Pocatello is a windy city at times, and yesterday was a good case in point. The wind howled off the west bench, down through the open spaces in town. And I thwacked a couple of tumbleweeds with the front of my car.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw tumbleweed blowing in the wind. We were seated in a fast food joint near an intersection. As my husband (then fiancé) and I talked, I noticed something hurtling along on the pavement underneath the traffic lights. Incredulous, I interrupted our conversation to ask, “Is that tumbleweed I just saw??” Tim didn’t even glance out the window but answered in the affirmative. “I thought you saw them only out on the plains,” I said suspiciously. “Nope,” he said. “We get them in town, too.”
This East Coast girl had never seen one up close and personal. Only on TV in Westerns. The 19th century kind. With gun slingers poised at either end of a deserted street, townspeople hiding in the shops and the saloon.…. you get the picture.
And there Tim and I were, watching tumbleweed blowing across late 20th century civilization. Wow.
Since I’ve moved to Pocatello, I’ve seen a lot more tumbleweed, of course. When the wind gets going good and strong here, everything blows around. When I first saw one coming at my car, and could tell by the rate of its speed and mine that we were going to meet, I had a momentary impulse to swerve. That would be all the years of deer-avoidance as a resident of New Jersey there. Then I realized it wasn’t alive and was so light it wouldn’t hurt my car. Thus I discovered that when you hit tumbleweed just right with your car, it splinters nicely all over the place. Thwack!