January 19, 2007


The gods must be angry with us! Europe (and Germany in particular) has been pummeled by terrible windstorms for the past three days. The German Weather Service has reported gusts of over 120 mph in our region, and yesterday the transportation authorities canceled all flights and train service within Germany. Fortunately, I made it home from class in Frankfurt before the worst of it and so avoided getting stranded, but Kevin and I have not been entirely unaffected.

Early Thursday morning when the storms started up, we were jerked from our sleep by the most awful crash –- doors slamming in every direction, and papers flying all over. I woke up screaming from the shock. It felt like we were being sucked right out of the apartment. As it turns out, I had merely failed to lock the window in the kitchen, and it had flown open, shattering a potted plant and some coffee cups against the wall and making a soggy, muddy mess on the floor. But even after cleaning up, I couldn’t go back to sleep. It reminded me too much of the tornado that passed through my Little Rock neighborhood in January of 1999, moving whole homes off their foundations. Although Kevin promised me that they don’t have tornados in Europe, I wasn’t satisfied.

All night long, our apartment building, one of the tallest in Würzburg, swayed like a ship, and the wind, forcing its way through invisible crevices in the walls, howled. Our sturdy new storm windows looked like they would rattle right off their hinges, which frightened me to no end, as our apartment is all windows –- a pleasant-enough arrangement in fair weather, but terrifying when the weather turns bad.

I am doing much better today, though. This morning I made my way to the train station as usual, only to discover that service was still suspend, and so I had the day off from school! Now, I’m curled up in my little crow’s nest reading Wuthering Heights. The wind has died down a little, and even the sun looks like it might peek out later in the day. So now I’m contenting myself by imagining “heaven’s happiness” as young Cathy does: “rocking in a rustling green tree, with a west wind blowing.” She makes it sound so appealing that I may even take my reading out onto the balcony this afternoon.

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