Last year, Dan and I scheduled to work a Beltane festival about 1 1/2 hrs. from here. They were thrilled to have us (caricatures & balloon animals are rather novel around here in the small towns), so did not charge us any entrance or vendor fee.
That morning we had a severe storm warning, but I didn’t want to just not show up, so we started out. Got to Willow Springs (about 11 miles away), and took the exit for the next road we had to travel. At that exit was a service station/convenience store, and we stopped for gas. The black clouds were thick, and by the time I ran in, paid the clerk, and ran back out to the car, it was raining hard. We were under an open roof, and the wind was blowing hard enough that I was literally soaked in seconds. The tornado siren was also going. That especially caught my attention.
I couldn’t get the gas cap off, so had to drag Dan out of the car, so he got wet, too. Thank goodness it wasn’t cold. We filled up, then pulled to the side of the building to wait out the weather. The wind blew hard enough at times to rock the hearse a little. The hearse is 6,000 pounds, so you know it was a pretty strong wind.
After a while, the worst blew over, but we were soaked, and didn’t want to try to drive on muddy country roads for who knows how long to get there. Also, the festival was being held on someone’s land, and we didn’t know how far back in the woods we’d have to go. We didn’t want to get stuck. So we figured we’d better just come back home.
I called them and left a message that we were regretfully canceling, then drove back. We were following the storm’s tail, so it was raining and the wind was blowing, but not very hard. We made it home safely.
This year, we thought, “Aha! We’ll make Beltane this time…
(To Be Continued)