As I was sitting down to write this column, the sky above me decided to open up and unleash unholy hell on my town. Lightning streaked across the sky, Thunder shook my house, and I remembered one of my favorite memories of a rainstorm.
Two years ago, my dearest friend in the world convinced me to walk from the Dobbs Ferry Campus to the local Stop and Shop. Normally, this would have been a welcomed break from campus and work, to spend some quality time with my friend. However, this specific day in addition to spending time together, we were taking a walk to run some errands and grab groceries. The plan was to go to the store, shop, and get back by the time the storms of the day were set to roll in.
Naturally, things did not go as planned.
Not ten minutes after we left campus, it started to rain. Halfway to the store, it started to pour, not unlike today.
At first the weather was exhilarating, and the tree-lined sidewalk provided a fair amount of cover from the rain. As the storm rolled in, the rain got heavier and heavier, breaking through the trees. We would dash between cover when we could, but shelter from the rain was few and far between. Before we were even half way to Stop and Shop, we were completely soaked. We gave up trying to keep dry, and embraced the weather.
As we walked our clothes became heavy, and clung to our skin, but it didn’t stop us from our adventure. Just before we made it into the store, wind ripped through the parking lot, and thunder boomed from the sky. It made the air cold and biting, and chased us into the store.
People were lined up under the awning outside the store, carts full of groceries, biding their time to run and pack the car. People were sitting in their cars in the parking lot, staring out the window, debating just how badly they needed to food shop that day.
We made our way into the store, quite literally dripping wet. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by frosty air, and equally frosty glares. The people of Dobbs Ferry did not appreciate two sopping wet young women walking into their produce section. The cold air, as well as the attention, made goose bumps creep across my skin, and my friend and I made a bee-line to the bathrooms. We rung out our clothes, and tried to dry off as much as we could, which all in all wasn’t that much.
We took turns under the hand dryer, trying to warm up and dry out our clothing, but the lukewarm air did little to help. After we looked a bit more decent (and had ample time to laugh at how ridiculous we looked), we went shopping. Our quick trip became delayed as we sorted through bags of sugar snap peas, and varieties of apples. Once we had everything we needed, we lapped the store a second time, just to make sure we didn’t forget anything, and to stall having to go back out into the weather.
Once we paid and bagged up our groceries, we headed out and were met with the same sight. A small line of hesitant customers, all weighing taking their chances with the rain. We bundled our groceries up, steeled ourselves and marched into the absolute chaos. By the time we left the parking lot, we realized out mistake. While we had been shopping, puddles had become ponds, and the street had rivers racing down either side, carrying leaves and debris toward quickly clogging storm drains. Once again, we were soaked through almost instantly.
Still, we chugged on back toward campus, in high (sopping) spirits. The closer we got to campus, the more jovial we became. We were already soaked, so why not just enjoy the rain? As we made it to the rear entrance of Victory Hall, the weather lightened up. The rain went from a downpour to a drizzle, the wind turned into a breeze, and the sky started to clear. The thunder retreated, and we made our way back to our room.
We peeled off our clothes, and left them all to drip dry in the shower. We both got into some comfy warm clothes, and wrapped our hair up in towels. We put away our groceries, and climbed up into our beds to watch the storm move out and the sky bleed orange with the sunset. Shortly there after, we both ended up falling sound asleep, and woke up several sleepy hours later.
To this day, every time I hear thunder, I think of that storm, and that trip with my best friend. I remember the rain and the cold, and I remember how much fun we had spending that day together, jumping over (or in my case into) puddles and running for cover. Its one of my favorite and most cherished memories, with one of my favorite people, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.