Last spring I was weeding the front garden beds, and I noticed one little weed that stood out. It had thick, richly sculpted furry leaves and a very tiny trumpet-shaped flower. I have no idea what it was. But it was the ONE that caught my eye and I took a photo of it. Then I pulled it out anyway.
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR MONDAY, DAY 343 OF 2013: My today actually started at 9:05 Sunday night, when Renee and I just settled down to watch the Mentalist. Suddenly, Renee turned around and looked at the corner of the room behind me. I turned around and didn’t see a thing. Then I heard a noise like an animal trying to claw its way through the wall. OMG! Every scene I’d ever seen in every horror picture I’d been stupid enough to sit through flashed through my head. So what did it do?
The same thing that every character in every one of those movies did … I opened the door to see what was trying to get into the house. SURPRISE!! There wasn’t any thing there. The noise was being caused by the cable company line that ran from the curbside utility pole to the house that was moving up and down against the side of the house. Now, what would cause something like that? I looked down the street to see a car sliding around on the fallen ice that glazed the street. The driver was attempting to back the car off of the icy spot on the street. And when he got it backed up and attempted to turn the car back into the street, the car went forward and slammed into the utility pole two houses down which caused the electric and cable wires to vibrate back to the utility pole in front of my house. The driver kept repeating this maneuver over and over until something finally snapped and the top of the pole broke loose and fell to the ground bringing the wires down on top of the car in a sparking flash. That’s when I ran into the house and called 911!
Halfway through trying to explain the situation to the operator, he told me to hold on while he talked to another operator. It seems like three other dutiful citizens were calling in to report the same incident, and emergency vehicles were on the way. Within a minute I could hear the sirens of West Walnut Manors’ finest fire, police and rescue units were on the way. By the time I got back to the front door, the street was filled with flashing lights and rescue personnel waiting around for the arrival of the man from the electric company. Walking around with a yellow cane in his hands he surveyed the scene and walked down to the utility pole in front of my house, and after extending that cane he was carrying to its full length he reached up to what had always looked like a corrugated trash can at the top of my utility pole and within a few seconds all the lights in the house went off. Also the furnace! Have I mentioned yet that the outside temperature had been dropping all evening to its low in the LOW teens. As he walked away to his truck, I heard him explain to the police, “Keep the street blocked until the repair crew arrives.” And then he drove off.
I watched the inactivity on the street until about midnight and finally decided that it was as exciting as watching a replay of the SOUND OF MUSIC with Carrie whats-her-name. So with the song of the Lonely goat-herd yodeling through my head, I went to bed. Since the temp in the house had been dropping since 9:30 when the electricity had been cut, I didn’t change out of my day wardrobe, but added more. I tried to coax Mlle. Renee into going to bed with me, but she refused to leave her post and stayed there guarding the front door from those intruders on the front lawn. I went to bed with my cold feet and eventually managed to doze off.
I didn’t doze long before Renee came in to wake me up. I tried to see what time it was, but the light wouldn’t go on. Besides every clock in the house was dark, too. By the time I realized my wristwatch was still on my arm, it indicated that it was now 1:30. Also the street was now filled with utility repair trucks with bright repair lights. Didn’t see any workers though. So I shivered a bit and went back to bed. It took me a little longer to doze off this time.
After that, I would wake up every hour on the hour except for four and five. Finally, I was awakened by someone on the TV talking about how cold it was and heard the furnace turn itself on. Also every light in the house was on. I looked at my watch and discovered it was a little after six. I looked out on the street and discovered the work crew doing odds and ends high wire work. I turned off the TV and all the lights and went back to bed. This time Mlle. Renee decided to join me. Who needed her now? The furnace was working again.
If I ever write about the incident, I could call it …
A Long Night’s Journey Into Day!
Well, the weather wizards had been warning us for the past week … “Bad weather is heading your way on Thursday, Friday and Saturday!” they screamed. And guess what, they were actually right this time. Yesterday, I decided to postpone a Breakfast for Lunch luncheon I had scheduled with a group of people with whom I used to work. It was scheduled for the new ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE that had just opened across the street from where we used to work. I waited until the last-minute yesterday afternoon when the weather forecast said, “Severe thunderstorms arriving about 11 am. and continuing until mid-afternoon.” I cancelled the luncheon, knowing full well that today would dawn bright and sunny.
