Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stormy Weather

A weird week this has been. What we'd planned couldn't be undertaken because the entire Pacific Ocean decided to rise up and storm eastward over the Coast Range to our valley deluging us for many days.

Currently we have a 'lake' on the south side of our property which receives the raindrops with pitter patters all night long. Pleasant sound really. Said lake wasn't there a week ago. When it stops raining I am compelled to count the pets and children every now and again, to be sure they haven't been sucked into this mucky mire which Joe has named the La Brea Tar Pits.

Fantastically beautiful menacing skies and gorgeous sunsets have been the upside to these storms. Clean air, fresh scents, vibrant colors. Amazing cloud formations.

Driving to the grocery store, with Cassie at the wheel, we saw what looked to be the beginnings of a funnel cloud, Cassie's worst nightmare. Thankfully she didn't full-out panic and steer us off the road, jump out of the car, and attempt to run the three miles home, arms flailing like a lunatic. No, she kept her cool even while mildly hyper-ventilating. Talking her through her terror landed us in a large unused parking lot where we had a bird's-eye view of the gray, upon darker gray, upon darkest gray clouds which were moving rapidly and forming, yes, it looked like the top of a funnel.

We were transfixed, until Caroline piped up, "We're going to be those stupid people who sit there and say, 'Oh, look how pretty it is!' just before the tornado sucks 'em up!'"

THAT got Cassie's attention. "Mama! We need to go! Now!"

"Okay, okay, let's get to the grocery store and get our shopping done quickly, then we can get home where it's safe," I responded. Four wide brown eyes stared at me.

"The STORE??!!! It's right under the tornado!"

"It's NOT a tornado. Well, not yet. We don't GET tornados. Except for the one last weekend that tore the metal roof off that farmer's barn, but he lives north of here. We'll be fine. We'll be safe in the store anyway. It's big and strong," I lamely replied, failing miserably in my attempts to sound assuring.

We parked at the supermarket, looked up out of the front windshield of the car, and sure enough, there was a low, huge, dark, almost black mass of clouds directly above us which not only canopied the entire large parking lot but stretched its way over neighborhoods in four directions.

"It's like in the movie 'Independence Day' when the people look up and see the gigantic alien ships overhead," I said gawking in amazement.

Again, wrong thing to say.

"MOM!! THAT doesn't help."

With my two daughters sticking closer to me than normal, we managed to complete our shopping and exit the store only to find the alien ship had increased in size, descended, and was leaking. Leaking badly. Like heavy heavy huge-dropped, gigantic puddle-creating, splattering leaking. Oregon Rain. Flash-flood rain. Soak you to the skin while you run through the parking lot shoving a grocery-laden, gimpy-wheeled cart before you, rooster-tailing water onto other running shoppers, eyeglasses water-blurred so you almost get into someone else's Trooper rain.

It was wet.

But we got home without swirling around in a tornado with metal roofs, houses, cows, trees, and bicycles with doggies in the back baskets. We were dripping wet, laughing, relieved, and happy.

Tornado. Pffbt.
UPDATE: Friday, P.M., Oct. 5th - Our local weatherman just informed us that, yes, that big, black, alien ship WAS the beginnings of a large funnel cloud, and there were several others in the area that evening. Cassie is strutting around here like a little peacock. Read her comment. The Bible says that God preserves the simple. I guess that's why we made it out alive. I'm simple. The girls were just hanging on to me for dear life.


Cecily said...

Wow... even if it wasn't a tornado, sounds fantastical! Interestingly, we've been having 'wild' wet weather here too - worse than winter really. Snow on the mountains again, rain nearly every day (but not enough to break the drought) and wild winds. Not as fantastical as your almost tornado though!

Ben said...

Well, I see you're having lots of rain, too. It's been nuts here, too! Suppose that's not surprising...

Cherie said...

And wow to you, too, Cecily! Never a dull moment these days. I love this mix-it-up weather, do you?

