This week we are asked if we have ever experienced an earthquake or other natural disaster.
Fortunately, my experiences with such phenomena have been limited to near-misses or lucky outcomes.
As for earthquakes, the only one that was truly earth-shaking and got everyone’s attention didn’t have mine…I was asleep.
Suffice it to say that I was ‘large with child’ and taking a nap. We were living in the Denver area and as it happens in many parts of Colorado, the weather changed rapidly; the streets were clear, the sun was shining brightly and the temperature wasn’t very low.
I woke up when I heard a “SCHLUMP!”; it was the sound of the several inches of snow that had fallen a day or so before, sliding off of the roof. The mother and daughter neighbor team checked on me; “Did you feel the earthquake?!”
“Is THAT what that was?”
Shook their heads at me.
A couple of years later, we were living in a house in another suburb. During a very big and windy storm, a fast cloud went right over us with a ROAR; we and the neighbors assumed that we were lucky that a tornado didn’t take us to Oz.
A few years after that we encountered a day of tornadoes, but that is a long story and sometimes a funny one. I’ll save that one for other day, as I am pressed for time this week, and traveling to take my grandson to live with my son two states away, (so if I don’t get back to answer your comments right away, please bear with me).
However, we did experience an incredible weather phenomenon, again, while in Colorado.
We had joined the wonderful, large Natural Museum that is in the city. We were living then in a northeastern suburb. Our kids were young and at that time my husband’s work schedule was flexible, so going out mid-weekday was a plus. It was a beautiful clear day.
We were all set to go for a museum visit but suddenly, we decided to stay home and put a movie on the VCR,(yeah, that long ago.) We never remembered why, or how we made that sudden change, or even whose idea it was…nor why the other of us did not question the decision, nor why the kids just accepted it, (they loved the museum).
We no sooner settled in when the wind whipped up and the sky turned black. We went into tour townhouse basement and prayed; it sounded like the sky was falling. When it subsided and we came up to find FEET of hail, blocking the doors and clogging the deep causeway which ran water well below us, causing a flood. Everyone’s car was dented; people were hurt in the hail, some were caught completely unaware at local amusement parks and were stuck up high on rides during the storm. A friend, who was at that time heavy with her own child, went to lie down in a basement bedroom and had a window crash in on her, dumping rain and hail on her.
I prided myself on the small front garden I cultivated at that time. In fact, our homeowners association’s monthly newsletter often mentioned ours among others as inspiration to keep the complex beautiful. My next-door neighbor had told me how lovely it was that very morning and I told her to go a few doors to see another neighbor’s beautiful, varying plants in the front garden I was watering while she was out of town. I said, “Go see Barb’s. It is so full of greens, it looks like Ireland.” Afterward, it looked like the Bikini Atoll after a nuclear test.
Almost everything in our gardens were shattered. I could never find the exact colors of flowers that I had before, but I nursed a high-bush cranberry back to health by feeding it through its few remaining leaves. We moved a year or so later and I told my neighbors not to tell me if the new owners removed the bush.
Yet, we were safe, because some Guardian Angel whispered into one of our ears and the others’ Angels made us listen…because we never had an answer as to why we made such a strange and quick decision, no questions asked.
I think we’ve covered blizzards and ice storms in the past here, but another great story for another day is also from Denver, just weeks after we were married. That storm came from nowhere and unlike other times in Colorado, it crippled the area, and it happened right on Christmas Eve. Another time.
Many of of us in the U.S. are experiencing extremely high temperatures this week. I am not crazy about the idea of traveling in it, but we are not supposed to encounter rain,(thank Heaven), since we are hauling things by way of pick-up.
Stay safe, Everyone!