It is windy here.
I love seasonal windstorms. Despite its roar, and the cacophony of noises outside from tumbling trash cans, mailboxes, awnings, and who-knows-what-else, I’ve always found the sound of a windstorm to be somewhat comforting, not too different from listening to a thunderstorm or some other white noise.
It amuses me, too. Despite the preponderance of trees, what many people don’t realize is that the Upper Midwest is largely flat land – not as level as Kansas – but not protected by mountain ranges or tremendous valleys. This means that when those eastern-bound winds arrive, they do so as powerful supernatural beings, determined to destroy whatever sits in their paths. Apparently, the winds hate trash cans and recycling bins, because even the most well-tethered trash receptacle is still easy prey for these angry winds.
Whenever the wind is more than 8 miles per hour, the powers that be always make it sound as if we’re living in the Apocalypse. The weather jockeys will spend most of their allotted time talking about how bad these winds are, and that “only a fool” won’t grab the spouse and kids, and set up shelter in the basement. Every soul you meet on the street complains how they’re going to just go “rolling down the road,” if the wind keeps up, yet I’ve never seen that happen. I often remind the complainers that at this very moment, there are winds that are in the 1,300 miles per hour range on Neptune, so this “violent fury” is pretty relative. I usually get a blank stare in response, but I’ve been getting blank stares rather frequently as of late, so I’m starting to get used to that.
As I was driving in this morning, I had to drive around the remains of an unlucky raccoon, which rested in the center of the road. But for the ample quantity of blood that surrounded him, the raccoon appeared to be asleep. It struck me as odd that they carcass did not have any further damage, especially considering the volume of activity on that particular road.
This just seemed strange to me that a deceased animal could remain in such pristine condition, as my experience doesn’t support such a view. Years ago, I was returning home from school when an animal – I never knew what, exactly – darted out into the road. Sadly, we made contact, although I wasn’t convinced that it was killed outright. In fact, once I got to an area where I could perform a U-turn, I did so, thinking that I’d go back and try to tend to my victim, in any way possible.
That proved to be pointless, as a slew of vehicles made short work of that animal’s pain. That’s why I don’t know what it was: It was almost as every subsequent driver targeted the wounded creature, because what I found – less than two full minutes after the accident – could hardly have been described as “a creature.”
This raccoon, however, fared much better. At least he had as of 7 am; I can’t account for his status after that.
I was finally granted the ability to visit my sister today. All of the warning notes were gone, and the closed doors were opened. Physically, she’s frail, something that didn’t click in my mind until I saw her long, thin fingers – something my sister did not have before. She told me that she’d slept for three days, and was slowly starting to feel better. At the same time, it was clear that she was still jumbled mentally. She cannot concentrate, and has merged several conversations into one. The worst part came when she failed to recognize our other siblings, and had to be told who they were.
I’m starting to fear that her mind may not recover from this episode, and I’m sick.