Andy Griffith knew something about storms in North Carolina. His “T’won’t no ordinary rain, it was a frog strangler” remains, to my mind anyway, the ultimate description of a Carolina Rainstorm. I don’t know if the storm Wednesday evening strangled any frogs, but it did rearrange some driveways. Andy would probably say it was a Trash Mover. It was all of that and then some. My trusty rain gauge in the backyard tops out at four inches and…well, it topped out…..in an hour. Cross my throat and hope to choke!
There had been a precursor, or as the old hands at the store formerly known as Kennedy’s Corner say….A harbinger…..to what was coming Tuesday when strong straight line winds took out one of the beautiful Bradford Pear Trees which line the back loop of the circular drive here on the farm. Bradford Pear Trees are very brittle. The wood is incredibly hard and when they get top heavy, it doesn’t take a lot for them to shatter. I heard the pop in my house. The big ole lob lolly pines just seem to roll with the punches.
Amazingly, the power remained on here. I’m sure that’s because we had all the generators primed and ready to take over the electrical load in the event the big breaker tripped. It didn’t, but cable tv and internet service tripped out big time. The local cable provider seems to have a problem with swiss cheese junction boxes….meaning they leak. Meaning the line shorts out. I was elected to call in our outage. I spoke to a woman named Jenny in Tyler, Texas. She spoke the language. She did pronounce “Ya’ll” a bit different. I learned that our service is on pole # KNO 35. A little tidbit to file away for future reference. The line crew finally got out here at 10:30 Wednesday night and got the internet back up pretty quick but of course it was raining . Of course the junction box just filled up with water again. Of course the signal shorted out again. Such is life in the land of no service.
The storm sucked all of the humidity away allowing me to open a few windows to a get some fresh air. There is something about watching curtains on windows blow that reminds me of growing up. The sirens from the Southwood Volunteer Fire Department seemed to coincide with each flash of lightning and crash of thunder. Finally the rain slacked off and the lightning bugs came out. I had forgotten all about lightning bugs until l I moved to the farm.
This morning I drove down to Loftins Farm market on the beach road to buy some tomatoes. I‘ve been pining for a tomato sandwich on light bread with gobs of Duke’s Mayonnaise since last Summer. The acid makes my tongue break out but its worth the hurt. You have to get to Loftin’s early because the tourists heading for the breach clean them out pretty quick. This morning they had a fresh crop sitting on the display case……an old Seagram’s 7 advertising piece……you gotta love that. I picked up three. They were big as softballs. Grabbed a handful of small cukes…..Carolina talk for cucumbers, small cucumbers…and headed for the register. The teenage girl behind the counter volunteered that she had just finished sweeping out all the debris that floated in from the overnight downpour. Told you it was a trash mover. She said she was at the roadside stand by herself last evening when the storm blew up. ” The heavy rain pounding on that tin roof scared me to death; I just knew it was going to crash; I feared for my life .” She caught her breath. ” I was so scared I ran to that Porta John over yonder and hid until the storm was over. ” You know you gotta be pretty scared to spend an hour in a Porta John during a thunderstorm. See you next time on most of this same blog.