A particular interest of mine has always been weather. I have to admit it: if there is severe weather forecast, I will be near a window or outside – often with a camera. I have photographic evidence of two separate occurrences at our home here outside of Bloomington, IN. My husband and I had gone on a garden tour in late June when the weather turned ominous. We sent our children and our cat down to the relative safely of the basement, before my husband and I ventured outside to observe the situation. Earlier I had seen a funnel cloud heading our way before lifting back up into the clouds. With camera and video camera in hands, we set out to document the experience.
I forget, do we duck and cover or drop and roll?
It's looking worse...
It's a good thing I'm a brave soul
Can you believe this thing never actually touched down and caused any damage?
I admit it: it took me a few days to realize what I had taken a picture of here. Hint: it's the bottom of a vortex. Strange. It was quiet. Absolutely silent during all this. No freight trains, no rushing winds.
A second, rare event occurred a few years later. My understanding is that “snow rollers” can only be formed under very specific conditions. I would not be surprised to find that we never get to witness this phenomenon again.
How many people have ever seen a snow roller? Me!!!
Now, I simply must tell you about the extremely tense story that revolved around our decision to move from a place where three of the four of us were very happy (my husband hated his job, but my son, daughter and I were satisfied in our life in Cincinnati). My husband was without a job and had a prospect of a permanent job in Bloomington, I… What to do? We looked at the realities and decided that we needed to move, despite our personal feelings. For 11 months, my husband had been ‘living’ in this community during the week, only returning on the weekends. Our son refused to consider moving and refused to look at houses with us.
We looked at house after house and were not satisfied with any of them. New houses were scarce at this time and we were limited to the stock at hand. Then our house ‘sold’ and we were put on the spot. I took a step back and looked at the situation. We could change a house, given enough money, but you could not change or expand a lot.
That led us back to a house I had rejected during the first tour. The entry way was too narrow, the lights too modern, the house too divorce-ish. Don’t ask me how, but I can tell you just by walking in a house whether the family is happy or not. And this house was not happy. Of course, my uber-practical husband saw the divorce papers that had been left out on the counter. But in the end, we could change the house, and the lot was great. Much work needed to be done on the 3 year old house, as the builder had run out of money while building it.
After much deliberation, we put an offer on the house and drove back to Cincinnati on a fitful late spring afternoon. We were asking ourselves and each other if we really were doing the right thing and if we could be sure of that fact.
We had gotten almost halfway home when we started seeing rainbows. Now, there is nothing new there. Rainbows are simply a refraction of the microscopic water molecules in the atmosphere. There is a very real reason why being able to recover the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is so important: it is impossible. The laws of physics tell us that we can never be anywhere but in the absolute middle of the rainbow, because a rainbow is an illusion based upon our position.
Now, keep that in mind as I tell you what three of us experienced that day. The rainbow ‘ran’ away from us as would be expected. Nothing unusual there. Suddenly, the rainbow ‘charged’ at us. And then the colors of the rainbow actually passed through the windshield and onto the dashboard of our car. I even remember the colors passing over my legs. We looked at each other, and three voices asked at the same time, “Did that just happen?”
We have become accustomed to people not believing us. Kelley has told of a high school teacher threatening to send her to the office for ‘lying’, and if not for the objections of her class mates that she would not lie, the teacher would have had her written up. Actually, it would be easier for us to believe that we three had had a shared delusion. After all, no one believes us. But we three know what we saw and we saw what we saw. I deeply regret that we have not pictures, but perhaps we were not meant to capture such an event. Perhaps some things in life are meant to remain a mystery.