Taking the umbrella for a test drive in freezing rain

The three-year old developed a fascination with umbrellas this summer when we had enough rain to make 2007 the wettest year on record. So, when I saw a cute ladybug one in Chicago a couple months ago, I brought it back for her. She's been hankering to use the umbrella since then, but the weather didn't cooperate. No rain since the time I bought the umbrella.

Until today ... only the temperature is hovering around 32F (zero celsius) and so, we are getting freezing rain. The rain that fell overnight has iced up. The grass crunches as you walk on it. One of the elms in our front yard has doubled over from the weight.

But the 3-year old woke up, took one look through the window and squealed that she wanted her umbrella. I didn't have the heart to object.

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