Thunderstorm Chaos

I was sitting at my computer this afternoon, the sun was shining, the boys were playing in the hose, the Island Girl had just left to go for a run and everything seemed peaceful.

Within 5 minutes the sky went dark and then a gust of wind came through that bent the tree in my front yard straight to the ground. And then another gust and another one right behind it and I swear for a second I wondered if we had a waterspout over our heads.

The wind was howling (truly hurricane sounding)and the boys came flying through the door yelling "Mom! Something's happening out there"

I was coming through the house, grabbing dogs, the cat and the boys along the way and wondering if I should put them in the closet or just all together in the living room.

And absolutely freaking out that the Island Girl was out in that mess.

As I came around the corner, the Island King was coming down the hall at a run wanting to know what was happening. Poor guy was in the bathroom when the wind hit, heard something big fall in the backyard and didn't know what was happening.

I'm yelling that the Island Girl is outside somewhere, the wind is still blowing really hard, raining is coming down in sheets, the dogs are barking at full volume and both boys are now sitting on the couch, eyes as big as dinner plates.

And the Island King looks ready to spring into action - except that he still doesn't even know what's happening. He did grasp that Island Girl was outside somewhere so he grabbed his keys and took off towards his truck.

I took a deep breath and then heard tires squeal and a horn blaring.

I look outside and the Island King must not have looked when he was backing out because another car was coming by at the same time and he backed right out in front of him. Missed the guy by about an inch.

After he left I looked out the Florida room door and saw that the noise the Island King heard must have been this.

I was really anxious for the Island King to get back with my girl so I stood at the door watching for them. The wind and rain died down a little and just as they pulled up I started hearing a horrible screaming sound from the front yard.

The Island King heard it too and went over to the tree to see what it was and the kids all followed.

The wind was still blowing hard and small limbs were falling and there was some serious lightning going on so I went out to tell them to come back inside.

And walked right up on a snake. On my driveway.

FC, you and Swamp Angel can start throwing tomatoes at me now but I HATE snakes and snakes in my yard are unacceptable. I don't live in the woods. I live in a neighborhood. My habitat - not theirs.

Immediately, all thoughts of the lightning and the tree limbs falling left and I started yelling "Snake! Kill it!" at the Island King.

I'm jumping up and down, yelling and pointing at the snake and the kids are crowding around to see the snake. Because the Island King knows that I have serious issues with snakes and that if he doesn't kill this one I'll have serious issues with him too, he comes over to kill the snake.

I guess I should tell you that this was a little snake. Little, like about a foot long and about as big around as a pencil. I should also tell you that it doesn't matter. Little snake, big snake, they're all the same to me. Terrifying.

The Island King walked up and put his foot over the snake and told the boys to get him something to kill the snake with.

While all of this is happening the wind is still howling, it's raining really hard and there's a lot of lightning. And all 5 of us are in the middle of the driveway. And whatever was making the horrible screaming noise has stopped.

The front door is wide open and the dogs can see us but are tied up in the living room so they can't get out and they are barking louder than I've ever heard them bark. Seriously loud.

Meanwhile the boys have brought little twigs to the Island King and he's frustrated because he's trapped in the rain and lightning with a snake under his foot and a crazy woman in front of him yelling "Kill it! Kill it!" so he snaps and starts yelling for someone to bring him a shovel.

I knew there was a shovel on the side of the house but it was raining and I was in a tizzy about the snake under my husband's foot and the lightning so I started yelling "There's a shovel next to the mailbox!"

Kids are scattering, all looking for the shovel and the dogs are barking so loud that we have to yell to be heard over them and then I see the Youngest Island Boy, standing out by the mailbox and I yelled at him to get back up here and help find the shovel.

And he has a meltdown in the rain, yelling that I told him to go out there and that there is no shovel out by the mailbox and that now he doesn't know what to do.

The Oldest Island Boy showed up with a little plastic shovel and I have to say that I really admire the restraint the Island King showed as he patiently explained that he needed the real shovel from the side of the house.

There he was, standing in the rain, lightning popping all around him, dogs barking, wife yelling, kids yelling, snake under his foot and for a moment I saw a "Just shoot me now" look on his face.

And then I started laughing. Between the dogs, the thunder, and the wind, the noise level was outrageous and as I looked around I realized that all the houses on the street were quiet. All but mine. Only in my front yard were dogs barking and people yelling. Only my house appeared to be in absolute chaos.

Which made me laugh even harder.

I wondered if this is what insanity feels like. You know, standing in the rain, laughing hysterically. Which made me laugh even harder.

The scary thing is that it felt really good.

Finally, the shovel appeared, the Island King killed the snake and we all ran inside. Where we should have been all along.

The storm moved on a little while later and we're left with a yard full of tree limbs and debris to clean up.

When I checked the weather this morning there was only a 10% chance of afternoon thunderstorms and nothing on the radar so this storm took us completely by surprise.

The Island King, who's been a little grumpy this evening, said "Did you notice that none of the other women on the block had their entire families outside in the middle of the storm so they could kill a pencil sized snake?"


In case you haven't noticed, I'm not like the other women on the block.