I Hate the Wind · 26 October 2007

I hate the wind. Or at least big wind storms. It is not the flickering lights or the power outages that get to me. It is left over from my childhood. Part of it is from telling ghost stories in the camper at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Part of it is from living in Jeffrey City, Wyoming where the wind seemed to howl all the time. But the main reason that I hate big wind storms is because my brother, Scott, and sister, Marcie, almost blew away in one!

One night, Scott and Marcie who must have been in third and first grade or so were sleeping outside in the tent. I was in 9th or 10th grade and I do not really remember the wind blowing in Spokane until that night. After living in Wyoming, where it seemed to be windy all the time, I had already learned to really dislike the wind. For some reason, that night the wind was howling so fiercely that it woke me up. I heard something besides the wind outside too. I looked and listened out the back window. The sound was Scott and Marcie screaming! Their campout had turned into something quite different than just sleeping in the tent. The wind had blown so hard that two of the tent stakes nearest had come out. The wind blew hard up the hill in the back yard and the tent acted like a sail. The force was enough to pull out the two stakes nearest the hill and the wind was lifting Scott and Marcie up with the bottom of the tent. I knew I had to help out but instead of rushing right out to get them, I got more help first. I ran upstairs and pounded on Mom and Dad’s door yelling, “Scott and Marcie are blowing away!” I then ran back downstairs and went outside hoping that Dad was right behind me. He was and we fought the wind to get the tent into a position to let Scott and Marcie out. Of course, they would not have blown away but they were both so young that they were light enough to get tossed around when the bottom of the tent was acting like a sail. Dad and I finally got them out fine and neither was hurt. Just a bit scared.

As it all unfolded, I am sure that Dad and I were quite the sight grabbing the tent and using our bodies as ballast to keep the tent on the ground while we let Scott and Marcie out. It was almost dawn and since all of us boys slept in our underwear, Dad and I probably looked like two pairs of white briefs trying to stop the tent from blowing away. Especially, if sleepy eyes from next door had just glanced into our backyard at the right time.

Scott looks back on that night and says it was fun bouncing around but that is probably just hindsight. I, on the other hand, really did think that they were blowing away because of how I remember the wind blowing in Jeffrey City. I am sure that I had visions of Dorothy getting blown away to Oz or of Scott and Marcie getting their heads bashed on the cement patio and needing to go to the hospital. In reality, I am sure the situation was somewhere between the bouncy arena that Scott remembers and the gale-force winds that I see in my mind. Either way, neither of them was hurt that night.

As I look back, it was a surreal event. The tent flapping in the wind with Marcie and Scott screaming. Pounding on the door screaming, “Scott and Marcie are blowing away!” Dad and I being outside in our underwear trying to get them out. Everybody going back inside and going to sleep as if nothing unusual had happened. My other brother, Russell, never waking up during the whole ordeal.

I guess that I probably do not really hate the wind but it is the only kind of weather that I do not like. It is the weather that makes me want to turn on all the lights and stay in the center of the house until the blowing stops. And the dislike probably does not come from the ghost stories in the camper at Grandpa and Grandma’s or even the howling wind in Jeffrey City. I am sure that the main reason I have such strong feelings against the wind is because of the night that Scott and Marcie almost blew away.

© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi

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From Long Walks Home unpublished.



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