We've had rain! Lots of it...unfortunately not enough to break the drought but hopefully it's a beginning.
On Wednesday we had lovely steady, soaking rain. Fred, his boys and the kids from over the back were out there getting soaked and having water fights. Fred had cleaned the water out of the pipes to the tanks, watered the garden, cleaned the car and had some left over. He had those throw away rubber gloves you can get to wear for cleaning, so he and the kids filled them with water and bombed each other. As you can imagine, they had a wonderful time! I'm not sure who's the biggest kid...
Then yesterday, we had a doozy of a tropical storm, but I'll start at the beginning with this story.
It was Harry's birthday and as his mum was working and the kids next door had been asking me for ages "Robyn, when's Harry coming over?", his mum and I organised it for his birthday. Fred had put the tent up in the back paddock and periodically, all the kids would sleep out. So, because my daughter was working, we organised a birthday treat for Harry. He would come and stay with me, we'd have a barbecue, toast marshmallows over the fire and the kids could sleep out in the tent. All up there were six kids - Mitchell and Scott, Jane and Fred's two, Daniel and Sarah from over the back, Fred's niece, Mikayla, and Harry. The kids all seemed to pair up and Harry and Daniel got on like a house on fire.
There had been thunder and lightning most of the afternoon and we could see the thunderheads building up, then they would move away. It became more and more humid, so much so that we couldn't blink an eyelash without perspiration dripping from us! I had been shopping that afternoon, had then rushed home, thrown everything into the pantry, cupboards, fridge and freezer, shot out again and picked Harry up. By the time I came home (about 4pm), I could see that we were definitely going to get the particular storm that was brewing.
We got it alright! The wind blew, the thunder crashed and roared, lightning zigzagged and flashed furiously and the heavens opened. The wind was so strong, it was driving the rain horizontally so that we had to rush and close the place up on the west side. Even though we have wide eaves, the rain hit the windows right at the very top. We have a lot of trees on the property and I thought that if we didn't lose one or two, it'd be a miracle. The noise was deafening. We were all out on the back patio - the kids eating, the adults having coffee - because it was far too hot to be inside.
Between my flat and Jane and Fred's house, there is a part of the patio roof that is shade cloth only. This is for Fred's orchids and ferns. Of course the rain was pouring through the shade cloth and the kids were standing under it, getting saturated and screaming with laughter. They all looked like drowned rats! Fred went and had a look at the tanks and they were overflowing! What a thrill to see that - we now have 66,000 litres of lovely water!
We lost power for a couple of hours, but had no trees down, just a couple of branches across the driveway, and nothing got hit by lightning. My eldest daughter (not Harry's mum) rang as the storm was abating, absolutely breathless with excitement. After asking if I was okay, she then told me that they couldn't get out of their place as there was a tree across the driveway, the dam had overflowed and they had a river running across their property! She video'd it all from their verandah and they were going to go down the driveway to get a video of the "river" and the downed tree. Great excitement!
Once the lightning had lessened considerably we let the kids run around in the rain and Fred started organising the campfire and tables for the barbecue. I laughed and told Fred he was being optimistic as more black clouds could be seen heading our way. I had wandered over to check on Ken, Jane's father, and we were sitting on his patio watching Fred working and the kids screaming around the place, playing who knows what game. Fred was certain the rain was over, but nah-ah! it started raining again so he resignedly brought the tables in under the patio.
Poor Jane missed all the excitement as she was working, thought she would be home just after five, but it was after six o'clock before she eventually arrived. Not because of the storm, but because of a very busy day in the radiology practice where she works.
Well, we had our barbecue, sat and talked, drink wine and at about 10.30 - 11 o'clock organised the kids in the tent. After a few minutes of talking, they were all out to it. By midnight we had packed everything up, Roger and Wendy from across the back wandered off, I went home and Jane and Fred retired.
I woke this morning about 5 am, as I usually do, lay there thinking about things and then decided to get up and type this post out. I heard a noise, went to investigate and...here are the kids! They were up and raring to go (at 5.30 am) and out playing on the pile of dirt we had left over from excavating the hole for the tanks! I shook my head, astounded. But...it's all part of being a kid, isn't it? They have five acres to run amok in, they all get on well, this is all a big adventure and it gets light so early, who wants to stay in bed?
A PS to all this. Fred was awake early too, so he lit the campfire we were supposed to have had last night and got the kids toasting marshmallows. Marshmallows at six in the morning, yuk!