When my shiny new umbrella proved a sieve.” Rossiter Johnson
“Let a smile be your umbrella, and you’ll end up with a face full of rain.” George Carlin
Umbrellas truly provide all manners of entertainment, oops, I meant to say protection. Of course they shelter us from the rain and the elements … correct? While I lived down at the beaches outside of Los Angeles, California, the rain seldom fell, but when the rain did decide to anoint us, we simply carried umbrellas or went without as it didn’t usually rain that long or hard.
But then when I reached college age I wanted to return to the Northwest as that is where my grandparents resided. I looked at a variety of colleges in Washington and Oregon but decided on a college in Bellingham 80 miles north from my childhood home in Kirkland. I knew that several of my childhood friends would be going to Western where we would be united. Then, the college was called Western Washington State College, now it has grown to a university.
I had so much fun shopping for school clothes and a nice winter coat. Plus, I purchased a nice, sturdy umbrella for the wintery, wet weather. Boy, I was all prepared for school to start!
The town of Bellingham is at the northern entrance of the Puget Sound into the Straits of Juan de Fuca so the winds really whip through town. However, when I was small and visited my grandparents in town I had been sheltered from the elements and didn’t remember the wind’s velocity. When my college classes started I was anxious to start classes with the other students. Winter in the Northwest however can get wet and WILD. But, I had my new umbrella … I was primed!
One day as I headed to class, the rain was blowing sideways as I hunkered down behind and under my umbrella like one would hide behind a shield. Everything was going fine as I had a two-hand grip on my umbrella. Suddenly, the direction of the wind changed. In the blink of an eye, my umbrella blew inside out and became an enormous bowl over my head. Instantaneously, this bowl made of material filled with water. The weight of the rain ripped my umbrella and I was dowsed with water as if a fire hydrant had opened up directly over my head. I stood dripping wet as if I had just exited fully dressed from the shower. Now, I understand why the rest of the kids wore coats with hoods!
I want you to know, that was the last time I used an umbrella! I promptly went out to the store to purchase a coat with a hood. No more cold water showers for me!