If watching the local news didn’t worry me enough my throbbing knees do. Bone rubbing on bone from too many years of athletic abuse, I am usually able to control the pain with Voltaren gel and Tylenol Arthritis pain relief…not this morning. My aching knees are much better predictors of impending violent low-pressure weather than any meteorologist.
My little piece of heaven is hunkering down awaiting a little piece of hell. Violent weather has already killed two and it is on the way here. Long lines of thunderstorms with predicted high winds and a worry that they may become circular in motion.
My home has weathered storms since 1892. I have been privy to them since 1987 and we have dodged several weather bullets. Whether tornadoes or straight-line winds, we have been a near miss or a glancing blow on many different occasions. I haven’t cleared all the downed trees from our last brush with fate, this past winter’s ice storm.
The floors and cabinets found in the newer addition came from our first near miss. An ancient pecan came down next to the house…followed by an ancient black walnut that blocked traffic for hours on Highway 11. Later our renovator would turn them into pecan floors, black walnut cabinets, and countertops now gracing our home. I’d just soon have left them upright and in the ground.
I just stepped out on to the porch. The air is humid and the breeze tropical. Every time the wind ceases, I wonder if this is the calm before the storm and check the color of the western sky.
A couple of decades after our first brush with fate, I arrive home one evening to thick, hot and humid, still air and a sky that had turned a brassy, sick green. I took my bike off my car as nearby thunder rolled; I heard a locomotive coming over my western hilltops…there is no railroad beyond my western hilltops.
I barely made it inside and hunkered down in a hallway with my bride and two puppy dogs before all hell broke loose. Thirty or so downed trees stacked like Pick Up Sticks in the nearby ravine greeted me the next morning along with a storage building ripped open by the falling top of a tulip poplar and a fence line smashed by a persimmon tree.
On the eastern side of the high rim of hills, the local camp, Lookup Lodge, found themselves trapped with their charges and spent a night without power, their escape routes blocked by downed trees. My little piece of heaven had dodged another direct hit.
We have a wildlife wilderness filled with pecans, persimmon, black walnuts, hemlocks, tulip poplars, and oaks. That’s just around the house. We love them…most of the time…but not during the season of spring and summer storms. Big tall trees that could easily reach us if they were to come down. I can’t help but wonder if this will be the big one.
So, we are hunkered down watching the line of thunderstorms march from Atlanta on tv, keeping up with tornado alerts, making sure our cellphones are charged and water is taken up…just in case. Sometimes I think I liked it better when we didn’t know…days before Doppler radar and other improvements in weather forecasting.
Those thrilling days of yesteryear when forecasting was “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning” or a falling barometer meant “Batten down the hatches matey, we’re in for a blow.” Days when my knees didn’t ache so much…or at all.
I don’t wish ill on anyone so I don’t know what my prayers should be. I guess I’ll pray for it all. “Please keep everyone safe and undamaged.” Just in case, make sure all of you in the line of fire are hunkered down someplace safe. Wise men have said, “God takes care of those who take care of themselves.” Please, “Take care of yourselves.”
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