Saturday, June 18, 2016

Swift Storm Brings Blustery Winds

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. 

Was I lost in the Wizard of Oz?

I took a nap in the heat of the day because I have been getting up at 4am to get chores done in the cool of the day plus exercise on my bicycle. That afternoon I had just woke up from my nap, a bit confused. I went outside to look at the rapidly darkening sky. It was hot and super humid. Sweat was running down my forehead getting into my eyes.

Suddenly 60 mph winds came whipping through the campground. I had laundry on the clothes line which promptly took flight. My bicycle which was locked up managed to take a tumble. The container of clothes pins sailed away with the top breaking off leaving a trail of clothes pins scattered haphazardly across the campground.

Harley dog was on an outside tether. I brought him out with me when I woke up. He ran around looking confused. He didn't know whether to seek shelter with a human or to run back inside but the door was closed. He chose to hide under the motorhome looking frightened. The winds picked up even stronger. I found myself clinging to the picnic table which is a heavy immovable permanent structure. (Now I know why!)

Would I blow away?

Leaves, tree branches, twigs, small bits of garbage all flew by including a bright orange T-shirt. Was there going to be a tornado?

My outside shower stall which was tied down and staked collapsed. Two of the four tethers held fast so it couldn't leave town without putting up a fight. Which it did.

The old 9 foot market umbrella which was bolted to the picnic table took flight. It began cartwheeling away but I chased it as my friend ran over and together we fought it against the winds for about three minutes of comedy as we tried to crank it closed then we laid it on top of the collapsed shower stall while we continued to chase our belongings around. My long hair was not tied up so it swirled around me whipping my face and occasionally blocking my view.

Our camping neighbors had pulled in about an hour before and set up their outdoor accouterments. They were hastily fighting with their awning and chairs, trying to reign in their own chaos. There wasn't time to help each other, every camper was scurrying around trying to gain control of their own spreading mess that 5 minutes earlier had resembled an orderly campground.

While clinging to the picnic table in another gust that was well over 60 miles per hour, I contemplated running inside the RV or running towards the campground bathrooms. The baths are concrete. The motorhome was much closer.

Finally I made it to the door of the motorhome. As I opened it the wind ripped it out of my hand slamming it hard against the side of the RV. Harley dog bolted inside dragging his tether. I untied him then managed to go back outside fighting to close the door. Next I tried to gain control of the awning which had partially come loose and was flapping around. It was tied to filled collapsible water jugs, but one of the jugs had popped the lid and the weighty water was quickly draining out.

Somehow I managed to unhook the water from the RV, then hastily fill the water bag holding the awning down by way of straps. This brought the awning under control but a knob had vibrated loose making the frame fight with the winds. My friend scampered up on a sturdy table to tighten the overhead knob then jumped back down out of harm's way. Amazingly the open awning fortified by the weighted water bags held fine in spite of the crazy winds.

A few minutes later the gusts died down from gale force to gentle breezes. An eerie silence hit the campground as fans and air conditioners were silenced by another power outage. We've only had two this week.

We finished cleaning up the mess then plopped down for a rest under the awning. It sprinkled rain off and on blowing cool water on us. Finally we were chased indoors where it was steamy hot, so back outside we went. Even though I have a generator, we decided to wait until dark thirty to use it if need be.

I did however locate my 200 watt inverter, extension cord and found the TV cord underneath the table where it competes with numerous other cords for attention and sustenance. Switching the TV over to the little inverter meant we could watch it off the 12 volt battery. The weatherman was busy explaining what just hit us and what was on the way.

Amazingly the temperatures and humidity dropped steadily. An hour later, it was downright delightful weather.

Two hours later the power cranked back to life. By then I had most everything unplugged or turned off or both. I didn't want any sort of surge to hit my ancient fragile equipment. I love my 22 year old coffee maker though it's starting to groan and leak still it makes coffee once a day.

Most of all I love life!

We were spared.

All I am missing now is my prescription sunglasses. I had them outside before chaos set in. Well, come daylight, I shall search for them.

Life is nuts.

Thank you for stopping by. 
We woke up alive and life is goof!

Harley dog recommends it. 

1 comment:

  1. It looks like the "storm", winds came your way. The Aiken storms were on the 17th. If I read your post right, you had these strong winds on the 18th.

    Anyway, this seems kind of unusual for South Carolina weather. I hope you were able to find your sunglasses and glad that little Harley wasn't "gone with the wind."


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