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Whenever the wind gusts it is up to no good

Joyce Walters reflects on the aftermath of windy days.
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

On the occasional times when our secluded homestand in the small community was bombarded by external gale-force winds that rattled the window panes and sent branches hurtling across the yard, my Mother would begin to reminisce.

She would reflect back on the winds of the Dirty Thirties, explaining how the wind blew in clouds of dirt, sand and grit, enough to make cleaning house to perfection an impossible task. And it went on day after day after day, seldom letting up to give the human population time to regroup for the next onslaught of screaming winds.

I recall her saying on several occasions that the wind’s howl and whine made her think that she would “go crazy” if it didn’t stop. She said others in the community shared similar thoughts of what today would be considered concern for one’s mental health. Back then one’s mental health was not uppermost in those minds.

As the winds of our spring have been relentless and moving urgently from a minor breeze to a major wind warning from weather forecasters, I think of her words and the dread she expressed over extended periods of out-of-control breezes.

But my main concern isn’t for my state of mind, but moreso the state of what will be left in the aftermath of windy days that rip leaves from the trees, uproot fledgling bedding-out plants and bring garbage from several streets over to take cover by our sheds and fences.

And then there’s the possibility that weakened branches from being blown hither and yon and back and forth will come crashing down to damage whatever lies below and in the reach of those heavy limbs.

My apprehension comes from experience. Not so long ago, on a cold and ugly day, the wind was so severe and the snow and ice so hefty that substantial-sized tree branches came crashing down, hitting my SUV that was sitting there minding its own business in the driveway. The damage was in the thousands of dollars and with no fault insurance in the province, I was not allowed to seek payment from the person who had planted the tree more than 50 years ago.

A few years prior to that incident, Housemate’s car, while parked on the street, was attacked in a similar manner and according to insurance professionals suffered too much damage to be salvaged. Off to the dead car cemetery it went and a different vehicle now sits out there unprotected from the whims of falling trees.

Some day when the winds of spring have moved on, we will survey the blanket of broken branches on the lawn and then re-position disheveled flower pots and tie up flattened tomato plants.

All the while we will thank our lucky stars that the dust was somewhat controlled by timely rain showers and thus there is one less reason to concern oneself with matters of the mind.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

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