When my Son Peter came in the door I could tell that something was up. His face was looking concerned. His “get your camera and come out here”. Gave me very little comfort. I knew that the clouds were getting darker, but we live in North-Eastern Colorado. I grabbed my new digital camera and followed him. We hadn’t done more than pass the corner of the house when I saw what he was talking about. I started taking pictures. But Peter was still running, yelling “We have to get beyond the trees.” We use to call it a shelter belt. Not sure that I wanted to leave the safety of the trees, I followed anyway.
When we came around the trees I could see what he was talking about.
I started looking up and wondering if those clouds were actually starting to spin…they were. We stood there and my brother Harvey came up from checking the milk cow. He had pushed his hat that he was holding with both hands, way down on his head. I guess he didn’t want to see the scarecrow wearing his black cowboy hat! After a while when we really did decide that the clouds were spinning, and not far from us. We experienced an eerie kind of silence. Out here we have birds, rabbits not to mention cows and horses. but they were all really quite and the wind seemed to die down somewhat. Peter being the smarter of us decided it was time for us to go. Harvey in hopes of saving his cowboy hat had kept walking to the house.
The wind started picking up and the soft rain of just a few seconds ago became frozen missiles aimed at MY CAMERA!! Slapping the lens cap back on I tucked it under my shirt – which wasn’t that great of protection. I was soaked thru and thru. I screamed at Peter “If I get sucked up by the wind, PLEASE SAVE THE CAMERA!” He was not amused. Peter went to see if his Dad was OK. and joined his Dad and his dog in the basement. I being not quite as intelligent as I seem decided standing in front of the window, to watch the storm, was the thing to do. Next was to jump on face book, yep posting away like I had good sense.
ANYWAY, I went to the store yesterday. I saw a lady looking at the hood of her mini van her young son was crouching right along with her so that they could look at the hail damage. Being the friendly joiner type decided I needed to look. I crouched (OK, how about I just bent down my crouching days are long gone!) When they decided that they were actually crowd of three when there use to be only two, I got what could only be described as a questioning look – the questions? Who was I, where did I come from and WHY in the world was I looking at their hood? I don’t know how many of you actually know me but most of the time I can talk to anybody so smiling my best “glad to meet you smile” I said “Yep, looks like you got hit by the hail too. I am just down the road a piece (Yes, I actually said “A PIECE – so sue me!) Looks like you got hit worse than we did.”
The mother softened a little. “Yep, and we lost our window in the front room.” To say I was a little shocked would have been an understatement. I will refer you back to my actions after taking pictures – standing in front of our window and on the computer right by the window. I swallowed my gum and sent up a silent prayer to thank God. Isn’t it said he looks out for fools and children, I know I am no child by any stretch of the imagination. So I guess you know where that leaves me. Telling them than I am glad that they were OK. I walked into the little store in time to see a couple of men, well boys really, that I hadn’t seen before. In a town of 59, strangers are well, strange! I gathered up my items and when I got to the check out stand I asked the cashier who they were. She looked rather odd at me and almost whispered “Storm Chasers. They were all lined up down highway 36 yesterday trying to get pictures of the storm. He said they were back today to see the “aftermath” of our storm.” OK, well I guess that answered all of my questions.
As I left, I again saw the lady and her son. This time they were accompanied by the aforementioned “Storm Chasers” The modified van that they were driving looked rather worse for wear, I always thought they would have huge expensive looking equipment and radars on top etc. They looked to both be in their ’20s. The one giving the orders was saying “We need some B roll film. Get this damage” So now they were crouching alone with the lady, her son, the cashier from the store and the two guys – I know I have a warped sense of humor but, maybe just maybe Kirk can get a team together and enter into the OLYMPIC CROUCHING category! We seem to be practicing quite a bit lately. Now I know you are all dying to know….Did I join the Olympic hopefuls. Well, no, you see I had already crouched! I felt I had done my duty for the day.
As they were crouching I did seem to notice that the one with the shoulder camera had a nice “crouch” OK, I am old not dead! I asked where they were from. Yes, I know I thought the only people dumb enough to chase storms, besides me, were doing it because they had to. Well, the younger one (not the nice crouch guy) spoke up and said “Well, right now we are kind of freelance. We will cut together some footage and send out clips” that sentience sent me running for my car. Remember when I said God looks out for fools? Well, I know that God is all powerful, but I didn’t want to push my luck by being too close to a group of fools….