Friday, May 8, 2009

I don't like being part of a weather phenomenon -or- Welcome to this morning's Derecho

I woke up a little early this morning. Ah, Friday! A nice deep breath, wiggle a little bit, snuggle the soft comforter a little closer around my face and eventually peek an eye open.
Huh. The light looks a little funny this morning. Must just be really early.
They did say on the news last night that we'd have some thunderstorms moving in this morning.
Two eyes open now.
The light really is an odd color.!

Let me roll over and take a look out the window...
Really green sky.
Tornado weather.
Ever have one of "those" mornings?

Well, the lightning flashed and the thunder crashed and the storm was on.
I could hear Seth out russling around in the living room. He loves thunderstorms.
More lightning flashes. One must have been really close, the thunderclap shook the house.
Time for breakfast!
The morning weather report is showing lots of the orange and red colors around us (which means lots of rain or more intense parts of the storm--for those of you {Californians} who never get to see much rain on the weather radar).
Time to get the rest of the kids up!
The weather guy is telling us that we'll have severe thunderstorms but the biggest threat with this will be hail. No mention of tornadoes. Stupid green sky, what does it know?!
So the kids start getting ready for school. Even the oatmeal looked a little green this morning. It has raisins in it. You like raisins.
I glance out the windows and the sky to our Southwest is a very ominous black. Oh boy, here it comes. The wind picks up, the rain pours and there are lots of rowdy lightning and thunder.

Gunny the cat had to come inside to eat his breakfast this morning.
We watch the radar and a nice pink splot (for you weather radar retards out there, pink is worse than orange and red!) over us.
Well, as soon as this passes we should be in the clear and we'll head out to school.

The kids think it would be better to just skip school today.

The storm eases up a bit so I load the kids in the flaming minivan of death (not just ANY minivan can make it through these storms ya know). We start out. Our driveway is a river. Cool! We get to do some white-water rafting on the way to school this morning!
We get to the bottom of the driveway and there's a nice little lake between the highway and us. Good thing I know the level of the road so I can judge that the water is still shallow enough to cross, right?
Off to school we go!
The ditches on either side of the road (the ditches are about 5-6 feet deep) are completely full and running rivers. A little water is coming up on the sides of the road but being the good little country girl that I am, I've given up my Californian-coming-through-regardless-of-the-weather driving and slow down.
So far so good.
We get up to the next highway and start into town. Oooooh, looks like town is having more of a storm than us! Yippee!
The day turns to night, the downpour increases and the wind is pushing on the car like nothing else. We slow down even more and watch the road closely following each little dash we see in the middle of the road because that's all we can see.
We made it to the school! *WHEW!*
Get rid of the kids (you didn't think I was actually taking them to school because I was concerned about their education did you?!) and start out of the driveway. Hmmm.... you know, I really can't see. I notice a lot of cars just parked in the driveway with people waiting out the storm so I figure I'll be smart like them and park.
I turn on the radio.
No music, they've turned over to the local weather guy (remember Mr. "all hail, no tornadoes"?) so he can announce all the tornado warnings going off.
Oh, that's fun.
Also, there's this huge line of crazy-strong winds coming at us (called a derecho). It is at this point that I look around and realize the parking lot is surrounded by big, huge, tall trees. Oh, this would be why all these leaves and little twigs are falling all over my car. Huh, that tree is leaning way over. Cool! Oh.
Now a spotter somewhere outside of Springfield is talking about seeing trees snapped off. Not uprooted mind you, but snapped off. Like a toothpick. Now he sees a flag pole bent in half...
Yep, time to not be here in this parking lot.
I ease out onto the road (where nobody is driving because most people out here tend to not drive when you can't see beyond the front of your car). I figured I'd go down the street to the grocery store parking lot. They don't have any trees.
Dang, we shouldn't have taken the Playstation out of the car, I could use something to do while I'm sitting here waiting to die!
It's starting to flood up by the front of the store. Wow! I sit and watch as this lake of water gets bigger and bigger and is coming my way. A man comes out of the grocery store and gets in his truck (parked next to the store) and starts to make his way through the lake. The water is up over his tires. He makes it through and parks up past me. And the water keeps creeping towards me.
O.k., maybe this isn't such a good place either!
Off I go again! Back out on the highway, I notice the water is more up on the road than it had been when I'd last passed this way. Go slow. At least there aren't a bunch of good ol' boys running around playing splash-tag in their pick up trucks.
I notice a tree uprooted at the church. I get to my highway and there's a tree down across it but there's just enough room for me to scoot by. I make it all the way along the highway and get to the hill that goes down to where my driveway turns off. Yippeee! I'm home!
I come to the top of the hill and....wait for it.....there's a HUGE lake, no, scratch that, a HUGE RIVER where the highway and my driveway are supposed to be. Huh. And I didn't bring my fishin' rod either.
I go down the hill and stop at the water's edge.
I notice a truck coming down the hill behind me. He pulls over next to me and I see it is the guy who lives across the highway. He rolls down his window and the heads of his two teenaged sons pop out. Three big grins shine at me. (if you hadn't already figure this out, there ain't a lot to do out here, it doesn't take much to entertain us) My neighbor tells me he's going to try it and then he'll wait and watch for me. If I get stuck, he tells me, they'll get me out. So off he goes.
How come nobody has ever told me that one of the things people do for entertainment out here is drive around and see if they can get Californians to do Stupid Californian tricks?!
O.k., I can do this, the flaming minivan of death can do off I go. Oh boy! And here I am all by myself, I don't even have anyone that I can yell "here, hold my beer and watch this!" to. Ugh.
Wait a minute. I'm on the other side! I did it! I MADE IT!!!!!! Whooo hooo!!!!!
Oh, yeah, well, I knew I could do it all along of course. Why would I try something like that if I wasn't absolutely sure I could do it?!
I look up and see my neighbor's two sons plastered to the back window of their truck. This is when I realize the whole "Stupid Californian tricks" thing.
Up my driveway I go. Home sweet home!
I walk in to a phone ringing away. Hello happy phone! I'm alive! I'M ALIVE!! And there's my husband on the other end of the line, stress cracking his voice. Apparently he had been trying to call to check on me but the storm must have killed my cell phone signal. I start to tell Jason about the flood on the highway when he informs me that he knows all about it: "I was behind you!!!" I'm told.
I guess I did have an audience afterall.
Shoot! I should have invited him into the van with me, then I would have had someone to yell "Here, hold my beer and watch this!" to.
Jason informs me that he didn't cross the water but turned around after he had watched me cross. Wow I sure did marry a smart man! How did I end up with such a smart man! I do love him so much!
And, we're not even going to talk about the moment I realized the house door was standing open and how my living room is drenched!!!
Oh, so the derecho thing. We had these gnarly winds hit that had the velocity of an EF1 tornado but were sustained for about a half an hour. We were lucky that we didn't have any damage up here (the barn still stands!) but I did see a lot of trees down and there are reports of trees down, windows blown out, and powerlines down in Kansas and around here. They tried to pinpoint some tornadoes but because of the crazy winds, they really couldn't get a handle on them with the radar. Spotters were out and did report tornadoes on the ground and they are now working to figure out how many and what was tornadoes and what was straight-line winds and what kind of mess there is to clean up.
The sun is out now and it looks to be a pretty day. I'm off to go plant my spagetti squash and my blue pumpkins!

No comments:

Post a Comment