Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sometimes it can get a mite windy in Kansas...

Looks like some broken windows, but the house is still there!
The younger boys check out the damage to the shed.

The new combine was stored in the machine shed when it was blown down.

Many trees and branches blown down.

Mike shares some more memories of life on the Harden farm, including recollections of the Dust Bowl days and going through a tornado that caused some damage while Willis was living there with his family in 1957.
“This Ole House”
“This ole house was home and comfort as we fought the storms of life.
This ole house once rang with laugher;
this ole house heard many shouts;
now she trembles in the darkness when the lightin’ walks about.”

Dad told me when he (Willis), Duane, Bob, Lloyd and Frances were small children back in the 1930s they had the measles. Grandmother had them in the downstairs bedroom; at that time it was the middle room on the north side of the house which is now the bathroom.

One of the dust storms of the ‘dirty thirties’ came up, and in order for Grandmother to keep the kids from getting sick from the dust, she had to hang wet sheets in front of the windows. There were people who died from dust pneumonia, and others suffered long-term effects. Dad said he remembers watching the sheets turn dark from the dust. Grandmother would rotate the dirty sheets with clean sheets. She soaked the sheets in a tub of water, rinsing the dirt from them, and rotated them back and forth on the windows throughout the day.

There were windows in each of the three downstairs rooms on the north side of the house. When I was a boy we nailed plexi-glass on the outside of the window using strips of lath to seal up the window and keep out the cold air. In the spring of each year the plexi-glass was removed.

We could tell how hard the wind was blowing by the pitch of the wind howling through the window frame. The harder it blew, the higher the pitch as each window had a different pitch, which made for an interesting howling screeching sound. Sometimes you could actually see the house walls move and most definitely could see the curtains move. Outside, the trees roared in the wind. Between the thunder and lightning, rain beating on the windows and sides of the house, trees roaring, windows howling, and walls moving, I remember having several anxious thoughts go through my mind.

In 1957, we experienced a wind storm which blew out windows, knocked down tree limbs and destroyed a shed. It happened during the night. I remember sleeping in the downstairs bedroom where the bathroom is now. Mom and Dad slept in the bedroom on the east. Dad had trouble getting me awake, so there was some delay in getting to the basement. Just before we got to the bathroom (old bathroom), the window blew out, imbedding glass in the wall. Without that hesitation, we probably would have been in the bathroom when the window blew out. Some windows on all sides of the house were knocked out. Water and glass were everywhere throughout the house, and the yard was full of tree limbs. It was later determined that due to all the damage, we had probably experienced a tornado. (See newspaper clippings above.)

No comments: