Something To Chew On

September 9-15, 2019

By Becca Bona


When life gets in-tents


People always tend to end up in the kitchen at parties. I think there’s a similar phenomenon involving people ending up under tents at events. 


You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones your friends at the beach lovingly refer to as a ‘pop up,’ which provides shade and a place to cram towels, ice chests, and sometimes even people. You’ve seen these, in various square sizes lining the sidewalk at craft beer fairs, strung together for college football tailgates and so on. 


Heck – most of you reading this might even own one. 


That’s why, when I convinced my parents to accompany me to the Hot Springs Craft Beer Festival for Brewed in Arkansas a couple of months ago, I should have remembered the tent. I can’t believe I forgot it.  


It turned out to be a dreary, rainy Saturday and our Dollar Store purchase of a flimsy, PVC tent (nothing at all like those sturdy, accordion like pop ups) was rickety at best. 


For a couple of hours my Dad and I actually held onto the top of the frame, to keep it from blowing away. We were more than glad when the sun finally came out, and we took that as our cue to take time to enjoy the libations. 


Over Labor Day weekend my boyfriend and I headed to San Antonio to attend an event of interest. Said event took place essentially in a large parking lot. The heat index was near 110 degrees, so I was more than thankful that my boyfriend remembered the tent, unlike I had a few months prior.  


Over the course of the weekend, that pop up got some solid use – namely by me. 


As I was sitting underneath it reading at one point, I heard an incredible commotion behind me. 


I turned around in time to discover the cause – completely sunny skies to my right, and a dark, angry-looking storm cloud on my left, with rain falling so thick my line of sight was obscured. 


I immediately shot out of my chair and began moving everything around me under the tent, doing my best to keep our sundries dry. My boyfriend was rushing to roll up the windows to our vehicle when the first gust of wind hit. 


The tent above my head whipped about furiously, and I instinctively reached up to grab the upper frame. I was able to keep the tent steady through the next gust, but the third bout of wind came at me like a solid wall, and I felt my feet lift off the ground. 


From my vantage point I let out a terrified scream, unsure of whether to hang on or let go. To be honest, I’ve never been airborne during a storm before. 


Luckily, the people around me grabbed onto the tent, helping me wrangle it back to the ground. My boyfriend finished with the car and was back under the tent, helping us secure it to the ground. 


Around that time the sun came out, and just like that – the storm was gone. I was a little shaky, considering I’d just experienced flight for the first time outside of an airplane. My boyfriend noticed my expression and smiled at me. 


“I guess you could say things got a little intense there,” he said, laughing. 


All I could do was join in. 


  • Becca Bona
    Becca Bona