There are very few things in life that scare me. Severe, sneaky storms are one. I am thinking that when God said “Let there be light,” he was looking at one nasty monster! This is how it goes…
It’s a nice warm summer day. A gentle cooling breeze is blowing. The sky is a beautiful color blue with a dotting of clouds. The birds are flying and singing all over the place. A butterfly gently floats from flower to flower competing with the bees. Then it begins.
The clouds start to thicken. The breeze picks up to a bluster. The blue sky is now only viewed slightly on the far east side of the sky. The clouds start to turn from fluffy white to Halloween shades of gray. The insects disappear (how do they know?).
The wind has now grown into a mighty whip, snapping off small branches and peeling back any loose matter on or around buildings. They sky now almost black with the fierce clouds swirling in all directions. The birds are fighting hard to find shelter from what, they know, is coming.
Then, suddenly everything stops…you look, you listen, you do NOT breathe. In the distance, you can see it coming. There is now a sheet flowing from the black clouds to the ground and its heading right for you. You run to shut down any non-essential power spots. Chase all the critters you can round up into the barns. Cover as many plants as you can with what used old sheets you have in case this monster is carrying hail with it.
Deathly quiet! Ping, ping, ping…a few raindrops on the metal roof. Pinga da pinga da ping ping ping – bigger rain drops and more of them. Now the gathering beast is close enough you can hear it roar. It sounds like a cross between a train racing down the tracks and a scraper on a winter windshield, and you can see it coming right for you.
The challenge begins. Did I get it all turned off? Is everything as protected and covered as possible? Did I forget anything? Do I still have time to tie down one more thing? The answer to all of these is usually no because it’s too late to do anything if you want to.
Now all you can do is sit and watch and pray.
The monster is here!
So far, no hail – you finally breathe a bit. The winds pick up, and the empty bucket you left by the pump starts rolling across the driveway – dang, ya knew you forgot something!
Since it is just a heavy windy rain, you start watching the clouds. Which way are they moving? Is there an end in sight yet? Are they bunching up anywhere? Are there any white streaks (sure sign of some dangerous heavy hail)? Then everything stops!
No wind. No rain. No birds. No sounds at all. Once again you are looking up (praying a bit harder now), “Please no twister, please no twister!” You begin repeating this over and over again as you watch the clouds steadily sucking together into one spot in the sky. Are they swirling in a circle? You watch. You wait. You listen. Then…suddenly…just as fast as it started up…a glistening ray of light breaks through the black mess. Let there be light!
My sisters and I survived a very close encounter with a tornado when we were all very young. Took out the machine shop, the back end of the garden, our tree house, and a few other areas, but missed our home. We were only about 20 feet from the back door (where stupid me was watching it take out the tree house till my older sister dragged me to the basement spouting some not-so-nice words-lol) to the tree house. I have been fascinated by them ever since. I can relate to the movie Twister.
The funniest part – I love a good storm! A steady rain puts me to sleep in a heartbeat. The clouds are a never-ending display of life and movement. And, if lucky enough, a booming thunder makes me jump a foot to prove I am still alive (lol – sick I know). The only part the really creeps me (other than the twister) is the lightening.
I love watching, what we call, heat lightening. It’s the kind that just flashes up in the clouds – beautiful! The other kind I only like to watch from a distance. I have seen it strike straight down and split a tree, knock out a transformer box (no, not the Alien Robot Transformer, the kind that supplies electric to a specific area.), and kill a cow. I hate driving in them too. Huge fear of it hitting my metal car and I get fried. (Big push for wearing rubber sneakers right now! Hee hee) I know this fear is silly, but a couple more people in Colorado recently died (idiots on a golf course – AGAIN – you would think they would learn… Lightening storm-head for shelter! Duh).
Oh, and we get double and triple rainbows out here – woo hoo (didn’t in WI).