The 8th Annual, Indian Summer, A Windy Hillbilly Party, The Winds Of Sandy

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Thanksgiving Day 2012 has come and gone. It was such a special day for everyone. In many ways it’s my favorite holiday. Ya just have to be thankful for what you have in life. For many of us, we have so much, it seems too much to measure on a 1 – 10 scale. Then we take a whole day to just pause and say “Thank you Lord for my stuff”. Thanksgiving Day, it’s about the things we have, our stuff, and the blessings we’ve received. For most, there are many.

Our 8th Annual Howard Family Free Thanksgiving Dinner was SWELL !!! The largest crowd ever. And yes, we’ll be back come Thanksgiving next. What started out as simply a dream by a sad little hillbilly boy on a cold November night, a long time ago in downtown Toto, has turned into a dream come true. A dream come true, 8 times over. The Lords been good to me.

That Indian Summer thing a couple weeks ago was kinda neat. It always comes along, the Indian Summer. Don’t know why it comes along, it just does. The official definition of Indian Summer is “An unusually warm spell after a hard freeze in late autumn”. It was 65° by that November 11th early afternoon, and that qualified as Indian Summer for this year in my book.

The day started out at 57° and soon ran up to 65°. The wind came by with the temperature rise. By 9:00 O’clock that morning we had a an official Wind Warning from the National Weather Service for Starke County Indiana. Sustained winds at 50 mph, with gusts to 65 – 70 mph, they said. They were not wrong. Starting from the south the winds came by, 40 to 60 mph all day long. At the EastWing, we’ve never seen a hurricane. A Hurricane Force is when the winds are sustained above 74 mph. That November day with gusts close to 70 mph, we almost did.

We had family over that windy Sunday. It was a pop up party kinda thing that went together in a few short minutes. No long term planning of the party, no long term worries about what if the party is a flop. ‘Course that’s never a concern ‘cause hillbilly parties are never flops. Just some are more fun than others. No worries about menu planning. None of that kinda stuff in planning a hillbilly party. When nephew Kevin asking that Sunday Morning if it would it be ok for his brother Ken and family came down from Michigan City? And just like that, a party was born in the EastWing. One of the good things ‘bout being hillbilly is we can party quick.

WOW ! 14 hillbillies in the EastWing makes for a good day, even when the wind blows. And it did blow, first from the south, then the west, then the north. And every time the direction changed the temperature continued to drop like a rock in water. A major cold front swept across the EastWing gardens as well as the rest of the Midwest and plummeted the degrees into the winter time. And with that Winter snuck into the EastWing on the wings of the wind.

Ya can’t see the wind ya know, hot or cold, ya can never see the wind. But ya can always hear the music, hot or cold, ya can hear and see the music of the wind. And it matters not what direction it drives the thermometer, up or down. Ya can only hear and see the music of, but never see the wind. Although you can most certainly feel the things the wind makes happen, hot or cold. Then as the shades of nighttime closed around the EastWing that November 11th evening, the nightshades also silenced the wind.

One of the marvels of current technology is live weather radar. I’ve got this link to a thing called Weather Underground that allows me to look in real time into what is happening, not on a national or state level, but at the EastWing level. It’s the damnest thing ya ever saw, I zoom into the EastWing and it’s not like I get to see what’s happening in Chicago, or the state of Indiana. I see what’s happing by my flag pole in the front EastWing Garden, right out there by my mailbox. It’s the Weather Underground, and it’s kinda cool. If you’re a weather geek like me, you’ll like the Weather Underground. It brings a whole new meaning to “Local Weather Report”. Live radar up close and personal.

It was amazing to watch that transitional day, November 11th , go from “Indian Summer” of late autumn and the temperature go from the 60’s to the 30’s in less than a 24 hour time span. To be able to set in the EastWing and watch such a weather change is always a pleasure and a joy. It’s particularly a pleasure and a joy when you’re on the inside looking out and not on the outside looking in.

An interesting sideline to the story of the November 11th windy day is what produced such wind here at the EastWing in northern Indiana. Why it was Hurricane Sandy of course. Now it’s 700 miles from the EastWing to the Atlantic Ocean at New York City Harbor. 700 miles from where the storm made landfall, and the near hurricane force winds reached all the way to the EastWing.

Not only did Hurricane Sandy bring the EastWing ever so close to hurricane force winds, even more records were being set on both sides of Lake Michigan. The highest waves ever recorded on Lake Michigan at both Chicago and Michigan City Indiana, were recorded that same day. Waves topped the Light House in the Michigan City Harbor. That day the winds came by.

Yet just another little thing to be thankful for, that windy day here at the EastWing, unlike millions on the east coast without electric power, we were not left in the dark. But the wind did make us shiver. Not from the cold so much, ‘cause we’re inside, it was simply the power of the force that made us shiver.

A while back I told ya about the Blue Spruce Tree that was blocking the utility light, and how it was taken down in the front EastWing Garden. Now, I do so much enjoy the night light from the NIPSCO Pole in the front garden. I’m still walking out there every night just to remind myself of how much I missed the night light in the front gardens. And how many years slipped by without me doing anything about it.

WOW! There must be a story in that thought somewhere. I’ll look and see.

Stay Safe in Afghanistan

From the EastWing, The 8th Annual, Indian Summer, A Windy Hillbilly Party, The Winds Of Sandy

I wish you well,