A Fourth to Remember


Saturday was going to be an uneventful Fourth of July for us. We grilled brats for lunch and Carjo read aloud from a book she’s been plowing through. Due to her OCD, the best way for her to read is to read aloud. She’s less likely to get stuck reading the same paragraph or sentence over and over and over again. Anyway my wife dozed off after reading and I was cleaning up in the kitchen. I opened my iPad and got an immediate severe thunderstorm warning. Nothing had been predicted in the forecasts last night but it had been a hot and humid day. Any cold front that merges with that results in severe storms. Sure enough, that’s what happened.

My wife woke up just as the thunder kicked in. We watched the local weather channel and kept an eye out the living room window. The wind rose, the rain drove, and then all hell broke loose. For a brief moment, a straight line wind was blowing so much rain that our neighbors disappeared. We were alone in maelstrom of water and wind.

When the storm let up, I could see that the flagpole belonging to the neighbors across the street had been bent all the way to the ground. Branches were strewn across the lawns and street. Carjo checked our backyard to see if we lost anything. We were fine. And then we noticed the evergreen further down the street.

There are several of these trees in my neighborhood. They’ve all been standing for at least sixty years. I remember them being immense even as a kid in the 1960s. But as you can see, their root system is not very deep and this one couldn’t hold on. We were fascinated. So was the rest of the neighborhood. And then the power went out.

Good ol’ Montana Dakota Utilities. Two years without a major power outage and they manage to do it on the Fourth of July. We were without electricity for probably about seven-eight hours. The rednecks down the street and on the next block went on fireworks binges that lasted five hours. My pets were less than enthused.

I should amend that. Sneakers was too old to bother and fell asleep on the bed. Sansa, that cantankerous witch, wasn’t afraid of the storm and was pretty nonplussed by the fireworks. She was just pissed that we weren’t going to let her outside. The cat patrolled the windows and the screen doors, watching the sparks fly up the street and wishing for a better view. I just wished that the in-bred mouth-breathers would run out of ammo. I have nothing against fireworks per se but five hours of deafening the entire neighborhood is a bit much. Get off my lawn you toothless yahoos.

Now it’s a new week. The collapsed evergreen has been cut up and hauled away, leaving only a couple of large stumps. I’m working on a project for my brother.  Tonight I’m part of a cleanup crew for a local board that I sit on. I have to go get gas in the Family Truckster and for the lawn mower. Last but not least, we await a call from Bismarck either telling us my mother-in-law has passed or is on the verge of doing so. So it’s a week of work and waiting on the knife edge for us. I’ll keep you all posted.

About jeroljohnson

I guess I'm the crying on the inside kind of clown
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One Response to A Fourth to Remember

  1. Well, there’s one more thing I don’t miss about North Dakota … thunderstorms and twisters come here from time to time, but even the angriest storms and hurricane remnants don’t seem quite so bad out here in Virginia. That said, the energy grid seems much more up to the task in North Dakota than here where all the power lines are loosely braided through spineless trees which fall with just a little poof. Wishing you a storm free week.

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