Monday, August 7, 2017

Thunderstorm by Arthur Geisert

I have always geeked out over the weather. As a farmer's daughter, the weather WAS a big deal. We used to call the local radio station to get weather reports. Sometimes we would pay extra and call across the border to Ottawa for more precise reports.

My weather app might just be my most frequently used app on my phone.... I secretly think I may have missed my calling as a meteorologist.

We are about to get a thunderstorm I believe. Or at least a rainstorm. According to the weather anyway. 

This book follows a thunderstorm across the plains. It starts one Saturday afternoon in July. 

At the bottom of each page is the day, date, and time. 

I love the precision of that! 

We get to see farmers getting ready for the storm--unloading one more load of hay before it gets wet. 

And then grabbing the clothes off the line before they are too wet to put away. 

I love all the details! 

What does a farmer do when it storms? Not much. Besides catch the leaks and watch the rain. 

We had dairy cows when I was a teenager, so even when it rained, there was still work to do. But summer days were mostly dedicated to getting hay in. Hay was important. It would be translated into a milk check that fall and winter. Without it, dire disaster, we would have to buy hay. And with the milk prices of the late '90's, that would be ruinous. I remember riding down the road at a breakneck pace one day around lunch time to get the last load of hay under cover before the rain hit. (If hay gets wet, it can start to ferment and decay faster, heating up and potentially burning down a barn. Not a good situation.) We could see the rain, following us up the road from the neighbor's farm. It hit us full force just as we were backing the wagon under the shed. It was a downpour. That afternoon, we didn't do anything. The entire family, all ten of us, came to a standstill. Some of us took afternoon naps, the highest luxury for early morning milkers. Some of us played games, read books. But we were all quiet, watching the rain. Waiting. 

I am sure that happened more than once when I was a kid, but for some reason, that day is the only one that I remember.

Storms were a big deal.  

Tossed flowers

Stormy skies, the storm moving on to another farm.

Developing into a tornado

The sky dark and looming


The aftermath.

And already, neighbors were busy putting things to right on other's farms and houses. 

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