I’m in Bend this week visiting the girls. I told them when I got back from North Carolina I’d come hang out with them for awhile and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this week.
Konnie has had the past couple of days off work because she works those jarring hospital hours that will have her working all weekend long. So we’ve spent the time running around doing that thing brides and their mothers do. We’ve met with the florist and made runs to the craft store. We picked out music and talked with musicians. We ran by the church office and the bridal store.
It was such a beautiful day in Central Oregon that what we should have been doing was hiking.
But at noon, Konnie talked with Jon, who warned us that there was going to be some afternoon thunderstorms.
We’d run by St. Charles so Konnie could tend to a couple of things and when we came back out there was lightening over them thar hills.
One of her coworkers had ridden her bike to work. Konnie commented that there was no way her friend was going to be able to ride her bike home. Within seconds of that remark, pellet-sized hail started falling around us. Kids walking home from school put up their arms, their hoods, to shield the onslaught.
Konnie couldn’t get my defrost to work so she turned the windshield wipers to high gear. Still ice began to build on the windows, the doors, the sunroof.
The pellets came down harder, thunder shook the car, wind blew back the limbs of trees like hair on a Harley rider. Traffic inched along. Kids began running for cover.
A river of water and ice ran downhill. Kon turned left through a light and we pulled off the main roadway. The ice had gotten so thick on the windows that the arm of the wiper on the driver’s side window went spastic and upended itself. It jutted backwards between the rearview mirror and the driver side door. Konnie couldn’t see a thing.
She parked the car under a massive tree.
“I hope lightening doesn’t hit it,” I said, ever the imaginative writer and freak of a mother.
“I can’t see to drive,” Konnie said.
“You have get out and fix that wiper,” I offered.
“I can’t get out,” Konnie noted, wisely. “If I open my door, I’m going to break off the wiper.”
“Oh. Yeah. Right,” I said, ever the logistically-challenged one. Then it struck me. I had one of the most lame ideas of my lifetime. (I’m being optimistic here).
There was no way I was getting out of the car. The roadway was a sheet of ice. I had on flip-flops.
“I’ll go through the sunroof and fix it,” I said pushing the button that opened the roof.
Konnie screamed “NOOOOO!!!” as inches of ice fell in on our heads, our arms, down our shirts, on our phones, into our purses.
Two Venti cups of hail.
That’s how much we recovered from our laps after I realized that I couldn’t fix the wiper by going through the sun roof.
I peeled off my wet shirt. Wiped down the car as best I could. Slipped on the sweatshirt I’d carried with me that day, just in case we were in a place with air conditioning and I got cold.
Then I crawled out of my already wet seat and sloshed barefooted through the ice to try and fix the windshield wipers. I did a good enough job that Konnie could get out on her side. She repaired both wipers while we waited, wet and cold for the freak storm to pass.
I had to remind myself that it really is June in Central Oregon.
Good thing Shelby had that homemade soup in the frig. Konnie warmed herself up with a bowl soon as we paddled back across town.