Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Coffee and Hail

I am a woman of simple tastes.  For me, coffee comes in three grades:  Nectar, Drinkable and Suitable Only for the Dyeing of Costumes.

Right before the hailstorm that scarred Hans for life, we (Hans and I) were in Mineral Wells.  http://thedaytripper.com/daytrip/mineral-wells-tx/.  I had been hearing rumours that the Baker Hotel was being renovated and wanted to see.  I stopped in a shop across the street to look at the floor plans for the hotel, and bought some coffee and tea.  Jitter Beans Coffee Roasting Company is what it says on the bag.  I picked one at random and it is Nectar for sure.  One can indulge once in a while, right?

Drinkable covers what we usually buy, such as Folgers or other pre-ground canned coffee.

HEB house brand coffees come under the label of Suitable Only for the Dyeing of Costumes.  I do use a lot of it, as well as house brand tea.  Nothing gives cotton a beaten-on-the-rocks look better than coffee or tea...most brown or tan dyes have a pinkish or yellowish cast.

When I left, they were telling me to "Be safe going home."  I figured it was the usual general wish, because I had not been listening to the radio.  Joan Baez 5 was blasting on my Bose because I was out of range of KUT (Mineral Wells is closer to Abilene than to Austin).  I saw this:

but didn't think too much of it, as this is Texas, after all, and storms are a given.

I was driving south on 281 when it started to rain.  The wind picked up a bit, but Hans hugs the ground, so no biggie.  Then there was pea-sized hail, but that's no biggie either, right?  Even if it is a couple of inches deep on the road.  I started to see cars huddled under trees along the way, but by then there was quite a bit of cloud-to-ground lightning and trees didn't seem like such a good idea.  The hailstones started to get larger, and by the time they were about an inch in diameter, I was looking for a place to pull off.  Lacking that, barreling through seemed better than just squatting by the side of the road, in the open.  I didn't see shelter until we were getting hit with icy chunks the size of ping pong balls.  I pulled off, across a cattle guard, and partly under the partial shelter of an open-sided tractor shed.  Of course there were half a dozen vehicles there ahead of me, so I couldn't get all the way under.  By then, the ping pong balls had become golf balls, and my back window was gone, my mirrors were smashed, there was a huge crack in my windshield and dings all over poor Hans.  I am very happy to say that the ragtop held up very well, even though hailstones were coming in the broken back window and landing in the floorboards.

When it stopped, I drove and drove through sunlight and on a dry road.  I also tuned in a local radio station where I was told to take shelter immediately, as there was a tornado and baseball-sized hail happening in the little town I had just passed when the hail hit me.  Not to put too fine a point upon it, I was lucky.  Note to self:  I need a weather app with alerts tied into the GPS on my phone.

So, Hans is totalled.  I shall keep him, of course.  I can get the things fixed that I have to have...the mirrors, windshield, and top (it is pretty torn up around the place the window used to be), and leave the dings and dents as battle scars.  I really don't think they will give me enough for him to buy anything I like as well.  He is a 12-year-old car, and had been totalled before I bought him.

I can't shake the idea that I could have been quite badly hurt if not for Hans.


  1. Holy Crap, Ronni. That sucks! So glad you're okay. And what phenomenal photos! Bless Hans Brinker's heart. I hope he'll be okay.

  2. hans now looks like edward james olmos or tommy lee jones!

    he looks like a hammered piece of art usually seen in copper not silver.

    glad that you both made it out of the storm.


  3. Going to think of some sort of artwork to complement the dings.

  4. Clearasil might pay you to have an advert on Hans.


  5. ... or how about advertising an anti-cellulite treatment?

    you could paint a thong on hans and have a loofah stuck on his antenna.

    ... or how about hans becoming a moon rock?


    1. We must maintain a modicum of dignity. Moon rocks are OK, but the thong is not on.