The wind shook the tiny leaves off the branches and we watched them flutter and dance to the ground. The trees, which moments earlier had been still, were swaying. The low dark clouds had crept up behind us as we sat in our car looking down the steep hill before us. The road guided us through a 180 degree turn, down a sharp hill, and through a small town with ancient houses and a dusty antique store. Most of the roads we passed were gravel and seemed not fit to travel under blackened skies.
Twenty minutes earlier we had been at the pool when the first roll of thunder made it’s presence known. The pool was vacated, leaving me with three unhappy, dripping wet children who couldn’t see past their own disappointment. I suggested we adventure until the pool reopened, and by adventure I meant we could take roads we had never taken, see places we had never seen. A grumbled consent reached my ears from the backseat.
We made our way toward our mountain.
There we wandered some back roads. We saw baby cows, vast farmland, and old houses. As the wind and rain picked up speed around us, however, it became apparent the storm was stronger than I anticipated and any return to the pool seemed unlikely. The kids became nervous of the lightning, recounting stories they had heard of lightning hitting trees and sending them crashing down onto cars. They thought the lightning might strike the car and kill us as we drove. I assured them we were safe, and meandered our way to the main road to prove it to them.
Ten minutes later we were in the drive thru line at Dunkin Donuts, and their pool disappointment was quickly replaced by a sudden rumbling in their stomachs. If I’ve learned anything as a parent, it is that donuts are a magic cure to many a childhood disaster.