The tsunami hit the California coast and prompted a lady living on the coast in Pacifica, California to exclaim that for the first time in her life the water’s edge splashed onto her glass windows and knocked on her front door. She had experienced a tsunami.
Living in Oklahoma, we may declare or groan that we just experienced another spring tornado or rushed to take shelter from damaging winds, but we define our exclamations.
At 8:57 p.m. on a rainy April night, I shrieked words that cannot be published nor replicated with any sense of normalcy.
It had been a grey-green day in central Oklahoma, one that makes us weary and alert at the same time. My phone alerts were on, as they are in the springtime, but by evening the threat of storms had driven east and we relaxed in our safe dry homes.
On Facebook, I was glued to pictures being posted of a puppy we had bought online. The house was quiet and I was anxious to meet our new dog in a few weeks.
I stepped into the kitchen to fix a hot evening tea. I had no sooner hit the start button on the microwave when I stepped to the side of the counter to reach for a spoon. At that moment an “ice ball” the size of a softball crashed through our northwest kitchen window sending glass flying. The “ice ball” hit the cupboards holding the microwave, just missing my head by a foot or two. My exclamations were not calm nor respectable, and in fact, were extremely ear-piercing.
My husband was beside me in an instant. We felt the winds and hail bust through our double paneed windows, glass shards covered our floor, counters, and clothing. Nothing had prepared us for this violent storm. No sirens. No television warnings. The five-mile black wall of ice and clouds had not been detected and thus hundreds of us in a small five-ten mile swath of land lost windows, roofs, lawn furniture and saw our cars dented beyond repair, all in the eight-minute storm.
By 9:20 p.m. the neighborhood was alive with people standing in yards, rushing to check on each other, garage doors opening, lumber and plastic being dug out of storage bins, and phone calls being made to friends.
We found enough heavy plastic to cover our two open windows for the evening, and with another roll of heavy plastic, we helped neighbors across the street cover their windows.
By daylight, we were in shock to see the overall devastation of the neighborhood. Giant glass knives buried in our yards, tree limbs dug into the ground like spikes, spring leaves knocked off the limbs leaving the trees barren, garden flowers destroyed beaten to death by ice, colorful pots busted and scattered over gardens like abstract mosaics.
In the end, all I could whisper was “thank heavens no one was injured.”