Q. What do you do on a rainy day?
A. Dear Rained and Confused,
Since rain is mostly trying to make me wet and cold, on a rainy day I usually try to stay warm and dry. There are a few ways to do this:
1. Stay indoors and wait it out.
2. If you must go outside, use an umbrella. It's a long stick of a thing with a half dome at the top end of the stick. The stick is the handle and the dome is upper body protector. Mostly, umbrellas do very little for keeping the lower half of people dry. Some come with retractable stick and dome parts. Even though they are simple in design they are really quite impressive. What, with all the telescoping and expanding. The umbrella is also a good protector from the sun. I almost always take one to the beach.*
3. If it's really rainy. And you have to go outside, you may want to get your hands on a full rain suit. Or at least at a water resistant coat. When I walk to school on those rainy mornings, I put my hydrophobic coat over my backpack.
4. If you have to drive in the rain be cautious. It does slow down your vehicles breaking time. Between you and the car in front of you, keep triple the distance you normally would under dry conditions. When rain mixes with oil and grease on the surface of the road, the road can become very slick. So avoid sharp curves at high speed and erratic steering of the wheels. (If you are an underage driver and think grown up driving consists of a very fast back and forth motion of the steering wheel as your foot is applied firmly to the gas pedal, please tell that to a responsible adult and ask them to drive you to your destinations until the appropriate time for you to receive proper training. I'm sorry I don't have time to go into that at that here and now.) And of course use your windshield wipers. They really do help with the forward visibility.
5. Eat a bowl of chili. Not a chili fan? How about some soup? Not a fan of soup? How about a grilled cheese? Not a fan of grilled or cheese? How about some cold water from the tap? No ice.
6. Drink a cup of hot chocolate.
7. Rainy days come and go. You may want to check the roof of your home or hut for holes. Water is pretty crafty. It seems to get into all kinds of places. Mostly people don't want it in their living room. If your roof checks out continue your inspection by looking for holes in your walls. Usually wall holes are pretty obvious and in heavy rains you may want to close them up. It can be as easy as shutting a door or window.
8. Take a moment and listen.
9. Rainy days make great beach days. Given you live near the beach and there isn't some kind of man-eating-wave warning. (Ahgg! A man eating a wave! Get to higher ground!) The beach is usually empty and the water dramatic. And since it's all rain soaked, you can make sandcastles everywhere. (This is another place you may want a full set of rain gear. At least a rain coat and some rubber boots, sometimes called galoshes.)
10. You can go outside for a play adventure and get muddy and wet and cold. Water will drip of your nose and eye lashes. Your shoes will get heavier with each step as they soak up water and your clothes will cling to your skin. While you are out there, take a moment to take it all in. Look at how it blurs your surroundings. Listen to what it sounds like as it hits the roof of a storage shed, or hood of a car, or as it falls through the leaves of a tree. Tilt your head back and let the drops fall into your mouth. Stretch out your arms, palms up and let the rain pour over you. Now, when you are ready to come in out of the rain, get ready for what may feel like the best bath or shower of your life.
Good luck out there in the rain. I know it can be tricky.
I hope this helps,
*Other umbrella uses:
A. Beacon used by tour guides. Mostly this is a good idea, unless you are at the Colosseum in Rome and ALL the tour guides are middle aged Italian women with red umbrella's. Fortunately for me my tour group also came with, a high school student proudly wearing a Sprite 12 pack box as a hat. A tip for future tour guides perhaps?
(Submitted October 3rd, 2011)