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This has been a VERY long week, weather-wise. We had tornadoes on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning (one on the ground that got the Lowes garden center and scattered the Rent-to-Own yard barns all over South Main) and then we had another round of them today. Today was worse. We had about 2 hours of sustained 25-40 mph winds and then 2 tornado warnings after that. One tornado touched down at the high school and collapsed the roof on the gym and then hopped the road and took the roof off of Skate World. It also hit a couple of residential areas and knocked power out to the hospital and a rest home. The other touch down was in Muhlenburg county where the the rest of the roof was pulled of of South Middle School, a task that had been started by the previous tornado.
We kept retreating to the back hall, bathroom and laundry room. The drill is as follows: 1. Check the goats and pigs and close the barn door 2. Put cats in laundry room 3. Put Clara in her carrier 4. Get the dogs in the back hall and close the gate 5. Get a thermos of coffee, Clara, and a phone and go to the bathroom and stand in the tub. (We don't have a basement)
We did this twice in an hour. The winds came up and limbs hit the house. The dogs barked and the cats complained and Clara voiced her displeasure at her confinement. It's weird the things you think about when you are standing in the bathtub with your husband while the lights go out, come back on and go out again. I should have been thinking about the awesome power of mother nature or my immortal soul, but after doing this FOUR TIMES in the past few days, all I could think about was how much I needed a new shower curtain and that the caulking around the tub could sure stand to be redone.
Once we got the second "all clear" siren we let everyone out and about and relaxed a little. Unfortunately, we relaxed a little to soon. The sky turned yellow, then green and it started hailing. We were outside looking at the damage when these cold, hard "things" started pelting us. It was what meteorologists call "golf-ball sized hail". What they fail to mention is that the size of the hail is not the only property it shares with golf balls. It is also the same weight and density and it bounces just about as far. We made it in to the house just in time to see all of our house pets cowering from the noise and heading to there safe places all by themselves. The cats were scurrying for the laundry room and the dogs were crowded into the back hall. Clara, however, was oblivious to the noise and confusion and was walking around the kitchen looking for the grapes that I had used to bribe her into the carrier. The sound was unbelievable. It was like someone was pouring golf balls out of a helicopter onto our house.
We didn't go rushing out of the house quite so fast to survey the damage this time. We were busy trying to calm down traumatized dogs and cats (but NOT the chicken...Oh no, she was quite unconcerned) and nursing our hail-bruised shins and arms. We lost some shingles off the roof and we have some pretty sizable holes in the siding and a dimpled truck. All in all, we came out OK, although the fact that this is just the beginning of storm season doesn't calm me one bit.
But, we did find out one thing. The myth of chickens being "chicken" doesn't apply to Clara. While we were rooted to one spot in the kitchen, staring at the ceiling like it was going to come down on us, she was pacing in front of the fridge waiting for one of the frightened mammals to come out of their trance and get her a treat. She knew the sky wasn't falling. Long live Clara the Brave.