The Wind Died Down

Last Friday, Husband and I left Jamestown, ND after playing hand bells at an Eastern Star convention. (That is a post in itself! ) We left about 7:00 pm.  It was still pretty light, as far north as we are.  By 8:00 we ran into the worst rain storm I have encountered on the road.  We could see the storm coming for miles, a rotating cloud of blue black, with white wind clouds on the fringe, threatening hail.  We learned later that the wind was blowing at 70 mph in this storm. The storm hit with a hard punch, and the rain was torrential. I pulled over and put my emergency flashers on,  since I couldn’t see the road, anything that was in front of me, or any exit from the interstate. It took a good 20 minutes for the storm to diminish and for us to cautiously proceed on our way home.  I found I  was only 20 yards from an exit, but it was obscured by the rain and wind. We saw a pickup and trailer in the ditch not far from where we pulled over. There was no hail, I am happy to report.

We have lived with the wind for 30 years out here.  It is a force to contend with.  Our house is perpetually dusty.  On Saturday, the wind blew steadily at 35 mph with gusts up to 45. The tomato and pepper plants  tossed all day.  They were wind whipped and twisted. They amazingly recover every time this happens.  We chose to stay indoors and dust and clean.  It was so unpleasant to even step outdoors.  One of my secretaries said they were branding calves on Saturday and they had to close the barn door because the wind was blowing dust all over the food for the people helping them.

The wind finally died down on Saturday night. It was such a relief.  Sunday was calm, and we watered and  recovered from the gusts of the days before. In  Giants In the Earth, Rolvaag writes of women going mad with the wind in Eastern South Dakota.  I can relate to them.

Tell about memorable storms. Tell about stories and poems of the wind.

29 thoughts on “The Wind Died Down”

  1. When I began hunting pheasants in South Dakota in 1980 I was stunned by the nearly constant presence of wind. That was new to me. And when I later wrote a book based mostly in South Dakota, wind was a prominent feature. I called one chapter “A Land Shaped By Wind.” That description is apt in a way few folks would appreciate until they’d experienced that wind.

    The first time I was in South Dakota I complained about the constant buffeting from wind. Some salty old guy at a gas station explained to me, “Yeah, that’s how it is. Montana blows and Minnesota sucks, and we poor folks in the Dakotas are stuck in the middle!”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. my daughter plays ultimate frisbee
    it is soccer with a frisbee basically and a wonderful sport.
    it was at the blain sports complex with about 50 soccer fields
    3 /100 minute games on saturday to determine seed in the finals then 3 games sunday
    wind and rain saturday, wind sunday
    the wind makes for a whole different frisbee match than a calm day
    lots of strategy
    my daughters team is not great but they play with great heart
    it is the way sports should be

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Our son played Ultimate Frisbee in college, though not as part of a team. Watching that video and some of the plays, it’s not hard to see why son got a concussion.


  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I was away for several days, driving through the S. MN and N Iowa wind, which is tame compared to the wind on the Great Plains. I went to Iowa over the weekend to visit my mother and to attend an awards ceremony at Iowa State University where my family has a Memorial 4H scholarship in my father’s name. The experience is always touching. The scholarship was the result of a terrible storm in my family’s life years ago.

    I have several weather storm stories, but I will try to tell them later as I must now launch myself out of the house.WP has been giving me fits when I try to work from my iPad, which is also part of my absence. Friday I type out a reply and nothing would post. GRRR.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Either I’m a reckless fool or just at the wrong place at the wrong time more than is normal. Worst storm I’ve been through was in 1999, July 4. Upper Missouri River Breaks wilderness area. End of first day of canoeing down the Missouri with dad, uncle, and dad’s best friend. We camped on an undeveloped flood plain with waist high grass at the bottom of a rather deep canyon (hundreds of feet high on both sides). Storm started at sundown. We estimated the wind at 50+ mph constanty. Our tent poles collapsed from the side pressure. Rained buckets for what seemed like hours. We were soaked inside the tent because the fabric merely delayed the water piercing through by about five minutes. Scariest part was a tree branch fell on my uncle’s tent (He’s a loud snorer, so he slept alone). He wasn’t hurt, but could have been. The branch weighed 20 or 30 lbs, we guessed. But hardest on the psyche was the constant lightning for six straight hours, from 10 pm- 4 am. I’m talking at least one strike per minute! And the canyon walls echoed and amplified those strikes so each one sounded like it was just out of arms reach. That’s the only time I truly expected to die.

