Thursday, June 21, 2007

furious hail? quarters falling from the sky?

Wake up The Fiance, grab the camera... (It only makes sense that it follows me around everywhere.)

But before that: I remember the gmail chat I had with Emily this morning, how she told me that she snaps her blinds shut tight every night because there was this one night, with her older sister, when she turned to the night-darkened window and there was a man's face right there. He ran off, nothing happened, but how awful (and here I am, Em, writing it, which is like saying it, so it makes it real, and a little more possible--shivers).

So when I heard the first sounds, like scrapes against the window, I thought: My goodness, it's happening to me now. And I hoped it was the dogs, maybe Penelope's thin limbs against the computer chair she twines herself around. No, she was still.

Then it came down, natural, like rain does, which sounds so ridiculous to say it that way because that's how it comes down, but for someone who has only heard about this hail thing, where it dings up cars and smashes windows, well, for it to come down like those gentle things--rain, snow, dandelion fluff--it seems strange to me. This stuff was angry.

The Fiance claims I've seen hail before, and I think I did, I remember it vaguely... driving home from University on our way to the duplex (where the frat boys upstairs used to rattle the windowpanes and the recycling was always full of cheap beer cans). A car was flipped over, the rain was slanting so much that we couldn't see anything, could only just creep and hope, and I loved the way the lightning cracked across the sky (but I wasn't driving, you see, so I felt safe), the way the watchtower lit up, the way we could feel so calm when the trees were dancing, bobbing, cracking.

You know that I love storms, particularly ones with lightning and thunder. I grew up in Tennessee, after all.

This wasn't so dramatic, but I was still excited, the pinging sound rising a little to plunking, then cracking, then smashing, on our roof, after a dull day of pitching things and reading the old posts on this hilarious blog. (Her clever voice reminds me of this friend's [who doesn't post nearly enough, ahem], and her humor makes me think of Nikki, who must appreciate this sort of thing.) The hail was really only quarter sized here. It did rouse The Fiance out of bed, which is always nice to have some late night company, and Zephyr was barking like a nutbar, both dogs perked up and trotting around the first floor. Perhaps they thought it was an alien invasion, which isn't so far off from my thinking it was the boogie man. (This is what I get for watching The X-Files late at night, especially when they feature the out-in-the-woods episode with the vanishing man and mention the Mothman, which just gets me all crazy scared, which I love, but also sends me bolting up the stairs, tripping over my chest at the end of the bed, rousing The Patient Fiance yet again.)

Despite the smallness of our hail, I must share some of the vocabulary from the high and mighty, which states: "Severe thunderstorm warning for [my] county... At 134 AM CDT ... Doppler Radar indicated a severe thunderstorm ... capable of producing quarter sized hail ...." [no joke] "and damaging winds in excess of 60 MPH. This storm was located 4 miles south of [my town" A little more interesting: "This is a dangerous storm... If you are in its path ... prepare immediately for damaging winds ... destructive hail ... and deadly cloud to ground lighting. People outside should move to a shelter..."

Seriously: what is up with the use of the ellipsis? (Anyone know the plural of ellipsis? Emily?)

Some images of more dramatic finds on a local new site from the Twin Cities: this and this and this. And this charming bit of Minnesota too.

And today I was trying to sail through on five hours of sleep, trying to get my day un-flip flopped, but it's nearly-two in the morning, and here I am, uploading pictures of a hail storm because I am so fascinated with sharing the minutiae of my life with you, dear readers.

And while I am here, something not to do with hail or the sky at all, but with little frogs, little letters and babies. I'm excited that Eireann put up a series of infant jumpers, handmade by her mother (and finished with help from her friends). They're only available for twenty four hours, so see if any are left--you know, if you are in the market for a one year old infant jumper. This one gets to come home with me. I was going to give it as a gift to one of my girlfriends, until I heard the rumor that she might be having a boy. And as OK as I am with gender roles being all muddled, and as much as this friend has a twisted sense of humor (my first memory of her was reading the naughty bits of horror novels with her on the bus--and when I say it that way, it makes it sound like I was complicit, but she sort of force fed me the passages, me not expecting what my virgin eyes would stumble upon, shocked and fascinated)... Um, the jumper. Here's hoping I have a girl one day, and if not, then my cats shall wear it. (Or, maybe a friend of mine will have a girl. What are the odds?)

And on that note, I obviously need some sleep. Oh, but wait!

You see, if I'm going to lump in all kinds of non-thematic things in at the end, I may as well share a series of links for you. The recent U of MN alumni mailing (or something like that--I am a softie and send in money to my department each January, so I'm on a handful of mailing lists) featured CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture, something my friend Angie and her husband have prescribed to) and some links about finding local produce, which I think is just as important as having your name be known at the local independent bookstore:

- Pride of the Prairie
- Local Harvest

- Minnesota Grown

And that's all the excitement I have for you this very-late-night.


Felicia said...

LOL Glad you "weathered" the storm :)

KeLL said...

I can't believe it hailed in June? This crazy little Earth. We barely saw a drop of rain in sunny Otsego

Anonymous said...

1. I dig your mom already. She sounds fantastic!

2. I'm so pleased to know that a writer such as yourself, and someone who also loves Barbara Kingsolver, enjoys my blog! I'd say it made my day, but I spent the day at Sea World, and it's tough to beat a flipping killer whale in the day-making department. :-) But you're a close second, for sure.

3. Trust me, the boy has come up with innumerable "big ball of ice cream and cookies and chocolate" concoctions too... which is kinda nice actually, because then I can eat it without feeling one shred of guilt. I mean, I couldn't very well disappoint the boy, now could I?

Take care,


tongue in cheek said...

That is incredible!