Editor's Query: Tell us about a time when ... a storm resulted in something surprising

Sunday, October 17, 2010

At first, the sound of the approaching train didn't register. After all, we do have a train track running through our back yard. But there was something odd about the sound that caused me to pause from the frantic work of preparing to host our friends' wedding.

I looked up from touching up the paint on our home to find skies turned black and felt the wind kick into high gear. Standing atop a 20-foot ladder with a paintbrush in hand suddenly seemed like a very bad place to be.

Unfortunately, I didn't feel much safer inside my home. With no basement and the only rooms without windows being closets, I spent the next moments getting more acquainted with my vacuum than I ever intended to be.

When the roaring stopped, I opened the door to find that my house was still there. Looking outside, however, I found the yard in complete chaos. Three huge trees were destroyed, and massive limbs were everywhere.

I looked toward the place where the wedding tent had been set up the day before. Surely it was in Kansas by now. But, for no reason I can imagine, there it stood -- still firmly planted, sans one lonely and clearly defective stake.

Catherine P. Gillespie, Gordonsville, Va.

New query

Tell us about a time when a show-and-tell didn't go exactly as planned.

If you have a 100 percent true story taken from your own experience concerning the above query, send it to queries@washpost.com or The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.

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