My derecho storm, straight line winds, or tornado story. I could have subtitled this ‘The Damn Dog’ or ‘Breast Cancer Cell Feeding Frenzy’ but the title is long enough.
Tornado storm like a hurricane came through yet again, no funnel sighted. Don’t care, I know what takes out 200 trees by the roots in a one mile radius. I’m from the Midwest. It was up there somewhere. I called it a tornado. Later found out weathermen call it the derecho storm or straight line winds from South America. Whatever.
I also call it the morning of the Damn Dog. DAMN DOG dammmmmnnnn dog.
Derecho Storm, Tornado or Straight Line Winds… Whatever… It Hit Our Classified Forests Again
Yesterday morn only one window was open in our house after a sweltering night. But I like to wake up hearing the birds. So I did, then fell back into a deep sleep and woke up to a derecho storm tornado thing going by the window.
Mud water, hurricane winds, gliders sailing by, five trees going down at once, seriously.
Straight line winds? Cannot argue the point.
Physics professor Gustavus Hinrichs was right when he termed this a derecho storm.
The damn dog is a massive furry, black Newfoundland. Did the derecho storm wake me or was it him hopping around the bed panting and slobbering from anxiety? “Mama!!! aaahhhaaaahhhhaaaaa get UP!”
I tried to get him to go with me into the walk-in closet. It was right there. Safety, no windows.
“No. Huh-uh.” He shook his head slapping slime across me.
Of course, he did not have on his collar. That was at the back door. Darned Hubby who was on way home from midnights. He left it in the wrong place
“Come on Danny Boy, it’s all right, come with Mama.”
“Nope, I will not go in closet with the skunk in there.”
Yes, our pet skunk. He is accurate, the walk-in closet is her bedroom. Her den is in the corner under a pile of blankies.
“Danny Boy, let’s go.” I am pulling his scruff but he is a Newfie so the scruff stretches two feet and he weighs 156 pounds, so I lose. “Let’s go in just for a minute. She’s nice, she’s cuuuute.”
“The skunk will eat me. I’ll stay out here with the storm.”
He is confused because Lacey wouldn’t eat him, but her late sister, Tiny Blossom would have killed him.
“Danny Boy, dammit! let’s go.”
He charges down hall.
“Come here sweetie, good boy.”
And he comes back since I am nicer.
I am trying to think of how to get him in without the collar and leash.
My floor length nightgown.
To my right, a derecho storm with hurricane-like straight line winds howling. Raining mud but nothing coming in the window, go figure how straight that wind has to be.
Don’t know if I had been sleeping naked or if I stripped off my bamboo nightgown which would have been on the end of the bed in case of emergencies like an intruder, fire, tornado. There it is where the collar should have been by the shoes and keys. Hubby, beware.
Let’s say I stripped it off at the moment I thought of using it. I put the nightgown around his neck and twisted then pulled. Bamboo fabric nightgowns are soft stretchy stuff. Damn dog bucked and got out of it. Being the fastest dog in the world, he was in the other end of the house .. .. . .. .. .. . .. . with me running naked, everything bouncing except the surgically altered breast.. . .. . . and I was going after him to get the leash, intent to take him to the basement.
By the way, my cancer cells are having a party from the stress. Stress and fear to cancer cells, it’s like chips, ice cream and chocolate cake to fat cells.
In case you are worried about the little skunk, I had slammed the closet door, leaving Lacey in her den, but I hated leaving her.
Damn dog, I get the leash and collar and try to put it on him. This is a Caesar Milan ‘Dog Whisperer’ trained dog. We watched the series and did what Caesar says and Danny Boy is a pretty good dog, but not for this storm. Though he has never been afraid of storms, only horseflies. And hummingbirds, which are very horsefly-ish.
But there is a derecho storm tornado thing. Focus.
If they find me with the classified forest on the house and the house collapsed on top of me, they will find me naked. But I will have the damn dog with me by god.
I try to attach the collar but he shakes me off. He heads for the bedroom.
I run back there, one breast, stomach, butt flopping past all five of the front windows again while thanking god we do not have neighbors……. and I see the straight line wind storm is calmer.
The derecho is gone. Or I am in the heart of the storm like one expects from a tornado. Then, I hear anyway, it is too late to run.
I roll my eyes and give up.
Damn dog. At least I didn’t have time to be afraid. Fear makes breast cancer cells grow like dandelions. Good dog.
Essa Adams is a storyteller and green entrepreneur.
I did not know what a derecho straight line wind storm was, though after some reading, I realize I have lived through a few in my fifty-plus years in the Midwest. The two progressive derecho storms 2012 that hit early summer in northwest Indiana were more than our fair share for our region, we are scheduled only one derecho per year here. But if they are taking the place of killer tornadoes, then I guess we cannot complain, can we? These storms are not fun, they are dangerous. We need to know the protective measures for a straight line wind derecho storm which would perhaps be different than a tornado. The derecho storm is not going to blow you away or pick up your car. Most likely it will blow ten trees on top of your car first. I will not give advice here on protective measures, but we do need to know.
What is a derecho?
Why do they call it a derecho straight line wind storm and who started the terminology?
“Derecho” is one of those rare loanwords where we know who first used the word in a modern context. According to a paper published by the U.S. National Weather Service, “derecho” was first used by physics professor Gustavus Hinrichs, who studied weather in the late 19th century and noticed that many destructive storms, in fact, were not tornadoes, but storms whose wind was traveling in a straight line. Hinrichs first used the term “derecho” in print in 1888, choosing a Spanish word for “straight ahead” as being analogous to the word “tornado,” also of Spanish origin. It wasn’t until nearly a century later, however, that the Weather Service began regularly using the term.” from About.com