Entries Tagged as 'storm'

Record Storm Blows

Five days following renovationBarometers collapsed and kitchen weather witches crashed into cupboards all across the Midwest United States yesterday, as a huge low pressure front stormed through, set meteorological records, and generally tore up the place.

Barometric pressure readings, like 28.3″ near International Falls, MN, were at Category 3 hurricane levels. The last time we saw conditions like this, the Edmund Fitzgerald paid the price.

When the gales of November come earlyIt got exciting, and a little scary, in the Louisville area for a few minutes. “T’was the witch of November come stealing.” But overall we ended up not being hit very hard.

At Snug Harbor, of course, five days before Halloween, everything is relative.

Peace and quiet and ghosts

PeaceIt’s your old pal Spook here (Yep, I’m still around). I figured we’d take a short break to give the two readers that I still have some relief from the dull ache that has become the Blue Aliens saga.

Lightning struck a utility pole last night and plunged Snug Harbor into the 1700’s. It was right before sunset and the weather was still unsettled after a nice little thunderstorm.

Fingers of purple lightning chased each other across the sky, playing hide and seek among the low scudding clouds. Dark windows all up and down the street looked startled, black but for the occasional bobbing flicker of a flashlight or candle within.

Clumps of saturated leaves, tugged by a mischievous breeze at just the right moment, dumped buckets of cold rainwater on unsuspecting passersby. Laughter echoed across the hollow as neighbors stepped out onto front porches to smell the fresh, wet, wonderful air and greet one another like relatives at a family reunion.

Hurricane lamps were brought down from attics, hastily dusted off, and fitted with beeswax candles. The sharp acrid smell of burning hair lasted for just a moment while the cobwebs burned off.

The gathering gloom of night strode confidently into the open to fill every space inky black, but it was frustrated by these small glowing pockets of orange warmth. Elated shadows danced up walls, frolicked on ceilings, and played peek-a-boo from the window curtains. Long ignored, these creatures of imagination were suddenly, gloriously, hilariously brought back to life again.

Sitting at my desk, I breathed in the clean night air through the open window. The dogs were safely tucked in and the cat sat staring at me in her magisterial fashion, perched at the very edge of the desk like cats do. I opened a spiral notebook of crisp paper, slid one of the many candles a little closer, and picked up my Ticonderoga pencil.

It was time to write a ghost story.

The Crimes We Commit in Others’ Minds

YorickLast night I was out in the garage pulling a paper mache skull from its form. You really have to work it sometimes with a screwdriver to pop the paper off, and I had been at it for a while.

At 8 o’clock it was getting a little chilly, and the sun was already painting the hills pink and orange.

Since Sunday’s Wind Event, big piles of limbs and even whole trees lined both sides of the road in front of the house. Chainsaws buzzed in the distance and a large tractor “chuffed” up the road. The aroma of fresh-cut wood, campfires, and drying leaves filled the air.

Open Mind with Bill Jenkins“, a KABC show from the 80s, was playing loudly on the CD player on the workbench. UFOs, Bigfoot, astral projection, talking bananas, all sorts of crazy stuff. It’s like listening to Coast to Coast AM, but without the annoying political commentary. Great listening for an early Fall night.

I didn’t notice the car in the driveway until a door slammed. I stepped out of the garage to see who it was. Almost dark now, and with headlights shining in my eyes, I couldn’t make out the faces of the three people standing and staring at me.

“Can I help you?” I called out.

There was a lengthy silence, then a woman’s voice said, “W-we heard your water was out, so … we brought you some. We’re from the LDS church.” She gestured toward her two companions who were struggling with a heavy package. They were young girls, probably 11, and their eyes never left me. They looked like they could bolt at any second. That’s when it struck me.

There I stood, bathed in the cold harsh light of the car headlights, leaves skittering in circles around my feet, holding a skull in one hand and a long screwdriver in the other. I’m sure it was the very last thing these good Samaritans expected to see on a Tuesday evening.

Laughing, I put my project away and took the case of water from the girls, thanking them and blessing their little hearts the whole time. It was really very nice of them to drive through the neighborhood and give out cases of water.

As they pulled down the driveway and disappeared behind a pile of brush, I stood waving and smiling. Smiling because of the warm gesture and because of the story they’ll have to tell their friends about the crazy man with the skull.