Last night I was having such a vivid dream. It was wartime and the air raid sirens were going off. I knew I had to get to my bomb shelter, but I had a nice bowl of stew that I was eating. So I was carefully carrying my bowl of stew to the shelter, which was about the size of a dog house and shaped very like that only made of concrete with a sturdy door. I was crouched down to enter the structure when suddenly Jim elbowed me in the side and said “Wake up. The tornado sirens are going off.”
A wild burst of adrenalin woke me enough to get me out of bed and headed into my clothes, but I was not awake enough to think that all that might be easier if I reached over and turned on my bedside lamp…. So in the confusing dark I put on Jim’s long john bottoms and said, “Geez, these are Jim’s, where are my effing pants anyway” and continued stumbling around in the dark until I was dressed. Grabbed my rings off the ring holder and shoved them in my jewelry box, toted it to the basket and put it in the basket. Added the massage money pouch, the checks from yesterday’s work and the checkbook and my purse. Forgot the camera.
Jim was over at the computer looking at the radar and said, “Don’t worry. We have plenty of time. The line of storms is still two counties over, we probably have a good 20 minutes before they get here. I truly bless technology for the long warning we have when this sort of weather phenomenon approaches, I really do.
Anyway, I proceeded to collect the couple of dragons and their hoards that we generally take to the shelter with us. Got the dog’s leash, corralled Mallory and incarcerated her in the hell hole (according to her) that is her cat transport basket.
There is something about the wail of a tornado siren that keeps your adrenalin level up. It must be the rising and falling pitch coordinated with the doppler effect caused by the fact that the whole siren structure rotates as it sounds. Anyway, my adrenalin was sufficiently high.
Off to the west, you could see the darkness of the towering clouds that contained the tornado; impressive bursts of lightning were streaking all directions from it. The wind was getting pretty meaningful, and the storm line was within 10 miles when we proceeded out to the shelter: cat, dog, and dragons in hand. We hunkered down in the dim light of our emergency lantern, and wound up the hand cranked radio to listen to the weather watchers reporting on the damage to the west of us.
Suddenly the wind became etremely fierce, and Jim finally shut the door of the root cellar. Mallory was complaining bitterly about the treatment she was receiving, informing us that being in the basket was stupid, annoying and by God why couldn’t she be out of there and not only that but what was that awful banshee noise that surrounded us and make it quit. NOW. NEOOWW. Ruby was curled up on her carpet piece on the gravel of the root cellar floor, accustomed to our weird intermittent nocturnal migrations thence accompanied by distressing noise not the least was the vociferous complaints of the stupid cat.
“Things” thumped against the door of the root cellar, the wind became a screaming fury outside. After a time, the radio informed us that the storm had moved off to the north and west and we could emerge from our shelters. So we did.
Thankfully, the house was still there intact and we went inside. After a while, the power came back on and our adrenalin levels dropped to a level where sleep was again possible, and so we went to bed.
This morning, we assessed the damage. The tarp that shelters the wood shed had been shredded. Literally. It is one of those woven blue plastic things that you see everywhere, and it was interesting to me to see how it was torn into many pieces that were less than half an inch long. There were longer ones too. We spent the better part of an hour cleaning up shreds of blue plastic. While we were doing that I discovered a large number of pieces of vinyl siding that had been dumped in our yard by the storm. I figure that may have come from over by Buffalo where an entire trailer park was destroyed.
Out in the garden, the wind flipped the cold frame and shattered the glass.
It also moved the tomato cages around.
While we were walking around assessing the effects of the storm, we discovered that the swing at the east edge of the property was tipped over, no damage. We just had to tip it upright. The storm rotated the bird feeders a couple of turns too. Out on the porch of the sauna is where Jim has stored the primary fermentation barrel of the winery, and it took that off the porch and deposited it in the labyrinth. Looking at the path it had to have followed showed us that we definitely were experiencing some of the rotational winds at the edge of the tornado.
Turns out the real tornado travelled a path that is about a quarter of a mile from here as the crow flies. The Tracker boat factory had some damage, lots of boats flipped around, some of them wound up on the Interstate. And the wheelbarrows and garden stuff stored outside and Lowe’s and Sutherland’s (a couple of hardware stores) were thrown around their parking lots.
It really could have been a lot worse. Our shingles are tacked on properly, is all I can say. We didn’t lose a single one.
And Mallory is glad that the cat carrier is back in its corner, although she has been viewing it with grave suspicion all morning.
I had it in mind to tell you all about the saga of the mop, but perhaps that can wait until tomroow. Meanwhile, I leave you with the images of the potatoes I found out in the garden while I was cleaning up the bed where I intend to plant peas this year. Those went into the soup.
And on the dining table we have enjoyed these daffodils and hellebore.
I can hear chain saws a couple of houses over. Someone must have lost a tree to the storm. Well, we live in interesting times weatherwise, and I’m sure they will get even more interesting.