rainbows are unpredictable; we hope for them; we wish for a rainbow to appear after the rainstorm. I have searched for a rainbow in the skies many times after a storm, disappointed. I’ll know that the conditions are right–the rain has passed us by and the sun is shining through the rain; there must be a rainbow somewhere! Perhaps someone else is in the right spot to see the rainbow when I’m unable to find it. Perhaps someone else is seeing its beauty. That’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

Wishing rainbow skies for you today!

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The Zip Line

I’m not sure if I have a fear of heights or a fear of losing control. Maybe a little bit of both. I’ve never had a desire to learn, say, rock climbing. Which is a little contradictory to my love of roller coasters. In a roller coaster, however, you so are completely strapped in that you can hardly move, except to put your hands over your head and scream your lungs out. I love the thrill of the drops and the curves and the loops.

It was this thrill of roller coasters that made me think I could ski. When my new boyfriend took me out on the ski hill, (in the Midwest, for heaven’s sake) I knew I could learn how to ski.

I was wrong.

I froze in the middle of the ski hill. I burst into tears. I told Ed, “I can’t do this!”

He said, “Well, you can’t walk back up the hill!”

I looked up. It would have been pretty hard. With Ed’s coaching, I eventually made it down the hill. And believe it or not, I went skiing again, but have mostly stuck to the bunny hills.

When I’m watching TV, my fear of heights disappears. I’ve seen various participants in reality shows go on zip lines, to build trust and build character or some such reason. Every time someone would freeze in terror at the top of the zip line pole and refuse to just jump off, I would think that it looked like so much fun…how hard could to be to just jump off that tiny platform? You’re all harnessed in and hooked up to a rope…just jump already!!

I had a chance to test my bravado just a couple of weeks ago, when Ed and I signed up to do a zip line on our vacation. As I was signing the waiver form that morning…you know, the form that says if I sustain serious injury or death that no one is liable…I began to feel a bit nervous.

As we climbed up the hill to the zip line, the excitement in our group was tangible. We couldn’t wait to see the valley we were about to be dangling above. When we saw the pole we had to climb, I sidled over to Ed and said, “I don’t think I can do this!”

As always, my calm, fearless husband replied, “Sure you can!”

We strapped on our harnesses, listened to our instructor, and my fear built. I didn’t want to go first, but I didn’t want to go last. Everyone felt the same way, and one brave soul volunteered to go first. Ed was second.

 Do you think Ed is having fun?

As I watched everyone zoom down the zip line, I was so excited to go…except I was afraid of the end. This was a running zip line, so even though there were people to help us at the other side, I had to run up the hill at the end of the zip line. No one was going to catch me. I was terrified I was going to drag in the dirt! Ed climbed up the hill, and reassured me that I could do it. My cousin went next, and told me that she would wait at the other side for me.

My favorite picture of the zip line – that’s my awesome cousin!
I went last.
I climbed up the pole.
Climbing up the pole…don’t I look like a  pro? 
Standing at the platform on the top of that pole was exhilarating. I was going to do this! I jumped off, and……..
WHEEEEEE!

My cousin was waiting for me at the other side, and we were both trembling with all that adrenaline flowing through our bodies. We climbed back up that hill…..

That hill was steep!

and went down that zip line two more times! It was the most terrifying, most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had!

What’s the most terrifying — but also awesome — thing you’ve ever done?