Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mount St. Helens Repost

Castle made from ash

Bears on a log

On Sunday, May 18, 1980 Mt. Saint Helens blew. I was 26 months old, but I remember it. Well I don't remember every detail, but I do remember the day turning to night.
I spent Saturday nights with my grandparents, and went to church on Sunday morning with my Grandma Sarah. I don't remember going to church that morning, but apparently the smoke cloud could be seen, and ash was beginning to fall. One of the men in church, at the time was a teenager, and with all the talk of it almost being like the end of the world, he was baptized that day. I don't remember that. I do remember leaving the building, and asking my grandma why it was night time. That's what I was asking in my head, but I'm sure knowing a 2 year old's vocabulary it was much more like, "Night? Gramma, Night?" She had me put my hankie over my face and keep my head down as we walked to the car. I was thoroughly confused. How did we go into church in the morning and come out at night? The sky really was black. I have been told that I stayed with my grandparents for a few days after that. The city pretty much shut down to dig out.

Me and my Grandpa Alva (Al). This Polaroid is undated, but he passed away in the Fall of 1980, so I know it was most likely taken in 1980.

Almost everyone around here has jars of ash saved. Figurines made from the ash, like we have in our home, are sold all over. Gardens grew like crazy, with wonderful crops thanks to the ash fortifying the soil.

Here she is in 1995. She looks different now. You may have seen in the news when in 2005 she was building her dome, and blowing off some ash. I was pregnant with Morgan, and it was an eerie sight seeing plumes of ash rising from behind the hills. My drive to and from my in-laws home gives me a perfect view of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. Mt. Saint Helens is nearby, just not visible from my vantage point. I showed Kaia the ash, and as we arrived home it was lightly dusting our yard and home.

This view was amazing to me. Driving up to see Mt. Saint Helens and after 15 years there was still so much devastation! But up here in the Northwest, we are resourceful. Someone took the ash and created some beautiful art and we enjoy it in our home.

Wolves made from ash


Michelle said...

I've never seen any ash pieces before. How fascinating! And how traumatic that must have been for you as a 2 year old that you remember it!

Anonymous said...

That was a scary time for all of us. Dad and I drove to work at 2:30PM in gray ash falling like snow. I was so worried, because you were not with us. I was also pregnant with your brother and worried about the risks to him. We were so blessed to have your grandpa and grandma to watch you for us.

The picture is probably taken in early 1980 (Jan or Feb). Grandpa thought his lung problems were from cleaning up the ash at his business and the farm and house. He was diagnosed with lung cancer the last week of May.
Mount St Helen's was so beautiful before the eruption. I can only imagine what it will be like in you grandchildren's lifetime.
At least the creativity of the northwest people were able to salvage something pretty from the devastation.

Liz said...

Seeing the plume in 2005 (2004??) was so strange. I remember I was running an errand for the teacher I TA'd for and was on my way back when I looked out a window that just happened to face St. Helene's and was shocked to see a substantial amount of smoke and ash coming out! I ran back to my class and told them it was erupting and we all went outside to watch. Of course nothing much happened, but it was still definitely a sight to see. We didn't get any ash in Vancouver, though :P

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Wow! I love your treasures TJ.

Barb said...

I simply can not imagine living that close to a volcano. Or earthquakes! At least if a hurricane is coming we have days and days to get out of the way. And I do! Unlike some people who choose to sit tight and wait it out. Yikes!

Just Breathe said...

I remember it but I was living in Illinois at the time and it didn't effect me. Doesn't that sound terrible, I was only 29. Today is my daughters 29th birthday! Love those nik naks you have.

Anonymous said...

Very nice post