Injured in the line of duty

Yesterday's wasn't the first hail of the season; we had two storms in early June, one of which went on to spawn a tornado over Billings, 122 miles east, where it ripped the roof off the 10,000 person Rimrock Arena. You can read all about it here, and watch a video of it here, or  here. The first, very short video (21 seconds) shows the funnel clearly, but the next one, taken from much closer, shows the formation of the cloud and the debris that filled the air. Incredibly, no one was even hurt.

Here in Bozeman, my garden damage from those first storms amounted to a few shredded lettuce leaves and a still-green strawberry knocked from its stem. Pretty minor, but I have adopted a zero-tolerance policy with regard to strawberry damage, so I started putting up row-cloths over my strawberry plots scattered around the neighborhood. Eventually I installed row-cloths at the western end of all my plots, ready to whip over the beds if the weather looked threatening.(They're at the western ends so I don't have to fight the wind as I'm pulling them into place.)

My Significant Other (SO) thought this overkill, but after losing my garden to hail two summers back, I was willing to endure his laughter.

Most of the beds were already covered when the sky started to darken yesterday afternoon, but I was outside wrestling a cover over my patio barrels when a sound I'd never heard started up: a dull roar that got closer, and closer, sounding like nothing so much as a train approaching through the sky. Is this what a tornado sounds like? I wondered, looking up. No funnels, and none of that intensely dark, greenish light I associate with tornado weather, so I yanked again at the plastic sheeting. Then the sound was right there, and suddenly I got konked on the head by what felt like a brick.

Forget the sheeting. I ducked inside and stood there in the kitchen holding my head, which hurt like the dickens, listening to my tears hit the floor. Then I opened my eyes and realized that those drops weren't tears: they were blood.

It's a pretty small cut, so I opted not to get it stitched. Instead, I figured some alcohol (the kind you use to clean cuts, not the kind you drink–though some of that might be in order as well!) Head hail 2 and an ice pack would fix me up, except that we didn't have any ice. Then I looked outside at the chunks of hail scattered around the yard and realized that this was not a problem. So here I am undergoing home medical treatment:

Photo credits go to Scott, one of the college students next door. He and his nursing-student girlfriend peered at the cut just after I got it, making gratifyingly sympathetic noises, and offering to do chauffeur service should I suddenly find myself reeling about the room.

When my SO got home from work and a meeting, he treated me to a
rather chaming exercise in role reversal, for he insisted on calling
the emergency room to ask whether I and my head gash should pay them a
visit. Once they heard that I wasn't gushing blood, they said it was my
call. Me, I preferred to  move on to the other kind of alcohol and trade
stories with the neighbors. If there's a scar, I figure I can show it
to my grandkids and quaver, "Yes, deary, I got that in the hail storm
of 2010."

5 Responses to Injured in the line of duty

  1. So sorry the sky fell on you! But you do have a good story to tell.

  2. Blimey, it all happens in Bozeman, doesn’t it? What a fetching photograph – one you’ll cherish, I’m sure!
    Hope it heals up quickly and that both types of alcohol did the trick.

  3. Thanks, you two. Yes, it is a good story, Meredehuit,, especially as my head stopped hurting before I went to bed that first night, and the cut doesn’t seem to be getting infected. Change either of those things, and I might not think the experience worth the story I got out of it!
    Hi, Amanda. Yes, the alcohols seem to have worked their magics. Glad you like the photo. As for it all happening in Bozeman–too much of it, for my taste! Thanks for stopping by.
    –Kate

  4. Charming picture, Kate. You look like someone out of a Beatrix Potter book, if it had any humans.
    So in your last post you referred to your husband and in this one to your SO. Are these two different people? Ha!

  5. Hmm, is that really you, Sally? Wonderful!
    I’d better explain to the rest of you that Sally, I, and the SO/husband in question were all at college together, and that when I was between boyfriends, Sally asked if I’d considered said SO/husband as an option, to which I famously (infamously) replied, “Oh–I don’t know.”
    Shows that I really didn’t know.
    As to your question, Sally, yes, they’re different people, and I’ve long been living a double life with a secret lover, and oh no! it just slipped out by accident here on the blog.
    Not.
    Actually, years ago, I remember taking acute notice when a newly married friend referred to his wife as his “partner,” deliberately employing a gender-neutral, marriage-neutral term. I always respected his (and his–er–
    partner’s) refusal to employ the wife/husband nomenclature available only to the hererosexual middle-of=the-the-road married types like myself.
    Or so I thought. I didn’t know Mr. Subjunctive then, nor was I acquainted with his charming reference to his SO as “the husband,” even before they
    were officially married.
    But I’d already long since taken the easy conventional route, calling my partner my husband, and it’s a hard habit to break. I’m working on it, though. Hence the occasional reference to my SO–my Significant Other.
    –Kate

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