2011.06.02 A storm and a baby blow in

Written by David Green.


I’m pleased to report that I got my diapers off the line and into the house before the big storm arrived Sunday. They would have been scattered all over the school grounds four blocks away.

That was no ordinary thunderstorm. It was a great thunderstorm. Easy for me to say. I had no tree on my house. I never lost power.

I was just discussing big storms last week with a friend who also loves a good thunderstorm. The clouds look nasty and are swirling about. You think you see some that are rotating. Then it grows as dark as if it were 9 p.m. Then comes the big whoosh of the wind as the front moves through and temperature drops. That’s all good stuff for a storm watcher.

And Sunday’s storm? Well, that was something else. 

I knew it was big one coming, but there was a police radio report that moved it up a notch. I was listening to a fire department member describe what was entering the county and just the tone of his voice made it all a little more urgent.

I sent my daughter and her diaper-filler to the basement, but I had to go from front door to window to back door to window. That first whoosh of wind dropped a huge branch in the road right in front of my house. The air was so full of rain, leaves and maple seeds that there wasn’t much to see.

I suppose there are a lot of storm lovers who get injured, who just can’t fight the urge to watch rather than hide. I said to my friend that some day we’ll both say, “Well that was a little too much.” That’s how it was for many people here Sunday.

Even storm lovers reach a point of fear. There’s this fine line of what’s acceptable for a storm to be a great one. You need the mean clouds and the initial blow of the strong wind when the trees start moving and it makes that sounds as it blows through the leaves. A streak or two of close-by lightning to keep you on edge. The sudden drop of temperature.

All of that is more than enough to spook those who hate thunderstorms, but weather fans can get their kicks—with no damage, please.

I was told that more than 20 trees went down in Morenci Sunday and that’s probably true. It was the worst storm since May 2000 when my front door was impassable with fallen limbs and two trees were knocked flat and a giant hole appeared in the roof. That, obviously, is too much excitement.


About those diapers. They aren’t exactly my diapers. We have a baby in the house. Rosanna and baby Caroline are staying in Morenci for a while.

Here’s the deal. Rosie’s husband, Taylor, has an internship in Toronto this summer. We’re glad he didn’t choose the option in Uganda, although he did have plenty of trouble getting into Canada. I suppose he was too honest with the border guards, but he had to explain all that stuff in his car somehow.

He’s staying longer than for a typical vacation, but he’s not getting paid so he can’t apply for a work permit. It’s this odd position that doesn’t apply to the usual visitor status.

Eventually there was mention of e-mail exchanges with his “boss,” so the border guards borrowed his laptop and looked for the name and called the phone number. She was finally tracked down on a street car in Toronto and Taylor was cleared to travel on to the home of college friend where he was to stay.

Taylor didn’t want to push their generous offer by asking, “By the way, could I bring along my wife and baby,” but Colleen and I figure the situation will change. It’s too good to be true for us to have our summer guests.

Probably the first time Rosie visits Toronto, the hosts will suggest that they could put up with a baby in the house. And then we’ll lose them.

For now, it’s eat, sleep, poop, eat, sleep, poop, over and over again, but not necessarily in that order. Ah, the strange life of a baby.

What am saying? That’s life for all of us. The rest of us older ones just find other ways to fill the time between diapers.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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