Blown In

A Colorado weather report:

My goodness, today has been FRIGHTENING. I've never been in a windstorm quite like this one before.

Yesterday, deceived by the cheerful sun and blue skies, I went out to the park. At first I thought, "Hum, this wind is rather harsh," then I started having trouble walking against it. I was thinking, "This the is the strongest wind I've ever felt," when I suddenly noticed a dark cloud in the distance rising with alarming alacrity, and moments later was being pelted by every loose bit of dirt and dust in the entire valley. By the time I dove back into the car (total time spent outside: 7 minutes) I was spitting grit out of teeth.

The paper that day, as I struggled to get it out of the mailbox before the wind could tear it from my fingers and blow it all the way to Kansas, read, "Severe Winds Predicted..." Yes.

It's been so deceptive, this wind. From inside the day looks perfectly manageable, all bright and breezy, with the first real warmth we've had in a long time. It lures me out of the house. Yet the moment I step outside, just as soon as I'm too far from the door to dive back into it again, I'm surrounded by the most tremendous sound.

It's a hard sound to describe. In print, it might look something like;


It's the sort of sound that makes a person crouch down. The sound you might hear if you were in the middle of a mighty breaking roller, or inside a kettledrum. It's the sound of wind tearing through the trees at 95mph.

I've heard disturbing weather-related sounds before. When I lived in the rainforest, we could hear the rain coming from miles way. It was a murmur in the distance at first, the patter against the leaves, then slowly multiplied a million fold like someone turning up the volume on an applauding audience. Whenever we heard it, we'd have conversations like:

"Rain's coming."



"Better get the clothes in."


Actually, the conversations were never as relaxed as that. We were always stressed about drying our clothes. It rained so frequently, and was otherwise so incessantly damp, that the few precious hours of baking hot sun were the only chance we had to get the mold completely dried out of our clothes/mattresses/sundry items. If our clothes were still on the lines when the rains came, it meant another whole day of attempted drying. So our conversations were more along the lines of:


"Rain? Aaa! Rain!!!"

*group stampede to tear all the clothes off the lines*

I've also been in some pretty frightening thunderstorms, the sort where lightening is flashing all around, trees are exploding, etc. Those things are scary. But they don't generate a constant fear. It's more of a fearful anticipation, waiting to see where and when the next bolt...and thenCRASH BOOM! You jump ten feet off the ground, but you're still alive; you haven't been hit. Getting through one of those kinds of storms is stressful in the same way that watching a suspenseful thriller is stressful.

Now a windstorm like this, this generates a feeling of immediate NO, sort of like when the VCR suddenly eats that suspenseful thriller you've been watching and starts spitting out tangled loops of tape while shrieking like an injuring animal. This does not call for an edge-of-your-seat, wait-and-see type strategy. The body's instincts say, "I am not going to deal with this. Do not want." Immediately you either go rip the VCR out of the wall (does anyone still have VCRs?) or else go make some popcorn and ignore it while it catches on fire.

That's my reaction to the windstorm. I go outside, am knocked over by a blast of sticks and dirt and leaves, the whole world roars at me, and I retreat. Do not want.

This storm's been going for days now, and is supposed to last until tomorrow. I can't do a darned thing outside until it quits. I've heard about getting snowed in and rained in, but whoever heard about getting blown in?

And now something has just clunked down loudly on the roof - the days have been filled with mysterious clunks and cracks - so I'm going to go investigate whether a tree has fallen, or whether an elk has been picked up and dropped down, or whether we still have a roof over there at all.

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