I remember some parts of that historic day so long ago. It was a beautiful spring morning on Sunday which meant plenty of time for playing outdoors. I was 7 at the time and still getting used to the fact that I had a new baby brother (who was almost one by this time). I don’t remember exactly how it all panned out, but next thing I know, my mother grabbed some lawn chairs and placed them in the front yard. She dashed for the camera (like she really needed to move that quick) and pointed our attention to the northern sky. I sat amazed. In front of me was a huge dark gray mushroom cloud coming from the top of Mt. St. Helens. It was erupting before our very eyes and we had front row seats. We took several pictures of my brothers and I with nature’s fury spewing mud and ash behind us (I should go get those pictures from here and post em). It was a once in a chance lifetime to witness such a spectacle.
The next several weeks were very interesting. We had to wear these paper masks when we went outside even though our area didn’t receive very much fallen ash. My grandmother’s house in Battle Ground, WA (we lived in Vancouver, WA within walking distance of Sacajawea elementary for any locals that are wondering where I lived) received quite a bit more so we made frequent stops out there to play in it (yeah, we were dumb and we liked it!). To this day, May 18th, 1980 fascinates me. I just wish I was a little older at the time so that I can remember more of it.
Now I hear on the news that she’s alive and well and possibly ready to belch more fury sometime soon. One part of me says bring it on so my children can witness first hand what I went through so long ago. The other part of me is saying that we obviously don’t want this to happen again due to the vast devastation it brought to the wildlife, forests, rivers and humanity. In any case, it makes for some interesting news.