Hail 21 March 2017


Roof repair has been ongoing since a hail storm passed through last summer right at the end of wheat harvest. Our house was the first to get a new cover and we are waiting now for work to begin on the barn. I will never forget that night when the storm came through:

Sound asleep and dreaming, the loud crash on the roof woke me so suddenly that I was standing before I was really coherent. Crash! Bang! I dashed to the north window in the living room to peer out. Crash! I backed away just as fast, thinking about the story we’d just heard from our friend Larry, who told us about the huge hail stones that came right through their windows.


It was 12:30 a.m. and hailing. Rain was sheeting down, thunder was booming and lightning flashing. It looked like a powerful strobe, and each time the yard turned on, more hail stones bounced in the grass.

Then silence, as if the disco joint had closed and the owner flipped the power switch off. I could hear the gentle patter of tiny raindrops on the roof and wondered if anything would be left of my garden and the trees. I thought about the heifers and the horses and imagined them hopping around trying to avoid the stones.



The storm had moved off, taking the last lingering drops of rain along with it, and the night calmed and settled, lulling me back to bed and to sleep. In the orange-pink glow of dawn, I picked up three or four hail stones, still about two-and-a-half inches in diameter and put them on a plate in the freezer. No fish stories here.

About Sally Gerard

I am a writer, runner, teacher, singer, guitar player, mom, lover, coffee drinker, hunter, antique tractor driver, horsewoman, sister, and lover of the outdoors. Did I mention that I love lighthouses?
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