    Next morning, we woke to learn that a group camping about 100 yds from us had carelessly left their canoe resting on the river bank and it had likely been blown into the river and floated downstream. The funny part was they were working for the US Forest service or simiilar govt. agency. so they should have known to be more careful. But they said it was their first day on the job. Maybe their last after the canoe deal. We searched for their canoe that day as we paddled downriver, but I don’t recall we found it. Someone else may have retrieved it for them.

    I have other storm stories, but none nearly as interesting as that one. 🙂

    So far I’ve been lucky when it comes to weather disasters. But one is never 100% safe in Midwest farm country.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The National weather service describes really windy conditions here as “breezy”. It seems a little too polite for what we experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A 1962 blizzard found my family and my parent’s best friends snowed in for three days. My sisters and I learned to play pinochle during the wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not sure I could deal with the wind on the Plains.
    Even the wind in flat, western MN is something more to contend with than I’m used too.

    No extra-ordinary storm stories. Snow, hail, rain, wind… just the usual.
    My biggest concern after a big T-storm is if trees have come down across township roads. The neighbors or Sheriff will call one of us. We’ve got a guy on the board now who is a real ‘Go-Getter’. He’ll be out driving around before the rain has stopped looking for issues. Part of me says ‘Dude, chill.’ and the other part of me says ‘You go, man.’

    When I had cattle I was more worried about trees down on fence lines. Or high water taking out a fence over the creeks.


    1. My mother’s family resided in Pipestone. Every family picture taken there has the wind blowing their hair and clothing. There are many windmills there. All I can say about that is, they are placed correctly. The wind there is relentless.


  8. I remember a camping trip we had planned on the land of our friends who had a cabin (now a full-fledged house) on Wisconsin’s South Shore (not far from Steve’s cabin). We arrived, set up tent and were blowing up the air mattress when the wind picked up. Wasn’t long before we were in a real gale, and were invited to sleep inside that first night. Was really glad to be in this cozy place as the wind howled and the heavens opened!

    I didn’t realize what kind of winds you regularly deal with, Renee. I am aware from readings of many different names for different kinds of winds – chinook comes to mind, and trade winds… Found this list at Mental Floss, but most of them are from other continents:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. In 1983 I lived in Southern Minnesota, and I got around in a little VW Bug that was pretty worn and rickety. I was coming up to the Cities for something–don’t remember what–with my the 2 year old son. We were going to stay with friends in Minneapolis. I was listening to WCCO on the drive. As I came up 35W into Minneapolis, just a bit south of the Lyndale intersection, I heard the announcer report “There is a rotating cloud right at 35 and Lyndale forming a tornado at this very moment.”

    I looked up, and indeed, there it was rotating right over my car. I pushed the little car to the fastest speed it would go and am-scrayed right outa there. Thankfully, it did not touch down at that point. Scared me though.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. We have some children’s books about the wind-Who Has Seen The Wind and The Wind Jumps Into Your Shoes At Night.


  11. Every summer for at least a decade, my family’s annual vacation wasn’t to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, the ocean or anywhere else but Edgewood Resort to Park Rapids Minnesota for my dad to fish for two weeks.

    On one 8-hour drive in our old Cadillac convertible, a hail storm like no other descended upon us. The hail was so large that it began pounding on the canvass top and started to breach it. I got hysterical. My brother, as I recall, placed his body over mine to protect and reassure me that I wouldn’t die. He can verify or disclaim this memory, but it’s mine.

    Liked by 2 people

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