We went to my parent's house this weekend to visit and to celebrate Father's Day. I drove down Friday evening after work, hubby intended to nap in the car and the pups were happily ensconced in the back seat. We had been watching the weather all week on both ends as the storm named "Bill" was heading our way and reports varied as to whether it would die down before it reached us, would really slam us or completely miss us. In the end we decided to chance it. A little rain wouldn't keep us from seeing my parents.
The drive is just about 114 miles door to door. The majority of the ride is straight down I64. 64 is a fairly easy drive, through the Hoosier Forest and past French Lick and Holiday World before we get to Evansville. The IN/KY exits are numbered based on the mile markers which makes it easy to track where you are going and how far you have left. We hop on at 121, hop off at 29 on to 69 for a minute and then 57 for a couple and so on.
When we left Friday, it was still fairly clear. It was overcast, so no sunglasses needed, but fairly bright out. It was 5:30 pm and so there was a fair amount of traffic through Corydon and then traffic eased up a bit. We were driving along at a fair clip thanks to cruise control and suddenly the sky got really dark. It was just what we would call "dodging raindrops" weather but on the horizon the lightening was just beautiful. It was so arresting that I tapped the hubby to make sure he was still awake and just said "Whoa". At about this point we had just passed the exit to MM89 and we began a descent into a brief dip into a "valley" everything changed. The fog rolled toward us the lower we went, the skies opened up and the rain was so hard that we couldn't see two cars in front of us. I wasn't even remotely comfortable going on so I pulled over, put my blinkers on and we waited it out. Thunder and lightening boomed around us so violently that Auggie jumped up from the back seat into Jim's lap and just snuggled in until it subsided. He is known as "Thunder Buddy For Life" when storms blow in. He's just not having it and will burrow as close to you as possible until it's over. Harley stayed in the back seat just watching it all happen. Within minutes, almost every car on the road pulled over as well and we were a line of stopped cars with hazards on watching the few hearty souls drive by at about 30mph in the slow lane with their hazards blinking while the big rigs threw sheets of water from their trucks as they sped by at almost normal speeds. Thunder hit over and over and lightening was striking all around us at a fast rate. For a few minutes it was almost constant.
I texted my parents to let then know we were delayed. I didn't want them worrying. Dad was watching the weather and as I picked up the phone to text him, he was sending me a text to see if we were okay. ***Side note- I have an extreme aversion to texting and driving. Had we still been moving, Jim would have answered. Please, please don't text and drive.*** He told me that we weren't too far to turn around and go back home but we felt that the storm was moving toward our house so once it subsided enough to safely drive we would forge ahead. We sat for about 15 minutes until I could once again see the lights clearly turning the upcoming corner and the thunder stopped booming and we were the first to pull out and start moving. I was happy to see that we were most definitely not alone- we passed literally a mile of cars between those just in front of us and around the corner who had pulled over rather than trying to drive through the storm. As we drove ahead, we could see the lightening strikes lessening and the sky brightening. Within 3 miles we were out of the worst of it, no more fog, no more lightening coming at us and just a bit of rain. By the 2nd exit we were clear but could see where the clouds were doing their damage to the left, right and behind us. When we reached the rest stop, we made a pit stop for a moment and I watched the clouds roll over themselves a asif they were tumbling nd as we got back on the road the sirens began to blare for a tornado warning and we just kept trucking to outrun the county for which the warning was issued. Soon enough we were at my parents and settled in for the weekend.
We all know that I have been in the midst of a flare for quite some time now and Saturday morning my parents got to see first hand how my hands were misbehaving. I couldn't open them completely or close them completely without severe pain and yet 24 hours later, they were much improved. It was a first hand look at how RA works in my body.
As I drove home on Sunday in absolutely beautiful weather it occurred to me that the storm I drove through on Friday was very much like living with RA. Sometimes it eases in, sometimes it comes out of nowhere. It slams into the body violently and renders you unable to go forward with your life and then relief comes and you can slowly start on your journey again. The "fun" part is, you never know for sure when and where it will hit again.
Incidentally- we are in the midst of thunder and lightening (but no rain thus far) again this morning and I am very achy. Outside, within an hour heading toward us there was over 1100 lightening strikes which was fascinating to track. Inside, hands and wrists are throbbing but they are mobile (and there is a puppy burrowed up against my legs as I type this) but it's not so bad that I can't go to work and go about my day. The storm is moving quickly and will be gone before the morning commute so all will be well. Inside, I will fill my pill case, get my meds on and all will be sufficient.
Tomorrow I head to Cleveland, 5.5 hours away, for meetings for work. In order to head off another physical "storm" I am driving up a day early, doing meetings Wednesday and Thursday, driving home on Thursday night and taking Friday to recover. I can't guarantee it won't make things worse, but I will do my best to try to give my body time to rest and recoup as needed.
Have a lovely week folks- and if you need a daily dose of peace and serenity- my dad has mastered gratitude so check out his blog Notes From the Sunporch. It makes me smile every day.