austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Meeting smile after smile

Just going to jump ahead in time here to last Friday. I'll get back to August shortly. I need to catch the moment while it's fresh and timely though.

We went to the Silver Bells in the City after-dark parade and tree-lighting ceremony and all that. We do that most years now. It's traditionally held on the coldest day of the winter, the Friday before Thanksgiving. This time it was a warm day, about 70 degrees by 6 pm when things started. It didn't stay warm.

I've got some pictures on my humor blog because goodness but it was that funny. About an hour into the parade it began to drizzle. We knew there was a chance. Then it started to rain. People around us started clearing out and we could feel not so bad about opening up our umbrellas. There'd been warnings of the chance of rain from 7:45; so it was a half-hour early.

Then the skies really opened up, lightning flashed, winds kicked way up. Parade marchers started being parade runners instead. The trucks pulling floats went from the normal sedate pace to gunning it. Then, after a couple clowns tried to go on waving to and hugging kids, the squall really broke out. We heard someone shouting about how everything was cancelled. The rain got penetrating. bunny_hugger's umbrella turned inside-out. Unknown to us the Silver Bells social media person posted to Facebook and Twitter that all outdoor events were cancelled and people should ``Please get to safety''. We ran for it.

Ran for where? No idea. Anywhere would do. We were near City Hall and raced for that. bunny_hugger saw a lost single shoe. We got separated a couple times, but somehow, never seriously. A hundred thousand people or so were at the event and we evacuated in short order and somehow the two of us didn't lose one another.

So this was the first time we'd seen or heard of Silver Bells getting smashed like this in severe weather. It even knocked over the topper on the state tree. After the squall moved through and the rain was back to a steady, reasonably normal drizzle we got photos of that, and of some people in reindeer costumes photographing the aftermath. And since everything seemed to be over we went back to the car to drive home. It took about a half-hour to get out of the parking garage, although with the hindsight that there were something like a hundred thousand people downtown all trying to get out that really isn't so bad a wait. And we could blast the car's heater on our poor, soaked, saturated feet.

Trivia: In early 1812 the United States Senate killed a $450,000 appropriation to repair six Navy frigates, though the work had already begun and half the allocation already been spent. Source: Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought The Second War of Independence, A J Langguth.

Currently Reading: The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel, Jodie Archer, Matthew L Jockers.

PS: The End 2016 Mathematics A To Z: Image, featuring a photograph of our pet rabbit for absolutely no justifiable reason. You're welcome.

Tags: lansing

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