No, Ben, not surprising that you would be on the receiving end of nutty weather up in the northern portion of the valley where we inhabit the southern. Quite often you get the worst of it, though, or the best, depending on your point of view. Hope you are staying dry! You and Joe, of all my readers, can picture Cassie's reaction, nodding your head, uh huh, uh huh, yep, that's Cassie! She's so funny. Caroline, too.

Pam said...

Ooohhh... my kind of weather! I do it wrong all the time. As soon as the thuder rumbles, I plant myself by the window, even when the sirens go off to warn of funnel clouds.

I'm glad everyone survived without an actual tornado -- that would be a rare occurrence indeed out there.

Your weather is now our weather. Thunderbooms all night long last night, power outage this morning, and rain, rain, rain.

Keep it coming!

Mike S said...

The local weather authority always claimed we NEVER had mini-tornados here until this summer, when one struck the NOAA District Office. Glad we're not having that type rain as it always washes out our primitive roadways:)

Cherie said...

Me, too, me, too! I love wild weather as you know, Pam. Now we are drying out, the lake is drying out, the sun is shining and I can't say I'm sorry. Sun is good, too. I guess I'm easy to please, huh.

Anyhoo, you keep the rain to yourself for awhile, okay, so we can get our concrete poured and firmed up. Then, bring a bunch of those booms and crashes out west with you when you head this way. Deal?

Cherie said...

That's hilarious, Mike! The NOAA could not longer deny it. Ha. Poetic justice. Well, I hope no one was hurt.

I, too, am glad your roadways are safe from Oregon rain. No fun washing out.

tshsmom said...

Oh boy Cassie! You and Z are too much alike. Tornadoes are his worst fear too.
I'm like you Cherie. I'm outside reveling in the wild weather like a lunatic.

We've had rain most of the week too. L likes to call our newly developed backyard lake, "the pool". He says he needs one of those pool cleaning nets to clear all the leaves out of his "pool". Delusions of grandeur anyone? ;)

Carolina said...

Mom! I was just watching the weather when the guy said that it "WAS" the begginings of a funnel cloud!
And you said, "Calm down Cassie im sure it's not really a tornado,"!!!!! We could have died! :P

I had good reason to hyper-ventilate : )

Cherie said...

Tshs, Our kids are so cute, aren't they? And we are lunatics, tis true. But how fun! I LOVE L's take on your lake. A pool! Why didn't I think of that? Tom thinks it's clever clever of L to pursue a net for cleaning leaves out of the pool drain. Delusions. Yeah, they help one cope. ; )

And Cassie, I should listen to you more often, heh? You were RIGHT! But, like Pam, I still operate under the OLD weather for our area, where tornados are rare occurrences. Until the last few years, I had never even heard of one here since we moved to Oregon in 1969. You youngsters know that we HAVE INDEED been having them in recent years, each and every year. Maybe we oldsters had better pay attention or we will surely be the 'stupid people' that Caroline mentioned...the ones who end up a'swirling around in the 'nah, we don't have 'em' tornados.

You, Caroline, and Z are very very wise - even if we lunatics think you are chickens.

tshsmom said...

It's a good thing we have our kids to watch the Weather Channel for us, isn't it Cherie?

Cherie said...

Yep, and Discovery, too!

tom said...

this story had me laughing

Cherie said...

That is because you know us so well, Tommy. You have head-pictures to go with the story.... ; )

Thanks for commenting! Glad it made you laugh. Makes me laugh when I think about it. We are nuts.

Erin said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm glad you like it and you were able to learn something. :) This is a really cute story.

Cherie said...

And thanks for visiting here, Erin!

Aaron Stewart said...

Thanks for stopping by! Don't be a stranger. :)

Cherie said...

Thank YOU, and I won't. : )

Annie said...

What a funny story and frightening too. I laughed out loud at the gimpy wheeled cart and all that. You are funny. I'm happy you made it home safe and sound.

DeadMansHonda said...

I wish I had been there! I would have loved to hang on to you while enjoying your humor and care...lucky girls you have. Clearly smart ones, too. ;)

Cherie said...

Thanks, Annie. I'm glad I could make you laugh along with me. :)

DMH, it would have been even MORE of an adventure having you along for the ride, L, I know it! You are right, they are smart girls.