Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Strange Weather

The weather today is weird. It's windy and a wee bit cool but not too cool to enjoy it... Still, it makes you look out of the window when you hear a stronger gust of wind... It made me think of a day similar to this when I was little. I was probably 7, maybe younger, but I remember it as vividly as if it were just yesterday.
I was occupying myself by cutting out paper dolls on the front porch of the house on Dewey Hill.  We had super thick catalogs from Sears and Penney's. They were free back then and you could get one whenever you went to the store. Mama always got one and after she'd finished browsing them, we could have them. We spent HOURS flipping through the pages of the women's clothing sections. We'd find a pretty lady and cut her out of the page. Then we'd flip back to the dresses and such, and try to find one that would fit her... in the same pose that she used. Very difficult, let me tell you and in fact, we never found any that matched the cut-outs at all. But we managed to have fun doing it. We didn't have the money to go and just buy something like that - even though the paper doll books probably only cost .29 cent then... or less. This was much more fun and we used to spend days and days playing with the catalogs.
This particular day was a stormy day. It hadn't started raining but the sky was dark and the wind was blowing. I was busy taping a reasonable copy cut out of cardboard to the back of my doll when the lightning flashed.  Then a few seconds later the thunder boomed loud overhead. Another flash of lightning followed almost instantly and the thunder rumbled overhead much sooner the second time. I was mesmerized by the sudden blustery winds that accompanied the storm and sat up to look outside. The porch was screened in top to bottom so I had an unobstructed view of the house and trees across the street. The Cumbee's lived across from us and there was a fairly large China Berry tree at the corner of their house.  The wind was whipping it all around, and the sky was dark but eerily bright at the same time. Today you might say we were in the center of a storm cell and the conditions were prime for a tornado. I was blissfully unaware of anything like that, so I sat, awed by the sounds and the flashing lightning. I stared at the tree and suddenly, the sky lit up brighter than I had ever seen it, the China Berry tree lit up too, and down from the top of the tree and across the yard, rolled a ball of fire. It was as big around as a large beach ball and white bright!!  It rolled right up to the edge of the yard,  and disappeared! There was not a sound from it, and no smoke either. It was just as if the sky had tossed a ball of lighting down into the tree and it rolled down the trunk and across the yard. I will say that I was worried it was going to roll on across the little strip of sand that we called a road separating the houses, and pop through the screen.
That was all it took for me to decide I should not be on the front porch protected by screen wire and nothing else... I left paper and scissors to fate and ran in the house. I told Mama I had seen a ball of fire rolling across the yard at the Cumbee's house and she believed me! I found out later that those are rather rare occurences - One is all I need to see but I count myself extremely lucky to have seen something unique like this - And then there was the time we watched a UFO from the back porch when I was little. But thats another story.