Monday, March 7, 2011

The Blustery Day

Last night, by the sound of things outside my window, I thought a major storm had arrived. But no, it was just extremely windy. Call it a wind storm if you will, though not a powerful enough one to knock a tree down. It's still windy this morning as I write this, and so I thought I'd discuss the wind with you all...

Oh hell with discussing the wind! I'll just half-remember an old story that happened when we lived in Florida. My sister and I lived with my Mom and her second husband, Ray. We had our own (rented) house at first, but Ray was a sign painter and work (he worked only out of the trunk of his car) must have slowed way down. So, we ended up living with Fat Annie and her two teenage boys. She had rooms to rent, so we rented one, and all four of us shared one small room. It was like something out of a Charles Dickens novel. Anyway, that's another subject.

One weekend Fat Annie was going to take her boys to a little carnival, mostly just booths with various games. I think she asked Mom if we could go along, and Mom said sure and gave us some money. We arrived in Fat Annie's beat up old Chevy, and the whole thing was setup in a large parking lot. You had to but those little tickets to play the games, so we did, and we were actually having some fun when suddenly (and I do mean suddenly) the wind went crazy! My sister's hair was blowing like mad and mine, being a bit longer than hers, was blowing even wilder! Everyone seemed to ignore it at first, as if it was nothing, but soon the wind got stronger and then it started to rain. Just a few light drops at first, but within minutes (and just as I was about to win a stuffed bear) it started pouring. It was suddenly a heavy rain, and then the wind picked up even more. I'd never been in anything like it before, when shockingly (to me) the booths and their tent coverings took off into the air! It was wild and crazy! We ran to the edge of the parking lot for shelter under Fat Annie's huge body, and from that limited safety, we watched our wonderful afternoon and stuffed bear dreams blow away into the dark, rainy sky. Soon the whole lot was empty, with debris everywhere, but all the game booths and any prizes worth playing for had disappeared.

The storm died as suddenly as it had been born, and Fat Annie kept saying to herself that she shouldn't have brought my sister and I with them, and what would she tell our mother (Mom had been a little reluctant to let us go).

I had a pocket of very wet and deteriorating tickets left in my pocket, but no money. Annie pulled into a McDonald's and she kindly "traded" us the worthless tickets for a few dollars to buy a couple of hamburgers and some fries. That hot, cheap food almost made the ordeal worth it, and I think we went home to our room pretty happy.

Childhood memories also make me think of all those television specials and cartoons we loved so much, even when we'd seen them many times before. The Winnie the Pooh cartoons were favorites, especially, The Blustery Day.

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