Gully Washer

(no, I didn’t take this picture….)

On radar it was just a red, deformed blob. An angry yolk in a misshapen egg slinking across a satellite map. I looked it up after the fact — just to see how meteorologists depict a storm like that.

Normally, we know when bad weather’s coming. You’d have to be blind not to see a wall of gray gathering from the West. It’s like a ticking clock: when the furthest ridge disappears from view, you have 30 minutes to finish mowing. When the near ridge evaporates you’ve got 15 minutes, tops.

But yesterday we weren’t outside and this storm could have crept up on us, if not for our failsafe detection system.

I was in the bathroom stepping out of the shower, when I nearly brained myself on the sink as I tripped over the dog. Maisie was cowering near the tub, her head wedged behind the toilet.

I raced around shutting windows while Martin dashed out to button up the barn. And that’s how fast it hit. He got stranded out there.

It was one of those scary storms — not because of thunder and lightning — but because it positively cannot rain any harder, and it sounds like the wind’s trying to suck the house through a straw. Ever seen the movie “The Perfect Storm?”

It was kind of like that. Minus the nautical theme and George Clooney going down with his ship.

But it was bad enough that I wondered if this might be “The One” to take the house down. I seriously considered rousting the kids and stashing them in the cellar. But as I weighed the options…….wake sleeping kids, die in storm, wake sleeping kids, die in storm,…the weather checked itself. It dialed back as if you say, yea, you’ll make this one.

But not without some towels to mop up the rain that dripped through a window molding and puddled in the sills and cascaded down the walls. I don’t even know who to call about that repair and how they’d even to fix it. For now I hope it doesn’t rain sideways for a while.

Outside, we escaped with the minor damage: One pasture tree snapped in half and a fine collection of meaty branches in the front yard. The weather also took another bite out of the silo’s tin roof in its quest to rip it from the frame, slowly and painfully, storm by storm.

But that’s another blog entry.