Straight-Line

by Bella Rum

We had a terrible storm yesterday. I was making chickpea salad because The Grand Trio is coming for the weekend and they love it. In spite of the time – around noon – the light was quickly fading outside. I turned another light on in the kitchen. The television was on in the family room. Some political rubbish or other was interrupted by “severe” storm warnings. H looked out the window and uttered a colorful expletive. I turned and saw what he saw. Dark, boiling clouds, looking for all the world like the wrath of God, were coming down on us. This would have been the perfect time for a good blogger to grab the camera. Yet again, I failed you.

Instead…

I continued with my chickpea salad because even when God’s wrath is bearing down, one must eat. H always says aliens could walk through the front door when I’m in the middle of a project, and I’d never look up. What can I say? I’m a very focused person. Some would say inflexible, but they’d be wrong.

In a few minutes, all hell broke loose. It was a straight-line wind. Straight-line winds are quick and vicious. They cause a lot of destruction in a very short time. They’re often confused with tornadoes because they cause similar damage, but they are different from the rotating winds associated with tornadoes.

Straight-line wind is wind that comes out of a thunderstorm. If these winds meet or exceed 58 miles per hours then the storm is classified as severe by the National Weather Service. These winds are produced by the downward momentum in the downdraft region of a thunderstorm. An environment conducive to strong straight-line wind is one in which the updrafts and thus downdrafts are strong, the air is dry in the middle troposphere and the storm has a fast forward motion. — Source: Meteorologist Jeff Haby

After a jolting impact with our roof, we saw a big tree limb in the backyard. It had fallen out of one of our tall trees at the back of our yard. When H checked the attic, he found part of the limb sticking straight through the roof.IMG_5929

When things settled down, he did a walkabout and found an entire section of our porch railing in the back yard. The wind caught it just right, ripped it off and tossed it out in the yard. Neighbors who live a few houses away lost some of the siding on their house. It was in our side yard. The cover to our gas meter was gone. My bird houses were scattered about the yard. What a mess.

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H called a roof guy first. We had a name and number because we had a leak repaired earlier in the year, and this fellow did a good job. Then he called the gas company. Let me tell you, they were Johnny on the spot. The guy was here in fifteen minutes. He checked out the gas fireplace, etc. and all was well. Whew!

In a short time, everything was calm. The storm moved through quickly, leaving destruction in its path. That’s how straight-line winds are. They come swiftly and leave just as swiftly, like a bad guest who moves on as soon as he raids your refrigerator, uses all the fresh towels, tracks mud over your new carpet and lets the dog into traffic.

Later that day, H went out. When he returned, he had the empty version of this in his hand. IMG_5663
He found his empty colonoscopy prep jug a couple of blocks away. The wind had blown our garbage can over and dispersed its contents around the neighborhood.

My son called a few minutes ago. They canceled for this weekend. My DIL and two of the kids have a nasty stomach virus – vomiting and diarrhea. My grandson introduced it to the family. He first gave it to his mom and now his older sister has it. Dad and the two-year-old are the only ones standing. I hope they don’t get it, but what are the chances of that? We’ll see them soon, though. That’s the best part about them living closer. “Next time” is never too far away.

I guess we’ll be eating chickpea salad for a couple of days… oh, and what about those cupcakes?

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