Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mount St. Helens, Remembered


I was seven. It was an afternoon in May like any other afternoon: my brothers and I were playing outside while my dad washed the car. Suddenly the skies turned dark. It became night in the middle of the day. The air felt warm. Something began to fall like snow.

Once we watched the news we understood: Mount St. Helens had errupted. The winds had carried the ash and debris East and in Moses Lake, where we lived, six inches of ash accumulated. We stayed indoors, because breathing the ash was not good for our lungs. School ended early that year, because the ash was so heavy on the roof of my elementary school. I remember the way the ash puffed dry around our ankles, the few times we were allowed to frolic in it. Once cleaned up, it formed huge soggy dividers down the road.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember talking to your mom and couldn't believe ash was falling at your house when I was in Longview, quite close to the event and the sky was blue. At first I didn't know what was going on and when I went to the store people were frantically shopping. I discovered they were preparing for the big mud flow that was coming our way. The beautiful white plume was beautiful rising into the sky but oh the devastation it left in its tracks. The next time it blew it came our way and we experienced the same fallout. Nasty stuff but we survived. ~m