Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Under a Worrying Sky

I walked reluctantly out the back door to drive to town yesterday after a night of saw edge wind rubbing its shaggy, horned head against the gables of the house. I took one look at the sky and my midwestern consciousness took over. I let the cats in the back door (strictly prohibited by my husband) and said, "It looks like a tornado sky. Don't go out if it gets worse."

My husband smiled with a mixture of amusement about my weather eye and his acceptance of being "fussed over." The first year of our marriage, looked at historically, was all about who could fuss over whom and when and how. Both of us had been single for a long time and both of us are very stubborn and independent. Good mariages somehow manage to get that all in synch. I don't think anyone can tell you how or why in that instant between a comment and a reaction that we laugh instead of shout or harbor a grudge. As my wise friend counseled me, in life there are problems to be solved and mysteries to be appreciated and knowing which is which is what it is all about. I put marriage down as a mystery.

While all that went through my mind, I just said, "I come from tornado country, " and quickly added, "The cats are in just until the storm passes." Solomon, still the smallest of the swirl of cats, was so frightened by his first storm that he mewed plaintively and I could feel him quaking as I held him close to me. He is bigger and more experienced now but would still prefer the comparative comfort of the attic to the semi-roofed accommodation of the former dairy maid's cottage that is now nominally "their house."

As my husband pointed out, since I was the one driving into the storm, I should mind my own counsel. True enough. The wind nearly knocked me over as I walked to my car. My head-hugging (give up on any idea of a fashionable hat) beret was knocked silly on my head but not ripped off altogether. I opened the car door carefully so as not to have it parasail down the road and slid in behind the wheel with an enormous sigh of relief.

As I headed down the farm road, I hoped that today the sheep would choose to stay put and was very happy to find them sheletering contentedly in the lea of the dyke. The wind seemed to have whisked wanderlust out of their minds.

I stood in a queue at the post office and chatted amiably with the folks in front and behind me, even those I did not know. Scots, like gorse, seem to be able to bloom in any season. I dropped things off and picked things up in that next to last minute frenzy of preparing to be away for a month all under a sky that huffed and puffed one minute and gave a crocodile sun-smile the next.


At 5:28 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

It'll be interesting coming back to the States after 'so long away' -- how different things may seem....

But I didn't think they had tornados over in GB very often; in fact, wasn't there one in England recently that made big news because they are so rare?

At 9:50 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

when a grey sky grows yellow as a bruise it's time to head for cover!
Years ago I watched 4 of them dancing around a house I was in one Michigan spring day. We watched and watched, but they all blew away across the fields or lifted into the clouds and vanished.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger ZACL said...

I love your description of the Scots being like Gorse, and the crocodile sun sky; I have to say, I must have missed that momentary sun smile, with or without teeth, tears or whatever it threw at us.

I actually lost a hat, covered by a tied on hood, in just one of those dreadful windy/rainy conditions you describe. The hood is still intact, I don't know where the hat is!

At 3:33 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Tornados are not as frequent in GB as in US but they do happen. And yes you are quite right a part of London was recently hit and left the place ravaged with the losses and the randomness of its destruction--one house untoched between two ruins.

At 3:34 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, Hayden, spoken like a true midwesterner. we can move out of the midwest, but some part of it lingers.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hey, Zacl, dinner was lovely. Thanks for putting it together and including me. Yes, Scots and Gorse (or more properly "whins") just seem uniquely linked.


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