Hail to the Fairchilds

September 26 – So I’m finally getting around to a post about a real humdinger of a hail storm that we had earlier this summer. We may not get hurricanes in Missouri, but we DO get storms!

I believe it was on a Thursday afternoon after we had gotten back from Town Day and visiting with several folks. Looking out the window, I noticed that the sky was darkening and beginning to look like typical storm clouds.

180926_StormCloudsKnowing that there were a number of tomatoes ready to be picked, and not wanting to be caught in a storm, I hurried out to the patch with a plastic ice cream bucket to be filled. As I continued checking and picking, the sky darkened, and the wind began to blow harder and harder.

After working through a good bit of the patch, I saw LIGHTNING and heard some of the loudest thunder I have ever heard! The lightning continued and I had to admit that I had never before been outside in a storm like that one. Finally I had come to the end of the rows, leaving only the Sun Gold and Roma unpicked. I did not need tomatoes right then as much as I needed to get out of the garden and back to the house!

Unfortunately, I had a full bucket with three more tomatoes that I had to hold in my other hand as I hurried back to the house. Hurried? How could I do any more than walk slowly so that I wouldn’t dump them before I walked to the back door. And then? I couldn’t open the door because Dale thought I was downstairs since I had forgotten to turn off the lights! I banged on the door and on the windows, and yelled, “Let me in! I don’t like to be out here with the lightning, and the thunder scares me!”

OK, so I was overly concerned, but I remembered some of the students I taught in Africa. While they were out in storms with their cattle and couldn’t go home very often, they died on the spot because they had been struck by lightning!

Finally Dale heard me and came to open the door. “I thought you were downstairs,” he said. “You should never have been out in this storm!” Well THAT I already knew, but finally I was safe inside. But that’s not the whole story!

180926_HailDrivewayWe had never seen a storm quite like this one. First came very strong winds and rain and thunder and lightning for a long time. Then hail! I have never seen so much of that white stuff frozen into small balls at first, and then more and more, and larger, much larger. By now we had opened the garage door so we could look out on the lawns and garden.

Finally I decided that I could go out into the garage to get a few pics to prove that this really was a storm to be remembered. Just as I had focused on a lot of hail, ready to take a picture, I saw right in front of me that hail was paying me back for taking its picture! In one last bounce, it flew up in the air and struck me on my leg! That stung!

Later when the hail was no longer falling down to the ground, I decided to take a few photos. Since I was afraid some of it would melt before I got into the front yard, I didn’t bother to put on shoes. Out I went with socks that were soon soaked, and I was cold! Who cares? I don’t expect to see anything like that again. Everywhere on the front and back lawn, on the driveway, in the bird feeder, and all the way over to part of the garden about fifty feet away, that hail was still hanging on, not ready to give up the battle.

180926_HailQuarterWhen the rain finally stopped so that the hailstones could be clearly seen, I was surprised at how big and icy they were. Most of them were quarter-size, but some were much bigger and looked as if they were bragging about their size. After a very long time, the hail finally disappeared. Dale put one of the largest in the freezer so we can check it out from time to time. No more of THAT, if you please! – CHRIS

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