Columns

2011.06.02 A storm and a baby blow in

on . Posted in By The Way

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.

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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.

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