Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's all humor and poetry.

Sometimes people get the impression that life at our house must be all humor and poetry.  I'm here with proof that this is, indeed, true.

This summer has been a big one for big storms. 

We've had storms that did damage with 70 mph straight line winds. Some of it quite severe. In our little area of Minnesota, thousands of trees went down in not one, but two separate storms. Huge, old towering trees pulled up from the roots.  Oaks snapped off ten feet above the ground.  Four of Mr. Friend's tree line pines, planted in 1950, fell thunderously to the ground just missing his house. We ourselves lost a few trees-including a much beloved old orchard apple tree.  It fell and smashed a younger tree we were hoping would take its place. 

The orchard apple tree, old already in 2005
We've seen crazy winds toss the big outdoor playhouse about 40 feet to a new location, random objects fly through the air, and heard that loud hail pounding the house. We've lost power on hot humid nights and a couple of times, we've had to make our way down to the old cellar for tornado warnings.  

Did I mention the time we ran from a tornado in our van? That was last year, but still fresh in our minds.  It was like a scene from a movie, with a tree limb falling across the road right in front of our path as Dad slammed on the brakes to avoid a major collision, just as it came into focus, huge in the illumination of the headlights.  The screaming in the van was soundtrack perfect. We sheltered that one out actually in the vehicle, parked close up to an L corner behind a big building. 

Anyway, perhaps it's not surprising that some of the kids have gotten a bit skittish about the weather and (mildly) obsessed with watching the radar for potential danger.  We suspect this may actually lead our nearly 12-year-old Nat to become a TV weather man. He's got the smile, the personality, and now he's talking weather all the time. In any case, he has not yet made peace with his weather interest, though he has learned a ton about weather patterns and is frequently looking up weather news on the internet this summer.

Today, he was a bit freaked out by the big storm system headed our way on the radar.  It was one of those long lines of stormfront with a big area of red in the middle, surrounded by a lot of yellow, and a fringe of green.  Of course, our house is a pin on that computerized radar map, and that monster was headed right towards us. Pretty much a bulls-eye.  The fact that the accompanying text info included no warnings for severe weather, and the forecast called only for several hours of very heavy rain, did little to reassure him.  That thing did look serious. "What if their interpretation of the data is just wrong?" he asked with a nervous half-laugh.

What, indeed? 

Teasing him, I said, “Nat, you shouldn’t be scared. It’s beautiful! It’s powerful! You should write poetry about it! That’s what I do… (wink)”  

Nat’s quick deadpan response, “OK, how about a Haiku…" and as he counted off the syllables on his fingers, out came the following gem on his first try. 

The storm is coming
And it is really scary
I’m going to die

At this point everyone, including him, burst into laughter.  His sisters begged him to let me share this and he readily agreed.  After all, the storm came and it was nothing but a lot of rain. He is most likely going to survive until morning.  But if not? At least he has left this poem as a legacy.

See what I mean? It's all humor and poetry.


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Treasure from the Junk Drawer
copyright © Sara Shull
•All text and poetry by Sara
•Art illustrations by Sara
•Photos by Sara or the Shull kids
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