Friday, August 21, 2009
Let He Who Casts the First Hailstone
Night before last we had some pretty whoppin' storms roll through our neck of the woods. By whoppin' I mean they surpassed toad strangler and at times it even rained harder than a cow peein' on a flat rock.
Now with those redneck colloquialisms out of the way...
I had gotten Twitter updates all day from various weather gurus, The Weather Channel included, and knew we were probably going to get hit with something before it was all said and done. I am a weather nut and really, I find it one of my most endearing qualities, but most just find me geeky and annoying with my tweets, Facebook updates and because my mother subscribes to none of that techno mumbo jumbo she gets personal phone calls regarding the weather. See? Endearing isn't it?
Wednesday night was First Day of School Eve and even though I had been trying to implement school bedtimes for TWO WEEKS and had yet to really succeed, we managed to get everyone in bed at the appointed times. I made sure the NOAA radio was plugged in and ready to go on the far edge of the window seat, made sure my phone was charged and the volume up nice and loud so I'd hear if The Weather Channel sent a severe weather alert during the night. Those previous two actions would haunt me as the night went on.
After going through the house and saying good-bye to my new windows, because I was certain they were going to be busted out by the bowling ball sized hail on its way, Paul and I managed to get to bed around 10 or so because I had to get up at 5 and he had to get up at 5:30 the next morning. Of course, because he is male and his timing is unfailingly impeccable and he is eternally amorous he wanted to get his groove thing on. No sooner had I finally relented to his
annoying romantic overtures than the NOAA radio went off. At full volume. My heart was racing at that point, but it had nothing to do with my husband or his mojo - I was just scared. There I am trying to listen to the robotic voice detail our imminent doom across the air waves, Paul still bound and determined to be romantic, when my cell phone began loudly declaring A SEVERE! WEATHER! ALERT! Then? My favorite friend Lori sent a text as well to make sure we were okay. Ever heard of sensory overload? Ever seen those cartoons where something scares the cat and then you see the poor kitty hanging by its claws from the ceiling? That was me around 10:45 Wednesday night.
When we got our new windows we, of course, had to take down all the blinds and the ones in our bedroom kind of got broken when we washed them and hung them on the line and uhm....kind of forgot about them and a storm came through one night, thus breaking them beyond repair. So when there is lightning we basically get a light show from our bed until it passes. That particular night the light show went on until about 4:30am. I'd like to say I enjoyed it, but the fact at one point during the night when I got up out of bed to turn off the screeching weather radio I literally stomped my foot and said, "STORMS ARE STUPID AND I JUST WANT SOME SLEEP!" probably means I didn't enjoy it very much.
Over the course of that night the NOAA radio went off about 15 times and my cell phone about 439. Remember when I said the radio was on the far edge of the window seat? That meant I had to get up to turn it off. Remember when I said I had the volume up good and loud on my phone? That meant every time it went off I hit my target rate. I was so punchy and goofy that it never occured to me to turn the volume down or move the radio to within arm's reach. I'm brilliant like that.
Around 3 things quieted down and I relaxed enough that I started to drift off. Then it sounded like someone was throwing rocks at our house. I didn't even move from my position at first, I just said, "Hail." Paul mumbled, "Why are you cussin'?" I said, "HAIL, not HELL. It's hailing!" We both jumped up, he grabbed a pair of shorts, stepped into his shoes as I stood there screeching, "What are you doing? Seriously! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? If you go out there you will be killed and I have NO DESIRE to raise those kids by myself! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???"
He dumped the contents of the basket on his end table, snatched up his keys and said, "I'm taking my truck to the barn! Unlock the back door so I can come back in that way!" As he flew out the front door I said, "Fine. But when you are dead I am going to be SO mad at you!" I stood at the front picture window and watched him dodge little marbles of ice as he ran to his truck. It then hit me that we both essentially freaked out over incredibly small hail, but see, we have a metal roof and boy howdy it sure sounded like someone was lobbing icy grapefruits at our house when we were half asleep.
I ran to the bedroom, unlocked the back door and waited for him to run back up from the barn. I waited. And I waited. It quit hailing and then began the heaviest downpour I think I've ever seen in my life. Then I saw headlights from the barn, speeding through the field, coming back to the house.
I started laughing at that point because I assumed he'd decided that since the hail was over and it was raining so hard he'd just drive back up to the house and call it good. When he came through the front door, dripping, soaked to the bone, I was still laughing. He took the towel I handed him and said, "I know what you're thinking. But the tractor battery was dead. Couldn't get my truck in the barn. Hush."
Shortly after we got back in bed, neither of us the least bit sleepy, Sam joined us because the child got his mad light sleeping skillz from his mother. The three of us enjoyed the light show until about 4:30 when Sam decided we were all out of mortal danger and could go back to bed.
Looking back, we should've just put the kids to bed in the cellar that night, tucked ourselves in with them and set an alarm for 5am. Because sleeping in lawn chair in a 6x8 concrete underground room would've been WAY more restful.
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