This morning we had some pretty bad weather come through our part of the country. Now, had we been inside our home, it wouldn't have mattered, but we weren't. We were under a tent. A fireworks tent no less. We knew it was supposed to rain, we had no idea the wind would be so bad. Our tent literally fell apart while Christina & I were trying to hold up the center poles. It was terrible. We had sent Pastor John home to clean up for the day (he & Christina stayed the night in the tent), Christina and I stayed since it was close to time to open the tent for the day. It was supposed to rain, so we had only opened up a small portion of the tent, so it would be easy to close it if it started to rain really bad.
When it started to rain, Christina and I walked around made sure things were staying dry (they are fireworks you know!). We felt comfortable with what was happening. I checked to make sure water wasn't coming in on the ground to get any boxes (ultimately the fireworks) wet . Everything seemed secure, so we felt we were prepared to wait out the rain. We both sat down to read (we have school work that has to be done), and I got a call from my husband that said "batten down the hatches, there's a big cell headed right for us". We started checking things again, making sure everything was secure and then all the sudden things started going wrong.
The rain was getting harder by the second, we took a tarp and covered up some equipment that was starting to get wet, then one of the ropes broke that was tied to a stake and a side board, then another side board broke, and from there it went. The tent begin collapsing one thing at time, I called Patrick (my husband) and told him we needed him, then called John back and told him to "get back up here". By the time Patrick got there the opposite side of the tent had started to collapse, by the time John got there were only 2 corner side boards, 1 side side board and the three center poles holding the tent up. The worse part about that was Christina and I were holding two of the center poles up.
Patrick stabilized the side board that had the rope broken, while John started going to each stake and side board and started fixing them one by one. All of this was happening while the rain was coming down in torrents and the wind was blowing so hard Patrick couldn't keep a steady force on the board he was holding. He was leaning into the wind with his back to put tension on the tent, and the wind would actually blow him forward. It was crazy. Every time it blew him forward, mine and Christina's center poles would move. There were several times I thought we were going to have to abandon ship, I wasn't the least bit convinced we were going to save anything, including the tent.
This was probably one of the scariest things I have ever experienced in my life. It has been hours since it happened and I am still overwhelmed. If I had my choice, I would deal with a robbery any day over attempting to keep a tent standing in that horrible weather. John & Patrick were soaked completely through because they had to pound the stakes back into the ground just to get the tent stabilized. I'm sure their part story would be quite exciting as well!
The worse part about the whole situation? If the men who set up our tent would have done it right, I wouldn't be writing this story. The two things that broke morning after it was set up (that Pastor John fixed and we reported we needed replaced) are the two things that started the domino effect on the tent collapsing.
The second worse part? We got yelled at. Like we had done something wrong in this whole situation. We had no control over the shoddy set-up crew. We certainly had no control over the weather. And yet, we got yelled at. I will have to admit, I was really angry at the man who corrected us. We did everything we could to protect their interest and their product and it wasn't good enough. It's important to me to have a good tent and to do things with excellence, we tried our hardest to make sure their tent didn't fall in and to protect their products, and it wasn't good enough. Our best wasn't enough...
Last year our fireworks tent was robbed (3 times), this year the tent collapsed because of bad weather. Maybe we should just give up on the whole thing....