Portraits persist through precipitation at the park

Yesterday was quite the unanticipated adventure! We had planned to go to the Lindsay Pettus Greenway to scout out locations for photos for the NAMI walk coming up in October there. The forecast said it’d be dry until 7PM, so we got all ready and left the house around 3:30. On our way out the door, there was a little rain, but we figured no big deal. By the time we got to Lancaster, the sky was clear! We thought we were home free with the rain. But as I was putting my wheelchair together, I thought I heard a wee bit of thunder, so we grabbed our rain gear just in case. We figured if there was a light rain, we could still get what we needed to done.

Brad was testing out me being his photo assistant for the walk. I had to hold a tall light stand with a flash on top of it. When we tried it out at home, I thought I could handle it, but actually going over rough ground etc was a lot harder.

We stopped at a covered area in front of the restrooms and Brad set up and did some shots there. I kept occasionally hearing thunder, so I was trying to hurry him on his way. After getting some good pictures there, we headed down the path. It turns out that not all the greenway path we will be using is paved! We had to carefully go off trail to go down a 3 inch lip to get to a gravel trail we’ll be using. We paused on the bridge just after the gravel trail went off and Brad was thinking about where he could get good pictures when we started to feel some raindrops.

We figured no big deal, we’d just head back up to the shelter and wait for the rain to stop. We got a sprinkling of wetness while heading back up to the shelter.

Brad and I had dressed up in sequined clothing to do a few photos of the two of us, so we figured we could knock those out while waiting on the rain to pass. As we were doing that, members of a high school cross country team started coming back from their run.

We got some good pictures, and the rain kept coming down harder and harder. We still thought it would ease up soon, so we just put on some rain gear as the wind was starting to blow rain in from the side.

Pretty soon, though, it was a full fledged storm! There were huge driving sheets of rain and the thunder was WILD! I mean it sounded like lightning was striking very very close to us! I had on a poncho and Felix had on his raincoat that changes color when wet, and Brad tried out a disposable poncho he got from Vine (which didn’t work well with a wheelchair, as it turns out). We were trying to keep our equipment dry!

The cross country team were all doing their cooldowns around us under the open-sided roof, but soon the wind was whipping the rain across the entirety of the shelter and we were all getting drenched! We all squeezed into the shelter space between the two restroom outcroppings and waited for the storm to get better.

Felix was SUCH a champ through all of this! Even though it sounded like the thunder was originating feet from our ears, he was calm and steady throughout. He was just hanging out on my lap watching everything with interest. He’s such a brave boy!

After waiting probably 30 minutes for the rain to let up, the thunder started getting farther apart and we decided to make a break for it to our car across the street in a gravel lot.

We got out of the park and tried to cross the street. But there was like a creek full of water rushing down the side of the street that we’d have to pass through! It was probably 3 inches deep! I didn’t think our wheelchairs could make it, but Brad insisted they could so we went really fast through the water and made it!

We got up to the car and loaded everything in. It was quite difficult to load my wheelchair in as there was about an inch of water running on top of the gravel behind the car where I needed to take my wheelchair apart. My shoes got soaked! But my poncho worked and kept my body dry.

Finally we got in the car and breathed a sigh of relief. It was still storming, and we were safe… or so we thought. Brad tried to turn the car on, and it wouldn’t start! It said to check the charging system. We tried it several more times to no avail. Our battery was dead.

So we had to call roadside assistance. Luckily we have that through our insurance. We hadn’t left any lights on or anything, so we didn’t know why our battery had died. We waited for about 30 minutes for the tow truck to show up. They came earlier than expected and gave us a jump.

We drove to Advance Auto Parts and had them check our battery. They said our battery was fine, just low on charge. So I’m not sure what’s going on. We drove the rest of the way home without issue, avoiding branches on the road from the storm.

Since our battery is 4–5 years old, we figure it’s time to replace it anyway. So we are going to see if the car starts today and take it to Sam’s Club to get a new battery put in. Hopefully that will fix the problem! If not, we have to take it to a mechanic and get the alternator checked out.

This is the last thing we needed in our 5 weeks of 6 things breaking or needing emergency attention! And now Felix is having problems, so that makes 7 things breaking or needing emergency attention! We need a break from bad luck!

Pictures are below that Brad got before and during the rain, before it really came in sideways. I am wearing a blue and green sequin top with black leggings and am in my wheelchair. Brad is wearing a green sequin blazer and green pants and is in his wheelchair. Felix is a sable and white Japanese Chin wearing a rhinestone harness. When the rain got bad, I switched into a purple poncho and Felix into a blue raincoat with clouds that turn purple when it gets wet. Brad put on a clear poncho that didn’t cover his wheelchair mechanisms.

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