Monday, April 3, 2006

Gloomy Weather and Happy Music

Monday, April 3, 2006
The big front rolled in all morning. When it arrived, day looked like night over our meadow.

After our glorious weather yesterday (during which We celebrated numerous family birthdays here at Indigo Hill) I was hoping for more of the same today. But the skies were unsettled from dawn onward as a major cold front inched its way toward us. This same cold front had already caused havoc in the Midwest, generating storms that resulted in thee deaths of several dozen people. So when my dad called from town to tell us we were under a tornado watch, we took it seriously.

Living, as we do, on a ridgetop, wind is our almost-constant companion. The sound of the wind whispering through our pines, or sighing through our window screens, is usually quite comforting. Then there are days like today, when we make tentative plans to seek shelter in our basement should really severe weather fall upon us. Julie and I were both working at home today, and we decided that the kids (both at school) would be safer in that well-built brick structure than here in our "house of sticks." So we waited, eyes on the sky, and listened to the howling wind and approaching thunder.

This time the actual weather did not live up to the threat it posed. We got a lot of heavy rain, impressive wind gusts, and thunder and lightning, but no hail, and no funnel clouds.

As a youngster in Pella, Iowa, I remember my folks driving us over to our friends' house, the Butlers, to shelter from a tornado (or cyclone as they were sometimes called) because our ranch house did not have a basement! We sat crouched in the Butlers' basement boiler room, listening and wondering when the roof would blow off. From their son, Chuck's, bedroom the stereo played The Beatles' Abbey Road album. Chuck told us about Paul McCartney's rumored death, and all the symbols associated with it. It was a scary night for little Billy Thompson.

The storm today split and went around us in two pieces. The rain had the creeks and runs up a bit, but not enough to go over the road in the most floody spots.

After the worst of the storm had passed, Julie and I went in to the kids' school to play music for Liam's class. We had a few songs picked out that we thought kindergarteners would like--mostly Def Lepard and Metallica (kidding). But Liam kept insisting that we play the song we wrote for him when he was a baby. We knew better. But Liam kept insisting until Mr. Stillings, the music teacher, finally asked if we'd play it.

Here's the conversation that followed...

Julie: "Well, Mr. Stillings, Liam loves that song because we sang it a lot for him when he was a baby. It's about him wearing diapers."
Me: "And putting those diapers through some pretty rigorous testing!"
Mr. Stillings: "Oh! So this song probably never made it to Number 1 on the charts?"
Us: "It was Number 2 with a bullet!"

The songs we actually played were:
One After 909
by The Beatles (because Liam loves trains)
Winter's Come and Gone by Gillian Welch
The Butterfly a traditional Irish song
Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes as sung by Bonnie Raitt

The kids seemed to like it. Here's hoping we sparked an interest in a few future musicians.

Tonight at home, the wind is still howling and the temperature has dropped 30 degrees from this morning. Somewhere in the multiflora rose tangles along our meadow's edge, a brown thrasher is cursing his luck.


On April 4, 2006 at 12:06 AM kansas reader said...

Ah! And our family loaded up in the car and headed up to the top of the hill to see what was going on! Glad the nasty stuff missed you.

Are you coming to Kansas for the Kansas Birding Festival? April 28, 29 and 30?

On April 4, 2006 at 12:30 AM Bill of the Birds said...

Sorry Kansas, I'll be emceeing the Ohio Ornithological Society conference that weekend! Would like to visit KS one day, tho. Have never birded in the Jayhawk State. And being a native Iowan, I feel the pull of the prairies.....

On April 4, 2006 at 1:40 PM Rondeau Ric said...

Red Neck Girl, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

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