Flying Under The Radar

Learning to Laugh at the Rain

A couple of years ago we were posted to Ottawa. We were happily living in the ‘burbs when we decided my parents would move in with us. We put our house on the market and started looking for something to accommodate the seven of us and two large dogs. At the time I remember dreaming my husband Chris and I were driving an out of control eighteen-wheeler down the highway. Hmm, I don’t think we have to pull old Freud out of the ground to interpret that one.

We finally found the home of all our dreams. The urban Morrison family decided to head back to the country, rural enough that going for a walk involved walking past a cornfield. Was everyone in our little military family happy with the decision? Unanimous, ‘yes’ from all parties. Was everyone prepared for the consequences of moving back to the land of one grocery store, one pizza place that’s closed in the winter, and no clothing stores? That remained to be seen. But I was pretty sure there would be some pouting in the future. And I wouldn’t be the only one.

Our moods swung high and low as we negotiated the labyrinth that is the world of real estate. On our own for the move, we actually missed the kind of assistance the military offers when we’re posted. Initially the kids were looking forward to the move, but constantly walking through the front door to be told to turn around and walk out again because of another showing was wearing thin. We thought of lowering our price. We thought of keeping it as is. We cleaned, and we cleaned, and we cleaned. The entire family was so very tired of the process. While everyone else waited for sun we waited for rain so the new sod would root in the backyard. In the end, the spring rain everyone else was tired of gave us a much-needed laugh.

In spite of the rain, and showings, and chaos my husband Chris tried to follow his training schedule for Ottawa Race Weekend. He is a very particular fellow, who appreciates routine and planning. He faced a few glitches along the way. The week before the body wash he’d stored in his backpack exploded all over his gear. He’d missed many runs helping me get the house ready for showings. But, it was still a beautiful time of year to run downtown. Colourful tulips everywhere, every shade of green. Life in full bloom. So that morning, looking for some stress relief, Chris went for a fourteen kilometre run in the rain. He was prepared. Shorts, and his favourite Running Room jacket. He wasn’t the only military member getting their PT in, ignoring the rain in favour of a good run. He acknowledged his fellow runners as they passed. All was normal until the half waypoint. He made his turn and headed back to a warm shower and his waiting work.

Suddenly other runners were returning his nod, or wave with raised eyebrows. Some looked away. Some ignored him. This went on for a kilometre or so. Finally, Chris fed up with their rebuffs looked down at himself. What the heck was their problem? Oh, it wasn’t their problem. It was his. On his way out the door Chris threw his running gear in his backpack, changed at the locker room at work, and headed into the rain. Remember the aforementioned body wash explosion? Apparently he didn’t clean out his backpack well enough. This became obvious when he looked down to see his rain soaked shorts covered in lather. Bubbly, white, soapy lather. And so he stood in the middle of the path and laughed. Laughed at himself, and laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. Sometimes my friends, that’s all anyone living this crazy military life can do, raise their face to the sky and laugh at the rain.

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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