You know how in stories they always say the wind “howled” or “wailed” or “moaned”? For a long time, I considered that a literary device; a way of staging the scene. Then I moved into the house I live in now.
It has been several years but I still haven’t gotten used to the way the wind cries as it whips past my house. I don’t know what causes it. It could be the shape of the house or the configuration of trees in the yard. It could be some hollowed out limb capturing the air as it passes over the branches. I do know that I am secretly thrilled every time I hear it.
Surely it is supposed to be a frightening sound, especially at night to hear the wind wail and moan as it shakes the wind chimes on the porch. You can almost track the sound as if some escaped spector is gliding over the porch and around the corner of the house. It makes me think of Irish cottages made of stone and thatch. It makes me think of fireplaces, warm drinks, and stories told in warning or to keep the dark at bay.
This is all pure imagination of course. I have never even stepped foot into a stone house but I’ve read about them. I’ve read the fairy stories and I’ve watched movies. There is no Baen Side (banshee) calling outside my window, or at least not that I’ve noticed. (If there was she would be extremely frustrated by now, as I have lived here for at least seven years and I’ve listened to the wail off and on that entire time. Or maybe she is happy someone appreciates her singing. Who knows?)
It is supposed to rain today. And tomorrow. And the rest of the week. There will be flooding. The sky is overcast gray and the wind is shaking the still bare branches of the trees as well as dancing among my wind chimes. I expected the rain to be pouring down by now from the way the weather forecasters spoke. The ground is damp so some moisture has been squeezed from the clouds, just none that I’ve noticed.
The animals have been on edge since last night. Today they are restless, last night they were on self-imposed guard duty. They paced the hall and watched from the window. Panda, my cat, finally settled enough to sleep but only because she curled up on my pillow and snuggled into my hair.
Last night the air was still and black. No stars shone and the porch light didn’t seem to reach as far as usual. The silence was eerie. To me, that becalmed, breathless, starless darkness was way more unsettling than the howling wind today.
Well it is Monday again. I am sitting here at my computer typing away and watching snow fall outside my window. I live in the Southern U.S. Snow doesn’t happen much around here. (At least not in the lower elevations.)
According to the local weather man, flurries were supposed to start around noon today. They were about three hours off. I am packing a duffel bag to take to work tonight just in case I get stuck there.
A few weeks ago we had a couple of inches of snow and my boss had to stay at work for over 29 hours. She slept on pet beds in the office. This time she is bringing her sleeping bag and a change of socks.
It’s interesting how uncommon weather can bring things to a stand still. If we were a bit more north two inches of snow would be nothing, but here no one is prepared. The roads often aren’t salted, people don’t know the proper way to drive, and snow plows don’t really exist.
Two inches of snow meant children were stranded at schools and on school buses. We had a 27 car pile up on one of local major highways and there were abandoned cars on the sides of the roads everywhere. My ex-husband took his truck to pick up our kids because we thought he would have an easier time. In the end all the parents had to walk the last block to the school. It took him an hour and half to make what was usually a ten minute drive and he slid off the road twice. They barely missed the pile up.
This time we are supposed get more that two inches but they have been spraying the major roads with brine for the last two days. Hopefully we will have better luck this go around.
“Red in the morning, Sailor’s warning, Red at night, Sailor’s delight.”
This rhyme is something I heard often growing up. I can remember laying in the floor at my grandmother’s house, gazing out of the window at the darkening evening sky painted scarlet, and hearing my grandmother quote this old saying. Variations of this saying are over 2000 years old.
This morning I stepped out onto my front porch and stopped to stare. The trees in the distance were painted bright red by the birth of the sun. It hadn’t even crested the horizon yet, but the trees were bathed in it’s fire. This old rhyme came immediately to mind even though it wasn’t the sky that was coated in crimson.
Looking back, if I gave into superstition, I could call this an omen. While we did not have storms of water and wind, I have had a tempest of bad luck all day. It was a Murphy’s law type of day. Everything from failed scheduling to financial hiccups afflicted me all day.
For example, some how my house payment for last month was lost in the mail and never reached its intended destination. I some how failed to notice. Usually once it has reached the post office I put it out of my mind and don’t think about it again until the next payment is due. So it was an unpleasant shock to see that my February house payment was over due. Things like that happened all day. Stuff that I thought was all taken care of, cropped up with sudden problems that kept me running all day and the things I had planned to take care of today had road blocks jump up to impede my progress.
I didn’t manage to get any writing done on my work in progress though I had high hopes for making head way on it today. Maybe after the children go to bed I will get another chance. If not, well then tomorrow is another day…it is also my birthday. I had hoped to have the day completely off but I won’t complain at this point if I can just get a couple of uninterrupted, worry free writing hours in.