For those of you who think hell is hot, consider this. Hell can be round as a golf ball, cold as ice, and falling like evil raindrops all over your summer vacation.
Each summer saw me and my hubby on a cross country road trip from Texas to see our wonderful grandkids in Colorado.
Since we went the New Mexico route last time, we found ourselves heading across Kansas in an effort to change the scenery.
The yellow columbine wildflowers were everywhere. But other than that the panorama became a horizontal blur of yellows and greens, flat as the kitchen floor.
That was when I made my bad mistake!
I said I was bored. Evidently Kansas heard me and knew how to fix that. Before long I got excited when I glimpsed a dust devil off to the left. As I watched it turned diagonally toward us. At first I was glad to get a better look at it till it seemed to mutate into a tiny tornado!
On looking around, my husband declared all we could do was to go forward as there were no side roads or turnarounds in sight. He sped up but so did the twister. Soon the windshield wipers were going full speed, but to no avail. The road had become bumpy as we heard the clunk of drumbeats all over the car.
The speedometer was shocked as we kept trying to outrun that snarky storm. Finally we saw an overpass in the far distance. But when we got there we realized it provided very little relief since the sideways hailstones were now pelting the windows!
But there was no place else to go. So we snuggled in as far as possible in the hoped-for safety of the cement overpass, hoping to see it blow over soon. Before it was over we counted 24 cars packed tightly under there, blocking the highway as others hovered nearby, wishing for cover themselves.
It seemed to go on forever. At some point we realized the other cars squeezed so closely were acting as a protection against hail damage to our car since so much hail was hurling itself sideways.
As a teacher I’ve always helped children find fascination rather than suffering in storms by telling them to watch the light show movie in the sky. But this light show was different. It was like we were inside a surround screen with frightening lightning on all sides. We were unwilling extras in this movie.
Eventually it passed and cars slowly started untangling from the makeshift shelter. We noticed people didn’t resume normal speed. Maybe it was because they were too shaken up, or they were afraid of catching up to that devil storm. Or both.
As we neared our exit from the freeway, we were caught in a surreal scene of shining white everywhere, like a big snowstorm. Yet it was mid-summer so it couldn’t be snow. We finally comprehended that it was just what we thought we had escaped–hail, hail, everywhere, covering the landscape as far as we could see.
We made it to our westward destination, and had a grand time with the grandkids, only to discover from an insurance adjuster the next day that we were vacationing in the most hailed-on county in America!
But that’s another story.