En-lightning sleepover

I had a sneaking suspicion that it had started to rain this afternoon just as I was getting ready to leave my meeting at 5 and head back to the office.

Yes, indeed, the ground was wet, and a few drops lingered in the sky.

I started thinking about all the rain and storms we’ve had lately, and it led me to a memory of the County Fair — not to be confused with the County 4-H Fair — as we had BOTH in our county.

That year I was exhibiting one or another of my steers there, and that evening I’d been left in the care of the Heather’s parents while Ma and Pa went home (across the county). Although we had a place to stay in the motorhome, I thought it was just super neat to sleep in the cattle trailer, which we’d left parked among the row of gooseneck cattle trailers near the highway, away from the barns. And I conned Heather into staying there with me.

You have no idea what staying in the cattle trailer meant. Freedom! Staying out late! Watching boys from afar! (After all, we were only in middle school.)

As the evening sun began to fade, we made our way through the BBQ line for a buffalo burger, then hung out in the stands to watch an incredibly pathetic rodeo, where the same idiots did their once-a-year-I’m-cool-bull-ride. (I won’t name names.) There was a dance after the rodeo, which we weren’t allowed to go to, so we headed for our makeshift home.

We’d had the trailer for a number of years, using it mainly to haul hogs to the salebarn. It must have been about 30-feet long, 5th wheel, white. The floor on the inside had wide wood planks that had seen their share of pig doo. But fortunately we’d washed it out before hauling my prized pet to the fair. (For the record, I didn’t eat that one.)

Whether Heather was in on it or not, I must have planned this shennanigan in advance, as we had cots and sleeping bags. And flashlights. We were so excited.

We eventually fell asleep after thoroughly analyzing how we could get the attention of Travis and Eric, our 4-H sweethearts. Sigh.

I awoke to a big boom and a flash of light. The sky opened up. We were in a full-fledged blitzkrieg. Sitting in a metal trailer. In the middle of an open field, which was quickly turning into a lake.

We sat it out for a few minutes, but it just got worse. The wind was crazy, and the lightning was insane. The RV was a good 200 yards away, and being astute country girls, we thought twice before making a run for it for fear of being zapped. So we crawled under the cots, trying to stay out of the rain.

It seemed like an eternity before it let up, though in reality it was probably less than 15 minutes. It still didn’t seem safe, but at that point we’d been slithering in the goo oozing out of the floorboards for long enough, so we took the plunge and dashed.

Pound, pound, pound on the RV door. Colleen let us in. And we were never so glad to stay in the RV.

That was the first (and last) time I stayed in the cattle trailer.


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