It was supposed to be Younger Daughter's first day of school today. Youngest Son is already in school; he was supposed to have his first football game tomorrow. And I had a dentist's appointment early this morning.
But it rained yesterday.
This is already the wettest August on record in Chicago: This is supposed to be the season where the lawn turns a nice shade of cut-me-every-other-week brown... but it looks like April out there. April in South Florida.
And then, yesterday, I took a quick peek at the radar screen about mid-afternoon -- and saw some very ominous looking yellow, orange and red storms rolling across DeKalb County, just about to enter Kane... and seemingly taking aim at the City itself.
Long Suffering Spouse had to take Younger Daughter to the doctor; they arrived as those blobs became very real rainstorms over the Chicago area. It was about an hour after I'd first noticed the ominous radar.
Those storms were moving. I heard later that there were straight line winds associated with the storms of 70 mph or more. Middle Son was at home yesterday afternoon; he checked in with Long Suffering Spouse before leaving on his afternoon errands because of how incredibly dark it had become. In the afternoon.
Just after noticing the radar I looked out the window: It was bright and sunny.
I looked again an hour or so later, when Long Suffering Spouse called to tell me the storm had hit; that there was rain swirling in circles inside the parking garage. And, when I looked, I saw that night had fallen prematurely. All heck broke loose downtown shortly thereafter.
One of the attorneys with whom I share space at the Undisclosed Location had to take off during the height of the storm: A couple of large trees had given way to the winds and had taken up a new, uprooted position on the roof of his house.
We were fortunate at the Curmudgeon household; we had no real damage. Some basement seepage. A few downed branches. But nothing to compare with the stories Long Suffering Spouse and Middle Son returned with when they picked their way home from their separate errands, around downed trees and through busy intersections where the streetlights were out. We didn't even lose power at home. A quarter-million people in the Chicago area couldn't say that today.
And I was right about the course that storm took: It seemed to leave a particular swath of destruction right down North Avenue. Several suburbs along North Avenue had "boil orders" today for their tap water.
I waited out the rush hour at the Undisclosed Location, but there was still quite a bit of rain for my umbrella when I finally ventured out.
Getting off the el, I was struck by the Western sky: The Sun was setting and there were breaks, cracks really, just enough to let orange light leak out and set off the still-ominous, but now navy blue clouds. It was a Maxfield Parrish orange; the blues were too dark for him, though. And there was lightning north and east, some of it quite spectacular.
And another line of storms rumbled through later last night.
And this morning, before 6:00 a.m., we heard on the radio that both Youngest Son's and Younger Daughter's schools were closed. The dentist's office called an hour or so later: They didn't have power either, so my 8:00 a.m. appointment had to be canceled. But I couldn't reschedule -- not yet -- no computer.
And that, boys and girls, is how we had a Snow Day in August. I don't know what else to call it.