Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wasn't that a mighty wind?

Wasn't that a mighty wind?

I don't know how it was where you live. But out here, on the farm, we had one impressive wind storm.

Even down here, down toward the bottom of the mountain, we had several gusts that came close to hitting 60 miles an hour. And with the snow (did you have snow?), the snow wasn't really doing what you would call 'falling', Instead it was more of coming sideways.

The snow would come whizzing out of the north, along the front of the mountain ridge, and then shriek out of the trees and rip straight across the field in front of the house and then vanish into the south.

I imagine it didn't touch ground until it got down around Charlottesville.

Which made me think of all those people living in those new houses up on top of the mountain.

I wonder what happened to them? 

Did they get picked up and blown away, blowing through the sky with the sideway traveling snow?

I can just picture them caught up in the top of some tall trees down Charlottesville way.

I wonder if they needed any help getting down?

I'm almost serious.

Down here the trees were bent almost sideways, especially with one of those big gusts. But it had to be worse up on top. A lot worse.

All night long and through the next day you could hear the roaring of the wind going over the top of the mountain.

And this wasn't just some abstract roar either. It was solid. Palpable. It was like the sound of a really large, world class waterfall, like Niagara or maybe the one down in Brazil. Iguassu. A constant heavy vacuum cleaner sort of sound that almost made you think that it was causing the top of the mountain sway back and forth.

I could almost visualize some of those people who live up there stepping out their front doors and Whish.

There they are in Charlottesville.

In fact, I should probably drive up and check on Scott and Brenda. I'd hate to think that the wind got them.

Which makes me remember when I first moved to Colorado, way back in the early 70's and waking up in the early morning for my first Chinook wind.

I was living in a house out by the foothills up near Fort Collins and I woke up with the house literally swaying back and forth.

I got out of bed and the front hall was already with about an inch of dust that had blown through the cracks around the front door (and yes, it was a pretty tight door).

I was afraid my Volkswagon bug was going to get blown away. I risked the wind and quickly ran outside and drove the bug around to the backside of the house and therefore more protected.

The rest of the night I was awake with the sound of the roaring wind, worrying that something would, at any moment, come crashing threw a window, or worst.

I remember with a Chinook, the one good thing, is that it gets real warm (for a little while) and then the temperature takes a nose dive and as often as not, when the windstorm is over it starts snowing.

Which bringing us back to Virginia.

I wonder if we're going to get a winter? Last week the temperature was actually spring like. Wenonah says this means that 'we're going to pay for it. We'll probably have a February where it never climbs above freezing and it snows every other day.

I'm not that pessimistic.

I mean, after the wind stopped blowing, and after I went out and assessed the damage (the ends blown off the mobile chicken house, a shed picked up and turned on its roof, a number of tree limbs on the driveway, and the trash cans. The wind came whipping around the back of the house and picked all six of them up, trash and all, and dropped them about a hundred feet down the power line).

Anyway, after I assessed the wind damage and even started cleaning up the mess I sat down at my computer and started ordering seeds for this coming season.

So far this year I've received close to 40 seed catalogues from 40 different seed companies (I'm not kidding either, that's forty seed catalogues). Word sure gets out when you have money to spend. Companies that sell only tomato seeds. Others with only heirlooms.

So many choices.

Here I am, with all these seed catalogues spread out on the floor trying to decide on which seeds I'm going to buy from which seed company.

To help matters I got phone calls last week from three different seed salesmen from three of the companies I usually buy from just 'wanting to see if you have any questions.'

The salesman from Johnny's left a message on my answering machine saying. "This is the time of year you usually put in your order. I just wanted to see if I could be of help." Actually, I had finished my Johnny's order the night before. Am I that predictable that I put in my orders the same time each year, or is it just a coincidence?

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