One night in the UP of Michigan, rain was predicted. We had wifi at this campground, so we checked the radar, looked at the sky above the lake and discussed what might be coming in the night. Then we went to bed.
In our pop-up on the beach. And when I say on the beach, I mean just a 2 second hop to Lake Superior.
About 12:30, the rain started. It was nothing to be concerned about at first, and we have certainly weathered many a storm in the camper. We both laid awake, listening to the rain. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the wind began. My husband quickly sat up and looked out the window. "It's going!" he said, referring to our freestanding canopy over the picnic table. I bolted up and over the bed next to me, probably squishing two girls' legs in the process. Moving too quickly to get my shoes on, I ran outside barefoot and grabbed onto the canopy with all my puny little might, holding it against the wind until my husband made it out of the camper. As I was holding it, I prayed, "Thank you Lord, that the rain has momentarily subsided. Maybe we can get this down without getting too wet."
Quite soon after my little prayer, my husband came out to help me start taking the canopy down. And then the skies let loose and poured. We were almost instantly soaked as we tried to collapse the poles and disassemble the canopy enough to keep it from catching the wind. Finally, exhausted and freezing, we had it on the ground and weighted down enough till morning.
We turned to assess the rest of the campsite and as we did, woosh! The canopy on the camper flew up and over the top of the camper, taking with it all the poles and towels that were drying on it. The poles were clanging and we feared for the van behind the camper, but the van was unharmed. I threw open the camper door, yelled over the wind to the kids, "We're fine!!! Just trying to fix the canopies!! Don't be scared!!" and slammed the door shut. I'm sure they were quite reassured.
I honestly can't recall exactly how we got the canopy off the roof, but somehow we did. As we were pulling the towels down and getting the poles apart, we heard singing in the camper. We looked at each other, puzzled, finished our job and went into the camper, shivering.
As we entered the pop-up, we heard the kids singing praise songs. Our oldest son had organized the scared younger ones (and possibly himself) and he and our oldest daughter were leading them in singing praise songs to calm their fears about the storm.
We settled everyone back down, turned the heater on, changed our clothes and headed back to bed. Two of the five children announced they needed to go potty. Sigh. I asked them to weigh how much they had to go against the rain that was still pouring outside. Both opted to wait until morning.
Note to self: Never, ever persuade a child not to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Regret will surely follow.
After 30 or more minutes of settling down another child who was still wound up and unable to sleep, I finally drifted off. About 4:30, one of the "I-can-wait-till-morning" children woke me up and told me that his/her earlier statement was, in fact, untrue. And that it was too late. More sighing (I should probably stop doing that) and frustration with myself that I hadn't taken the children to bathroom in the first place. After some makeshift bed rearranging, we slept the scant rest of the night without incident.
Vacationing with our family is nothing if not an adventure.