adjective NORTHERN ENGLISH
(of weather) characterized by strong winds.
I woke suddenly in the small hours of Monday morning, wedged round with sleeping cats. I lay still in the darkness wondering groggily what seemed different.
The furnace gave a rattle and the little 'click' that announces the end of its cycle--and there was silence.
Silence, such as hadn't been in nearly 48 hours.
Squinting across the room I made out the tiny red digits on the clock: 3:20 A.M.
I floundered around in my nest of cats and blankets, pushed up the flimsy fabric window shade, propped myself on my elbows to gaze out at a star-sprinkled, dark velvet sky. The waning gibbous moon swung behind the arching bare branches of the trees that stand just beyond the camper trailer.
The branches were un-moving, there was no sound of wind.
The wind has been an intruding presence, dominating our days, and especially our nights.
Saturday evening a fury of wind ushered in lashings of rain, rumblings of thunder. The cats skittered about, nervous. Bobby Mac hunkered in the cupboard under the TV shelf; I flinched each time the trailer shuddered with the impact of a particularly violent gust of wind.
Jim tracked the storm on doplar; I pulled up photos and accounts of local flooding, road closures, updates on the situation at nearby Wolf Creek Dam.
Jim loves the sound of rain on the roof, lulling him to peaceful slumber.
Sleep, for me, was impossible on Saturday night.
This was no gentle rain!
Rain driven in wild downpour, pounding against the camper, while the wind howled. Twigs landed on the roof, scraping and scratching.
By Sunday morning the rain had ceased, but the sky, after a promising sunrise, cloaked itself in default grey.
The wind continued to moan, rattling sear leaves.
I know the provenance of my dislike of a night time wind.
When my parents built their modest small house in 1949, my next younger sister and I were assigned to share the southeast bedroom. [Within a few years she moved to the southwest room at the head of the stairs.]
My narrow bed was placed with its head against the south wall, inches from a window that faced the road toward Grampa Mac's white farmhouse.
The east wall provided a boundary for the length of the bed.
Daddy purchased our first television set in time to watch the inaugural parade that ushered in the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The blurry reception of the TV picture was dependent on an 'antenna,' a bristling structure of thin metal tubing with a long flat flex of cable which ran down the side of the house and through the wall to connect with the TV set which squatted in the corner of the dining room.
The TV antenna was fastened by a metal bracket to the exterior wall outside my bedroom window.
The metal contraption hummed.
It was a low-pitched hum, a sort of monotonous thrumming .
The slightest suggestion of wind induced a full-throated whine.
On a windy night--and there were many--the whine modulated to moans, shrieks, a throbbing roar.
The loose flex slapped against the side of the house.
Switching my pillow to the other end of the bed gave no relief from the sounds that accompanied my restless nights.
I love the gentle winds that ripple a field of standing hay, the breeze that sets laundered sheets billowing on a wash line.
I remember walking the track that traversed Grampa Mac's woodlot when a high wind sang through the tossing branches of maple and beech, wind that seemed never to touch the ground.
Wyoming, where we lived for 12 years, is famous for its winds.
I felt assaulted by the wind there--wind that wuthered and howled around the corners of a house; wind that brought tumbleweeds [and neighbors' trash] surging across a landscape of sand and sagebrush.
It was a wind that skirled down from the mountains, sharp with the scent of snow.
Today the sun has shone, the sky was blue, the wind at rest.
Tonight I walked outside, up the lane, in the clear windless cold, under a dark sky pricked with stars. The waning moon had risen and rode low over the ridge.
Now at midnight, Jim is asleep; the cats are sprawled, sleeping--other than Bobby Mac who is out on the prowl.
I am about to slip into my warm nest.
I have raised the shades enough to let moonlight and starlight spill onto my pillow.
I may--or may not-- sleep well, but I can enjoy the peace of a night without wind.