It came out of nowhere. The day had been hot, baking the ground into powdery dust, and wilting every plant in my garden, even those touted as being drought-tolerant. I was running the irrigation out of desperation. Then…dum, dum, duuuuummmmmm…a clap of thunder and a sudden darkening of the sky. That was all the warning I got.
Within minutes, torrential rain was falling…sideways! Wind was hurling small branches and other debris across my yard, and I could hear thumps and bumps coming from the roof. But worse, yet, I could hear a loud, and growing louder, roar approaching. The dogs went ballistic. The cats hid under the sofa. There was a heavy, ominous THUD from outside. I, being far less intelligent than my cats and not quite as loud as my dogs, ran to the glass door to see what had happened.
I was shocked to note that the sideways rain had turned into something I’d never seen before–sideways hail, larger than marbles, spraying across the yard like bullets from an automatic weapon, and sounding pretty much the same, as it bounced off every surface in sight. Squinting through the…umm…SIDEpour, I could make out that one of our 35-year-old laurel oaks had given up the fight. Or knuckled under without one, being at death’s door, already. It lay across our yard, across the front sidewalk, across the street, and into our neighbor’s yard. Gleep. Okay, “gleep” isn’t actually what I said, but this is a public forum, so it will suffice for now.
We made the national news. This is mostly not a good thing. In our case, we had winds “well over 70mph,” and hail the size of golf balls, which I assume is the only reference weathermen know to use when describing hail, since they never say things like “hail the size of mandarin oranges,” or “hail the size of ripe loquats.” We also had more than 5 inches of rain in less than a half hour.
For those who don’t know, 75 mph winds are hurricane force winds. So, essentially, we experienced a forty-five minute hurricane here in Seminole County, yesterday. And did I mention the tornados? Time for another “gleep.”
Florida. Land of extremes. Thank God we have plenty of alligators, snakes, sharks, mosquitoes, and oh yeah, Burmese pythons, now. Otherwise, I suppose Life would get boring.
So how was YOUR Monday?