Quilting, Farming, Variety

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Stormy Weather

As I wrote in the last post, we had severe weather in our county this week. Tornado warnings were in effect for the western part of the county, and since we are on the eastern side we really didn't expect weather that severe, but went to the cellar just the same. It was morning before we heard there had been two tornadoes, resulting in two deaths, and terrible destruction of homes and stores and farm buildings, in town and country. And furthermore, the second storm cut a path all the way from town, through rural areas, and up into the mountains; the way the crow flies it was only about 2 1/2 miles from us where it tore into a home, killing the man who lived there.

Now all this makes me remember storms we experienced before I was ten years old. We had a cellar, such as it was; looking back on it, I seriously doubt we would have been safe inside.

Our cellar was a hole in the ground with a smoke house built over it. Logs, covered with dirt, made the cellar's ceiling and rocks lined its walls. There were shelves on two sides where Mama put her canned vegetables, fruits, pickles, and jellies. The first smoke house was made of logs,

but by the time I can remember, planks had been added for siding. In this picture the cellar door is open, behind the boys. Now this is somewhat like our cellar adventures could have been:

One day Wanda saw a snake go between the rocks, leaving its tail sticking out. Mama brought a hoe to try to pull it out, but the snake's tail broke off, leaving the snake to hide there. As time passed, spring days heated up and storm clouds formed, forcing us to make trips to the cellar, sometimes several times in the same night. Daddy carried Charlotte; Mama threw an old quilt over us and one over herself and Wanda and we dashed out into the rain and lightning and thunder, toward the cellar. Daddy latched the door and lit the lantern. The wind roared and rattled the door, rain beat down, and hail bounced off the ground.

"I hope that snake died," said Wanda. The girls crowded close to Mama and shivered from the dampness. Charlotte felt sick inside from being jerked awake in the middle of the night; Wanda complained that her feet were wet and cold. Air from the crack around the door made the lantern light flicker, the glass jars glistened in the faint light, and shadows danced and swayed on the cellar walls.

Charlotte thought she saw something move on the wall above Mama's chair. She rubbed her eyes and looked again. There is was, sorta waving back and forth like the slow-moving wag of a dog's tail. TAIL!! That was it! That was a snake's tail! The snake must still be inside the rocks! She gasped and hid her face in Mama's quilt.

...to be continued

I am rather confused with the blogging problems; I have lost my list of followers (I am so proud to be told I now have 17!) and there are some blogs that will not let me leave a comment. But since others have said they're having the same problems, I feel better, knowing it's not my fault. lol So, if you don't hear from me it doesn't mean I'm not reading your posts; you're still my friends and I love visiting with you.



  1. You are such a wonderful story-teller Charlotte. I just love reading your stories. I think you are a very good writer.
    The pictures are just priceless. I had to call my husband over and have him take a look!
    Have a great Memorial Day weekend.
    (When I write my posts, I am talking to myself more than anyone else. I need to get a lot bolder about my faith,)

  2. blogger was having a problem for awhile, I know I was having a hard time leaving comments on numerous blogs for awhile and couldn't on some no matter how many times I tried.

  3. The old pictures are priceless, and your story could only have been written by someone who has spent stormy nights in an old cellar.

  4. Can't wait to read the rest of your story.
    Sad to hear that the storms were so close to you.
    Hope the blogging problems are resolved soon.

  5. I loved your story it brings back memories for me and those old cellars for sure. I like your pictures too. Thank you for your comments on mine. I've been hearing the whipperwills for a while now. I've had blogging issues as well. It was down all last week, couldn't leave a comment at all, then came back in yesterday. I'm not sure it's fixed yet and I surely hope this one goes through... Thanks Again... Susie

  6. I love the pictures of your old smokehouse. We used to have cellars when I was growing up, there was a cellar top on one of them. The other was dug back into the bank and dirt was on top of it. Thankfully we never had to go in it to escape storms. I remember how cool they were in the summertime, we need one now to escape the heat.