Today was the sort of day Kansans brag about surviving. Some time this morning, the wind grew fierce, or at least it was moving a lot faster than I can run: approximately 40 miles an hour. But if this was a campfire story, I would guess it was going at least interstate speed. At least. The sky was having serious mood swings; one minute it was grey and mopey, the next cheery and sunny. A tornado watch sounded over the hospital intercom. I probed the clouds with my eyes, trying to determine which one might drop a funnel. The clouds didn’t do anything interesting though; just kept rushing around, changing their minds. Eventually I had to abandon my post and return my “real job”. Minutes before I left for home, the monsoon started. I wasn’t wet yet so I could appreciate the clean, fresh air smell, better than any dryer sheet. Several women huddled near the hospital door. I watched the downpour for a moment before I decided to surrender. I rolled up my pants, took off my new shoes and went for it. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I thought I was heading for the fray, the rain began to lift. I secretly knew God wanted to help me preserve my new black patent leathers. He did make the first clothes, after all. The Saab made it through a few high water spots on the south side of town where, I hypothesize, the city doesn’t pay to drain the water because its the “lower income” neighborhood. Just a theory. Josh came home an hour or so after me. I must add that he arrived bearing a beautiful Acme bouquet and raspberry sorbet with gummy bears on top. The man speaks my language. He wasn’t home for an hour before the hail came, the kind that sounds like shattering glass when it makes contact with the air conditioning unit. The sky is unhappy looking, rumbling deeply to show us how serious it is. I’m wondering when my nightstand lamp will blink off with a power outage. The tornado watch is still in effect, but so far, no sirens.
All this weather got me wondering though: where does wind come from? When I ask questions like this, I can’t help but assume that everyone else remembers this answer from kindergarten, but I was home-schooled in kindergarten and we didn’t learn things like that. Besides, I grew up in Oregon so the only things they teach in school are how to grow organic things, how to vote Democrat, and how to tell the difference between a Volkswagen and a Volvo. Naturally, when I have five year old questions like this one, I Google it. WikiAnswer came up as an option so I clicked on it, not expecting a meterologist’s response but not expecting a third grader either. I got the third grader. Here was my WikiAnswer: “Wind is a result of changing temperatures. As you may know, warm air rises. When it does, cooler air rushes in to take its place, thus causing wind. I think…” You think? Sheesh. How am I supposed to write my science paper on that? I continued my search and found this handy diagram. It’s actually fairly helpful, I mean, for those of you who don’t remember how God makes wind from your kidhood. To give credit where credit is due, click HERE to go to the site.