**I would like to preface this harrowing tale by saying that I am not saying that these were all the right, or safest choices, but we made the best of a not awesome situation and there is a happy ending. PTL**
Once upon a time, my friends and I decided to have an innocent afternoon and evening of summer fun. The weather had different ideas. (insert menacing music here)
We went to Jazz Fest in Minneapolis, then we went to have dinner at Brit’s before hitting up the waterski show and a movie in the park. This is where things took an unexpected turn…
We were sitting on the roof at Brit’s and it was starting to sprinkle, so we figured we should go, since we were done eating and were sitting outside and all. There was talk of a movie, or perhaps going to a friend’s apartment close by. As we were leaving I heard from my sister that severe weather would be hitting mpls within the hour. Unfortunately, our friend got called into work, so we were on the streets with nowhere to go. The best option (over standing in the streets) seemed to be to walk to our cars on the other side of downtown. Most of us had umbrellas, only one friend did not. (There were three guys and two girls for this outing). Our umbrella-less friend said he was fine and didn’t want to share. This held true until about halfway back to the church where we’d parked our cars.
Suddenly the light sprinkle turned into a heavy downpour with strong winds, and dark clouds moving in over the city – making it seem like night. Us girls could barely make it when we had to cross streets – with no buildings to shield us from the winds and huge puddles and slippery flip flops – we thought we might get stranded in the middle of the street, unable to fight the wind any longer. Did I mention the tornado sirens are going off as well at this point? The boys are in front of us, leading the way and cracking jokes. Amber and I are making plans to run into a nearby parking garage if we hear/see a tornado.
We finally arrive, drenched beyond belief, at church where our cars are. At this point, we are very sad that our friend who works at the church is not there with us to let us in so we can wait out the storm in safety, because there is NO way we are going to drive in this. That just would not be a wise decision. So we stand dripping under the overhang. The boys wring out their shirts, and Amber and I feel a little sad that as girls, we will continue being soaked.
Along the walk, I am just praying that God would protect us and that we will find a safe place to take shelter from the storm, because there wasn’t really anything we could do, or any specific place we could seek out and go to. As the boys are wringing out their shirts, a girl runs by us through the parking lot. She turns around and heads back to us. We assume she is probably going to stand under the overhang with us. Instead she asks if we need a place to wait out the storm. Her apartment was about a block away, and we could go with her. The boys say no, thanks but we will be fine. She asks if we are sure, because at the lightrail station they said that mpls is under a tornado warning. I say “maybe we should” and soon everyone agrees to go. What an answer to prayer! So kind of her!!!
We head back out into the rain follow her to her apt. On the walk, she asks me if we go Hope and names a friend who also goes there. I was excited that her friend is someone I know and think is really great! Our new friend’s roommates were in the process of moving out, so we all sat, dripping on the floor of her living room, surrounded by boxes and random things. We all introduced ourselves and discovered that we all had friends in common with her, from various things in life. Between the five of us, we had 18 mutual friends! It was crazy!
She also had a cat named Mr. Buffington – most amazing and distinguished cat name ever. At one point, she brought out a little antique accordian, which the guys all tried playing, while narrating a story about Mr. Buffington going on a walk through London in a British accent (because where else would a cat with that name live?). It was hilarious. They also tried out all the of the various instruments in the living room, including several drums, a xylophone, and more. At this point, we did some photo documentation so people would believe our adventures, and feel sad they missed this new band forming! All in all, we hung out with with our new friend for probably two hours at least – just chatting, and laughing, and telling stories. Us girls were parked on the other side of the church from the guys, but they walked us to our cars because “it is what Mr. Buffington would want them to do”
It has never felt so good to dry off and put on warm clothes!