And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that today, July 13, is one of those miserable weather days summer sometimes visits on Iowa, with the humid, hot air of “air you can wear” thickness.
It could have been worse. I listened all day Sunday to dire forecasts of gale force winds, hail and heavy rain, with a possible tornado, for the period between midnight and 4 a.m. today. I decided not to put out the green trash bin or recyclable bin for morning collection, knowing from past experience that a strong sneeze is enough to tip the former over and rain ruining newspapers in the latter.
I watched one final Weather Channel forecast before I went to bed early, hoping to get a few hours sleep before all hell broke loose. The meteorologist noted that the Minnesota storm which was expected to head our way seemed to be taking a slight eastward turn, but sort of dismissed the idea.
So, I was awake at 3 a.m., and I heard the sound which turned out to be the wind approaching from a distance away, and then noted its arrival. I heard two trash bins in the neighborhood turn over. I congratulated myself on my foresight. Then about half an hour later, the rain came. But it wasn’t very heavy, and I heard no hail. Next time I woke up, all was calm. So, I turned on the radio before I got out of bed, to find weather forecasters apologizing for having missed in their forecasts. Good news.
Today came with early morning announcements to remember animals and the elderly, who would be in peril from the oppressive heat. Since I am now definitely in the category of “the elderly” I decided to limit my activities as a precaution.
Weather is something we cannot control and so is something we always notice.
When I heard the forecast for hail, I thought of my own little garden, but also about the farm crops I had observed on a trip through parts of Allamakee and Clayton counties earlier in the weekend. I don’t recall seeing as much variation in crop growth as I saw. Some corn was over six feet tall and looked ready to tassel while others did well to make knee high by the Fourth of July. Same difference in soybean fields. But hail would have been hard on all.
Speaking of hail, we did have some small hail stones one recent evening. I heard them hitting the window air conditioner, but did not immediately get up from the davenport to look. When I looked out the front window, I could see the white dots on the lawn. I got a drink of water, then looked again. Still there! It was warm, so why were they not melted? I went to the door on the front porch for a better look in the dusky time of day, and realized it was white clover blossoms that I was seeing.
Felt sheepish.