Dolly Parton said it-- if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with a little rain.
That’s what essayist Joy Bashore from Forest found out, on one of the rare occasions she didn’t over-prepare.
I am a worrier. I have been told that 99 percent of what we worry about never happens, so I worry about everything. That way nothing bad ever happens. Before my husband and I leave for vacation, I start checking the weather ten days in advance. Recently, my husband and I spent a long weekend playing golf at Myrtle Beach with friends. The weather forecast seemed unusually good with temperatures in the 70’s in mid- February. For some reason, I ignored the small red print that mentioned severe storm warnings.
Normally when people have a room overlooking the ocean, the ocean is visible. Not so our first morning out. Gale force winds accompanied by menacing gray clouds gave notice. We figured we would play through lunch and maybe get in 14 or 15 holes. We went out convincing ourselves to be thankful for the warm gales and accepting that hats were to be chased but not worn.
The first 14 holes were predictably hard on our egos, but when did a little wind ever stop a golfer? The next hole was a par three surrounded by water. I begged off thinking the weather might soon turn on us, but the men wanted to play one more. Pars were looking possible, but then the sky opened. Except in the shower, I have never experienced such torrential water. The men abandoned their shots and ran. There was a bridge the men had to cross to get back to the carts. Because of heart medication, running is no longer one of my husband’s options. He was trying but staggering. Not having worried enough about the weather, I put all my reserved energy into thinking he was going to fall into the water and drown if a heart attack did not get him first. By the time he made it to the cart, he was breathless and speechless. “Go” was all he said. It was already too late to think about rain suits.
We could barely see our hands in front of our faces but knew we had to follow the meandering cart path in hopes of finding the club house. The path went every which way. We were heading who knows where. Through the fog and sheets of rain, we began to see the outline of what appeared to be a medieval castle. I felt as if I were in the Wizard of Oz with no yellow bricks or rainbows. If there had been thunder and lightning, we would have died of fright if nothing else. No movie setting could have been scarier. We had found the neighboring “Wizard course” with its wizardless medieval club house. As we got closer, we could make out a flight of stairs leading up to two huge wooden doors sporting some kind of sign. We dragged our bags up the stairs being careful not to slip and fall. I stood long enough to read the sign: “Warning, these doors will slam shut behind you!” Will we ever be found? We joined forces and pulled the doors open. We entered a cold medieval castle, mercifully with mops and rest rooms. My husband went off immediately to take off all of his clothes and change into his comfortable, dark green, flannel-lined rain suit while I inspected my suit, a gift from my husband some Christmas back, to find it was clear, see-through plastic.
“I don’t think so, I thought to myself.”
Even if I had no shame, the thought of plastic on bare wet skin was less appealing than the alternative. As I wiped water from my face, I could feel the water squishing between my toes in my shoes and decided things could not get any worse. I had not made a decent shot all day and there was no way I could get a comb through my hair if I tried. Maybe tomorrow.
Joy Bashore is retired as English Department Chair at Central Virginia Community College. She lives in Forest, VA