And I confirmed they had played me for a weather fool again, when I woke up to cobalt blue skies and heavenly sunshine.
Fortunately, they lasted all of 45-minutes before the cumulonimbus clouds started floating in overhead while thunder rumbled in the distance.
Cumulonimbus (from the Latin cumulus (“heap”) and nimbus (“cloud”) is a dense towering vertical cloud associated with thunderstorms and atmospheric instability, forming from water vapour carried by powerful upward air currents. Cumulonimbus may form alone, in clusters, or along cold front squall lines. They may produce lightning and other dangerous severe weather, such as gusts, hail and even tornadoes.
And around eleven, the clouds broke open and dumped a downpour on West Walnut Manor, if not all of the metropolitan area. It rained until mid-afternoon when the sun returned cajoling us into a false security of a wondrous June is busting out all over end to the month of May. Then the cumulonimbus started rolling back in and the local TV stations went from Weather Update to WALL-TO-WALL THE EARTH IS ENDING NON-STOP WEATHER ALERT STATUS. Frankly, there’s nothing on Friday night TV anyway since the season ended a week or so ago. So I nuked a bowl of split pea and ham soup and grilled a ham and swiss hoagie sandwich for my dinner. As I was washing up the dishes the tornado warning sirens began growling. “A tornado has just touched down in Saint Charles, Missouri.” This was quickly followed by, “There are reports that the roof of the Hollywood Casino on the Missouri River has been blown off!” And then, “People living in Earth City, Florissant, St. Ann and West Walnut Manor are advised to seek shelter NOW.”
Well, that included me and Mlle. Renee, so I grabbed my double beam sure hand grip flashlight, cell phone, football helmet and Mlle. Renee, and headed for our subterranean hidy-hole. Just as I got to the back door, the landline rang. I quickly grabbed it to hear my older brother shout, “Why aren’t you and the dog in the basement‽ Don’t you know there’s a tornado head right for you‽” “I would have been there already, if I hadn’t stopped to answer the phone,” I shouted as I hung up and caught up with Renee.
Once in the basement, Mlle. Renee headed for my old darkroom and headed directly for my sturdy enlarger table and equipment shelf I had attached to the foundation wall. Renee really is a smart dog! I headed for my fold-up lawn chair at the front of the darkroom which is directly under the TV in the living room. (I was smart enough to turn up the audio on the TV before I headed into the basement. So I could hear the weather status from down below.) Then all we had to do was wait out the storm.
The wind began to switch … the house to pitch
And suddenly the hinges … started to unhitch
Just then the witch … to satisfy an itch
Went flying on her broomstick … thumbing for a hitch
Just what I needed … an ancient ear-worm to keep me and the dog company! (Yip Harburg really was a great lyricist – anyone want to guess the name of the song?)
Within a short period of time, I heard reports of the tornado doing some damage at Saint Louis International Airport, damaging some cars on I-70, and snapping 3-feet in diameter trees in half in Saint Ann. Like the planes approaching the airport for a landing the storm was following I-70 as a flight path. Then the storm crossed the Mississippi River to wreak havoc in Illinois.
Since the ground around the house (as well as most of the metro area) had become saturated with rain water over the past couple of days, the heavy rainfall that fell during the storm began to seep through cracks that had formed in the foundation during last year’s drought. And Mlle. Renee does not like getting her feet wet inside the house. So with cat’s-paw feet we tiptoed over the tiny rivulets running to the drain and went back upstairs.
Bet your bottom dollar
There’ll be sun!
It’s damp, gloomy and chilly outside and Mlle. Renee is napping on my bed … so I decided to clean out the photo folders on my computer desk top.
First, there’s this photo of an awning sign that’s over a chain of Wicket City restaurants …
What exactly is St. Louis fish and chicken Chicago style?
And if you thought a talking clock was scary …
It was staged on a thrust stage that projected out over the orchestra pit and into the audience, and my seat was exactly in the center of the first row about a foot from the stage. It was like William Daniels (John Adams) was talking directly to me.
I worked in the in-house advertising agency of a retail shoe company that specialized in women’s footwear … as a copywriter, sales promotion director, events planning director and broadcast producer and director. Well, it was over quite a few years.
Why are these men always laughing?
Really, Rob, really!
I was actually considering this for yesterday’s IN THE BACKGROUND photo challenge.
Well, that cleans out all the junk that was cluttering up my desktop and the sun has come out again. Enjoy!