Batten Down the Hatches

Late last week, my granddaughter and I made plans to have a pedicure. It would be among my first ventures into the new COVID-19 Phase II in Colorado. And let’s not even talk about how badly my feet needed to be pampered.

Anyhoo, I told Addie I would pick her up at 4 o’clock for our 4:15 appointment on Sunday. At a quarter to four, the sky suddenly darkened, there was a flash of thunder and a bolt of lightening, and the strangest and most intensive storm I have ever witnessed in my life commenced. It had been a windy day, but the wind intensified to what seemed like nearly hurricane strength. It started to rain astonishingly hard. Within seconds, hail began pounding the windows and grass. It felt like the end of the world.

Bill and I watched out of our living room window for a few minutes wondering how badly our vegetation would be damaged. I figured I better give Addie a call to let her know that I would cancel our appointment. No way was I going out in that kind of weather. It would be crazy. It was five minutes before four.

As I reached for my cell phone, the storm ended. Just as quickly as it had begun, it stopped raining, the wind died down, the boomers ended, and the sky became much lighter.

It was about the weirdest thing I ever saw.

I drove over to pick her up, and she scampered out to the car. “That was weird, huh?” she said.

As we proceeded down her street towards the shopping center in which the nail salon was located, we saw a sight that took our breath away…..


As you can see, (for once) I wasn’t exaggerating about the strength of the wind. The homeowners were standing in their driveway with shocked looks on their faces, undoubtedly grateful that the massive Blue Spruce tree had fallen in that direction instead of onto their house where it would surely would have gone through their ceiling and landed on their La-Z-Boys .

Can you see how light the sky already was?

The odd storm actually has a name. It is called a derecho. Derechos (derechi?) are widespread, intense, fast-moving storms that can cause hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, and even tornadoes.

A derecho has never occurred before in Colorado. Ever.  In fact, derechos are extremely rare in the United States. But for no other reason than that it is 2020, we had our first (and probably our last) derecho. And the once-in-a-lifetime storm landed on most of our state. During the same period of time.

We keep joking about 2020, but just when you think it can’t get any weirder, well, it does.

Our house, by the way, withstood the storm with no damage. We might not be that lucky when the volcanos erupt.

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