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.
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