A Burst of Something…

I think my parents have some type of personality pull with the elements around them. Forces, real or imagined, form around them and burst with excitement while in their presence. Sounds corny, I know. But it has to be true. Right?

Take the following…

A few years ago, my dad came out for a month to help when I had a major operation. The second day he was here we were hit with the winds and rain from a hurricane originating in the Gulf of Mexico. I live in southern Indiana — far, far, FAR away from any large bodies of water. We were without power for about 5 or 6 hours and we had corn stalks all over the yard. The nearest farm is over a mile away, and there are plenty of houses and buildings between here and there.

The following visitation coincided with flash floods and torrential thunderstorms. We were without electricity for 4 hours the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. When it was over, the grill was over-turned and we had branches in the yard and driveway. The nearest tree is 5 houses away, up the block and across the street at the T – with my house being at the bottom of the T.

During the next visit with my parents in town, temperatures had dropped below freezing during rain, causing the roads to be covered with ice and snow. Needless to say, everything was closed. Although we didn’t lose power, we did have to break out some horse blankets and do lots of baking to keep the cold from seeping through the walls.

This past visit brought fireworks. We were sitting around the table, eating and talking, when all of a sudden the window lit up reddish-orange light accompanied by a boom so severe it shook the house, followed by the lights going out. Though it was not weather related, we lost power for about 4 hours. The transformer box on the telephone pole had a short in the wire, causing several pieces of the wire to break apart. Sparks flying as the pieces landed. Magnetic personalities? I’m not sure, but when the parental units are around, life is…interesting.

 

Rain along the horizon

I took this picture in July on our way back from Washington D.C. You can see the rain is about to come and open the skies. It was not raining where we were, but by the time we were on the next mountain, the heavens had opened up and the rain was coming down. Thankfully, we ended up driving in and out of the rain. Nothing too bad to stop us from traveling. However, there were a few motorcycles stopped under a few bridges, waiting for the rain to let up enough for them to travel.

The roof did what?

Monday morning started typical enough at 5 am–alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze. Only the second snooze didn’t “take”. I lifted my head to see if I hit the wrong button. I use my cell phone as an alarm. Silly me, my alarm and the ring sound the same. Yeah, I corrected that problem.

I squinted at the numbers and read Jasper Schools. Crap! I sat up, tapped the answer key as thoughts of the previous weeks tornadoes passed through my mind. What could the school corporation be calling about this morning?

To cancel school, of course! My mind slowed down enough to process the information being spoken through the recorded voice of the school superintendent. I heard “all schools are closed because of an emergency at the high school”. At the high school? But my kids don’t attend the high school. What emergency could affect the entire school district?

Do you think the recorded voice could expand on that point? Nope. Instead I listened to the run down of all the closed schools in the district–as if I somehow missed that point when the recording said “ALL schools are closed”.

At the end of the ten minute message, the answer came. The high school’s gymnasium roof collapsed during the night. Ahh! That would explain it. Wait…what?!

Here are some pictures sent from the firemen who responded to the clean-up. Yikes!

That would be the ceiling on top of the bleachers….looking outside…scoreboard on the ground….basketball hoop on the floor…

Scary! Thankfully, no one was in the gym at the time of the collapse. The cause of the collapse was due to the heavy rains we have been having in the area over the past three weeks. Out of the past 17 days, 13 days were rain. From Sunday night brought 2 inches of the expected 6 inches over a 3-day period.

The good little children returned to school on Tuesday, except the high school, which returned to school today.

Now the school district is searching for a reasonable place for their graduation ceremony, which is to be held in 2 weeks.

Tuesday’s Tornado

Good Morning Sunshine! The Earth says “Hello!” Or rather, the winds said hello last night.

Last night, the tornado siren’s went off just as I was settling in bed. Granted, we were expecting a visitor as the radar showed a bold dark red over our county. We woke the boys enough for them to stagger like drunks into the hallway. Matt asked what was going on as a bright bolt of lightning and thunder rumbled, which immediately caused the 8-year-old to ask if he should cry. That would be a no, thank you for asking. Although I am not sure if that bruised his little ego or not, but he was just as happy to close his eyes and promptly pass out in the little nest I made for him.

But the fun didn’t stop there. The lights flashed a few times, but not enough to make the clocks go haywire…again, thank God! Though I had my NOAA radio and my flashlight within easy reach in the event we did lose power.

My husband and I attempted to get comfortable on the floor, listening to the rain lash at the windows as thunder roared along with the flashing of lightening. We heard the siren go off again and within moments I heard what sounded like a freight train a few miles away. My husband didn’t hear it at first (too many concerts when he was a teen?) but when the rain stopped for a few seconds, he heard it too. Silly guy thought it was a truck up the street. But he quickly realized he was mistaken as one of those red trucks across the street left the building and yet the train sound was still humming. The freight train like sound was not on top of the house, it wasn’t near us, but we sure could hear it!

My oldest daughter was working and called home shortly after the siren blared. She was checking to make sure we were home and were all okay. I’m not too sure where she thought we were but I assured her we were prepared for anything. She said the store had everyone go to the changing area and huddle together while the storm was passing by. As she ended the conversation, she said she would call if something bad were to happen. (Because that’s what every mother wants to hear!)

My husband checked the radar on his phone and notified me of the blotch of red still surrounding us. However, the storm on the screen wasn’t very wide and it would be gone by about two am. Lucky for me, it was barely midnight. Oh boy!

And so we prepared to spend the remaining few hours pretending we were comfortable on the floor, another siren went off. That is three–yep, t-h-r-e-e!!–within an hour! Yeah, I knew this was going to be a very l-o-n-g night!

At two o’clock, we decided it was safe to return to a real mattress. The winds had died down even though there was still rain and thunder. We left the boys on the floor, after all they don’t feel the hardness of the ground as us old people do.

Of course, even if there was still  a threat, I think we would have moved regardless. The floor does not come close to the Motel 8, let alone Holiday Inn. Shocking, I know!

This morning at work everyone was running on little to no sleep and discussing what they heard, saw, felt at their own homes. Some people are without power. Some have trees down in their yards. One woman had a tree land on her car and wasn’t able to get into work.

It could have been worse for us, but I am thankful to report nothing occurred in or around my house. Unless you count the tree limbs and branches which are in the yard…Yeah, the nearest tree is where, exactly?

The fun never ends in Southern Indiana!

Enjoy your day!