Thursday, October 18, 2007

First Storm

The wind was rattling the windows as I woke, trying to get in. The radio said winds 20-30 mph with gusts 40-60 mph were expected. As I stood facing the wind I thought, “What does it mean to blow at 30 mph?” I spent the morning filling every receptacle I could find with water, changing all the animal waters, and fastening down anything that might blow away. The wind increased steadily.

I got to Tumwater (50 miles north) about 10 minutes before the wind. It pulled at my hair and snuck into my coat as I walked from the parking garage to work. When I went out at 3:00 for an appointment the wind was at full roar. I was driving at 30 mph when I was passed by an orange leaf. That made “30 mile an hour wind” mean something real to me. The wind was going faster than I was as we both raced north.

Leaves of all colors and sizes galloped down the street, racing and tripping one another at the corners. A few seagulls hung in the wind, trying to move forward, losing ground. More were nestled into the grass in the park - gone to ground. When a man and dog walked through the park the seagulls moved to the edges, looking like a white and gray highlight strip on the green square. The dog was obviously not as scary as the wind.

Power was out in parts of town, and in some rural valleys where trees fell on the power lines. I drove home surrounded by the usual spots of light, and felt warmly greeted by my brightly lit aviary. First storm, no damage. Power on. It wasn’t even raining when I took Millie for her nightly walk.

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