Around five o’clock on an early summer evening, you can often find Chad standing on the porch, gazing at the darkening sky, ears straining as he listens for the distant sounds of thunder. Our first May here, six years ago, we learned to love those rumbles that were often followed by a quick downpour of rain. Once it begins in earnest, and Chad scuttles inside, he stands at the window, watching the rain splatter the window, the puddles in the yard forming within minutes, the flashes of lightning brightening the sky. It has become a tradition that now feels like summer as much as the sound of the AC kicking in.
This year has been especially stormy, with one storm producing hail large enough to dent cars and damage roofs. If you drive ten minutes south of us, you will find signs all over about fixing storm-damaged roofs. The above picture was taken the evening after Colin’s baptism, when we had the family over for dinner. The kids were in the front yard playing when those clouds rolled in.
Yesterday was another doozie. We had gone swimming and just as we were leaving the pool we heard faint sounds of thunder. By the time we got home and changed, it was sprinkling a little. Chad took the boys out for a redbox and dinner run, and I got Carina down and then sat at the computer to enjoy my first moments of alone time all week. I heard the wind gushing and then the rain pouring, but didn’t think much of it. After a few minutes, I heard a clink on my window and looked out to see hail. Getting up to take a better look, I realized that my yard looked very different.
My trampoline was missing. Completely gone. It was the most bizarre scene.
I couldn’t go outside to take a better look because the lightning was still close and the hail and rain was just starting to let up. As soon as I could, I ran out there with bare feet to take a better look. One of our floodlights had shattered and I cut my toe on glass from it. I ran around our perimeter, looking into our neighbors’ yard for any sign of our trampoline. There was nothing, which seemed utterly impossible.
For a few moments, I thought, “Could it possibly have been missing before the storm?! Did someone steal our trampoline?!”
And then, “Is this a prank my mom pulled?!”
(If you know my mom well, you know this isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility)
I finally noticed one leg of the trampoline in our, which brought me back to reality. No, no one would steal our trampoline or move it and leave part of it behind.
It was still raining and I couldn’t walk down the street with the baby asleep, so I went back inside (and face-booked). A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was one of the boys’ friends from a couple of houses down, with his dad, whom we had never met before. His dad looked white-faced and shocked. He asked something like, “Is your trampoline missing?” and then went on the explain that they were driving home and saw a trampoline lying in the middle of the street. They thought it was weird and then when they got home, his son looked out the back and said, “Gabe and Colin’s trampoline is missing!”
I think was a little surprised by my reaction.
“Yeah,” I said calmly, “I was wondering where that went to.”
Just then, Chad and the boys pulled up, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed that their little friend blurted out the story before I could.
They had also seen the trampoline down the street and simply thought it was being thrown out. Their trip inside the store had caused them to miss the most severe part.
We threw the kids in the car and drove over to it. This is what we found:
From piecing together the evidence of bent fences, it appears that it flew into our next door neighbor’s yard, across it and into their neighbor’s yard, where it knocked out the back fence panel, flew down the hill and then flew across three more yards and the street before it came to a stop We are so thankful that it didn’t hit any people, cars, or houses.
Chad called my brother Bobby to see if he could help him carry it back home. He was feeding the missionaries, so they all came over and the four of them carried it back to our house and put it in our garage. Chad went knocking on neighbors’ doors to explain and check on damage and then called our insurance. They assured him that they will cover any damages. Someone will be coming by on Monday to check things out.
Again, we are thankful that it didn’t cause more damage. Our trampoline may be completely trashed, but I hope Chad’s love for his summer storms isn’t one more casualty of the this incident.