There were chances of some thunderstorms on Friday night, so the race was on to get as much planted until then. Even then, it was only a chance it would rain. The little kids had made some mud soup outside while I was working in the garden that day. That evening, instead of driving Knut’s supper out to him, I decided it looked like it would rain after all and he’d be home in an hour or two anyway. So I decided to just throw the kids in the tub, wash them down and get them to bed on time.
It was sticky hot that day. The air pressure combined with lack of sleep was pushing me to a migraine as the bath time/bedtime routine wore on. I debated back and forth about taking my migraine pills, and used some peppermint oil on my head to hold me off to see if it got any worse. I wondered if the pressure would lift when the rain started.
Once the little kids were in bed, Silje (the only kid staying up late) popped in a disc of Season 2 of the old “Little House on the Prairie” and I started walking around the house closing windows because the wind was starting to blow rain in. The thunderstorm had started just after the little kids were in bed.
We have a 3 season porch, which is basically a porch closed off with windows, and no insulation. It’s great to sit in during non-winter months. (3 season porch sounds way better than the room you can use for 3-6 months of the year.) It was my last room with open windows. As soon as I got the windows shut, I paused to look out. I love watching thunderstorms in there. It’s a great seat to lookout over everything.
However, I saw the wind come up like nothing I had ever seen. All the windows shook, and it literally scared me out of the room. It is the most exposed and fragile room of the house, and the wind was something crazy like I had ever seen in our yard.
The first thought that came to my mind was tornado. Growing up in Colorado, I had seen the signs more often than living here, though tornados do frequent our area as well. However, we watch the weather like crazy this time of year. Knut hadn’t even come back from the fields yet. The rain had just barely started. There were no tornado warnings or alerts, and we had been following the weather carefully all day.
So I shut the door to the porch, and circled to the den to look out the window to the north. The wind was calm there. It must just be on the south side of the house which has no wind break of trees, but the sound of the wind was loud and strong. So I went into the kitchen and looked out the front entryway, which was a safer spot in the house to see if this was something I needed to wake the little kids for and get them to the basement.
In that short amount of time, of me looking through 3 different windows to assess the seriousness of this wind, it was done. Just like that. The rain was pouring down in buckets, but straight down with no wind now. As I looked out the south side of the house, I saw the portable structure our half grown chicks were in was shattered across the lawn. Just a minute earlier when I was on the 3 season porch, everything was fine. In those short minutes the wind had lifted it up, and flung it to the ground about 100 feet closer to the house. Fortunately, it didn’t get to the house and break windows.
I saw out there in the pouring rain our 20 chicks huddled together in the grass. (Well, actually 19 chicks. One of our chicks was in the brooder, separated from the bunch as she was walking funny and we removed her from the flock for observation.) I quickly thought of Knut out in his tractor. I called him up, and he answered out of breath.
He told me his experience of that wind we had just felt. When the rain started he had just one more quick round left in that field, and he thought if he hurried, he could get the field done before the rain shut them down.
Then the wind hit his tractor. He said outside the cab the wind and rain made a full white out like a blizzard. The wind blew against the door of the cab so it couldn’t be opened, and Knut was stuck in there for a few terrifying moments where the whole implement shook like crazy and he could see nothing.
His cousin was sitting in a pickup on the gravel road next to the field, waiting for Knut to finish. He was in the same predicament, though a smaller vehicle, and worried that the wind was going to pick up the truck and throw it in the ditch. Fortunately, both guys were safe. However, the house next to that field where our friends live lost 6 large trees in their yard as the strong wind blew them over.
Knut said that he and Erik were going to come straight over and clean up the chicken structure pieces before any new wind picked them up and threw them anywhere. I told him I was going to get the chickens back into the brooder in the barn since the wind was gone now.
Silje wore my raincoat in the downpour, and I pulled out a spring coat and with our rain boots on, in the pouring, warm rain, we got all the animals to safety. She insisted on coming with me. She’s an animal rescuer at heart. Plus, I wasn’t sure I could collect them on my own, because you often need to come at them from 2 sides to get them. The poor things were so scared the practically walked into our hands as we collected them so it was done very quickly. All of them seemed fine, but wet, and one of them had lost some feathers on one wing.
The guys cleaned up the now-junk in the yard, and were both visibly shaken. The whole thing happened so fast, none of us, with all of our weather watching had expected something like that.
Inside Silje was wrapped in a towel and went back to her show. Knut got some supper, and my adrenaline lowered enough to remember I had a migraine developing.
By then the nausea was starting so I quickly took my medicine, and headed to bed, about 3 hours earlier than my usual bedtime. The flashing lights of the distant lightening was too much for my head in the bedroom, so I headed down to the basement. The boys had left the couch cushions in a pile down there for some mysterious reason, and exhausted, I just lay down on top of the cushion pile and fell asleep. I woke up when Knut started turning lights off and headed to bed after watching the weather report on the local news. I then moved upstairs, since my head felt clear again.
With him working sometimes 20 hour shifts this week, and me trying to hold down the fort for him, we both slept for about 11 hours that night. Crazy, I know. Silje and David kindly and quietly got the baby and little kids breakfast and turned on Saturday morning cartoons while Knut and I slept in.
Older kids are lovely.
The morning was foggy and thick. Everything in the yard was at rest, except the loudness of the birds.
So this morning as I reflect, I’m so blessed that my older kids surprised us with serving us in that way without us asking. I’m so blessed my family and all of our animals are safe. I’ve been blessed having Knut home with our family this weekend. We all missed him so much. It’s just amazing having my best friend back home.