Craziness at the Ol' Homestead (and RIP Celegorm the Fish)
Last night, Bobby and I were supposed to go out for our anniversary, but we had to revise our plans thanks to the weather. Over the course of yesterday afternoon and evening, Manchester was placed under four consecutive tornado warnings. After the students left yesterday, the school's weather radio started going off, so we were sent home early. As Bobby and I drove northwest from Baltimore, the sky grew more and more sinister-looking; by the time we'd reached Hampstead on the Route-30 bypass, it had that sickly cast to it. I had to put an interlibrary loan book in the mail, and by the time we stepped out of the post office, it was pouring. As we walked in our front door, Bobby's sister Erin was calling us, saying that a funnel cloud had been spotted in Hampstead, the next town south from us. It started storming but wasn't particularly fierce, just a normal summer thunderstorm, it seemed. I went into the bedroom to read, and the weather radio started going off, but just a severe thunderstorm warning with a tornado watch. More and more warnings kept coming in, then the initial tornado watch was upgraded to a tornado warning for northeast Carroll, including Manchester, so I grabbed the weather radio, rounded up the Goldens, and headed for the basement.
That was pretty much the pattern for the rest of the night. The weather radio would go off with a severe storm warning and tornado watch and, within minutes, it was upgraded to a warning, and it seemed Manchester was always on the list of affected towns. (Once, we were the only town listed in the warning!) Then the storm would pass and the sun would come out. During one break in the weather, we went into town because we needed dog food and stopped for supper at the little Italian restaurant in town. We spent the evening in the basement, so I don't know much of what was going on, but when we went outside this morning, it was beautiful and sunny with gorgeous blue skies and nary a cloud, like nothing had ever happened. Despite the string of tornado warnings, our hilltop barely had a fallen branch. We were lucky, which wasn't the case for everyone, for certain. Several tornado touch-downs were reported; friends of ours from the SCA had one pass across their property and uproot a tree onto their house.
Bobby's CoCoRaHS gauge this morning did report more than 3 inches (7.5 cm) of rain yesterday, but we were still slightly below normal for rainfall for the year, so we needed it.
While in the basement last night, I happened to look over at the fish tank and noticed that Celegorm the Fish was floating upside-down. :( Celegorm the Fish is, believe it or not, our oldest pet! We had him for almost six years; he was among the first four fish that we bought for our tank, back in the summer of 2006. He was a bala shark, about six inches (15 cm) long, a silver fish with black tips on his fins. He was only a baby, a little over two inches long, when we got him. Here he is as a baby.
He was always a spunky thing. I remember bringing him home, holding him in the plastic bag in the car, and he was jumping out of the water and against the top of the bag the whole time, making the bag jump and jerk in my hands. He survived the move from our apartment to our house--about two hours in the car--and when I opened the tank to transfer him into his new tank at our house, he jumped out and flopped around on the kitchen floor for several seconds before I got hold of him and put him back in the tank.
He saw the arrival and demise of more fish than I can remember, including another bala shark that we got to keep him company but that only lived for about six months.
The tank is empty now; Bobby said last night that he wanted more fish (while I was thinking, "oh please no I'm so done with keeping fish!") but decided today to offer the tank to his TA, Mr. Chad, who keeps fish, and put it on Craig's List if Mr. Chad isn't interested. So Celegorm was our first and last fish, it seems. He's getting better than the usual "burial at sea" (i.e., being flushed down the toilet) that fish usually get in the House of Felagund; as our oldest pet, the least we can do is give him a real burial out in the garden.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!