Thunder, lightning, and hail on the way home from work today. I run into the house, shout "Hi!" to the Missus and little ones, grab the tarp from the garage and disappear into the back yard. It's dumping now, the occasional hailstone pops me right on the bridge of my nose, and the glasses are starting to fog up (curse them). The wind is coming in gusty, and the tarp keeps trying to (a) fly away, or (b) knock me down (depending on which side of it I stand). It takes almost five minutes to get the ridge-line up (it's not continuous), and while I have some dubious form of shelter now, the tie-outs are not set up, and much to my dismay, I notice that my fingers are getting cold and difficult to manage. The mason's line I'm using offers absolutely NO resistance to work with (wonderful if you're leisurely setting up on a sunny day, but MADDENING now that the fingers are rebelling), and, ironically, the ground is repelling and bending my stakes. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, I'm finally huddled in a completely set up tarp.
I learned something today--I suck at setting up tarps. The no-pressure-everything-is-roses outdoors guy that was able to do this somewhere around 5-8 minutes fooled me into thinking that it was all good--it wasn't. Turns out I'm a fair-weather tarper only. It gets better doesn't it? My kids, who by definition have no sense at all, are all looking at me like I'm a complete nutcase for spending all that time outside getting pounded just to put up a tarp that I'm not using. They don't get it; I want to move from tarp poseur to tarp pro (I've got a LONG way to go ).
Now I have to go dry off