There are still tornado watches, still local street flooding. There are still swollen rivers and creeks, some running so high that the crossings are closed. There are still those looming dark clouds off to the West, and there is still a constant need to determine which way the wind is blowing.
The storm that came through yesterday was the worst yet this year. We had at least 2 inches of rain in about thirty minutes, hail and hurricane force wind. The storm came through so fast, and from a direction that they don't generally come from, that we didn't have time to fully prepare. We managed to get most of the things picked up in the backyard, but not everything. Even the smallest of toys can quickly become dangerous when carried with the wind.
We had a few casualties from the storm. The patio table, umbrella and 3 chairs didn't make it. The wind carried the chairs at least 50 feet, around the side of the house until the fence caught them. The safety glass in the table worked precisely as it was intended - which might make it a fantastic safety feature in some ways, but makes it infinitely more dangerous in others. It shattered on the grass, which is now littered with thousands of shards of glass. We picked up what we could, but there is still a lot out there that we can't see. The flag on the front of the house was ripped off, 2 inch wood screws through the bracket and all. I expected to see the pole snapped, but the entire bracket was gone.
I am grateful that the tables and chairs didn't hit a window. I am grateful that the fence remained standing. I am grateful that we didn't lose any trees. I am grateful that the hail didn't get big enough to do any substantial damage, though it appears to have done a number on some of my rosebushes. And most importantly, I am grateful that no one was injured.
Tables and chairs can be replaced. The kids really should always be wearing shoes outside anyway. We can buy longer wood screws for the bracket. And my roses needed to be pruned before yesterday. Mother Nature has a way of putting things into perspective sometimes. And she has a way of reminding us of her power, of how fragile we are.
When they say keep an eye on the sky around here, you'd best do it.