For the Hail of It!

Since I was a kid growing up in Martin County, I have been excited to hear stories about  hail. Hail is really the closest thing to snow down in these parts. I remember once, in the 1970s, when our family lived at 109 Edgewood Drive, in Stuart, it hailed and we kids ran outside and collected it in our sweaty palms dumping it into Tupperware that ended up in the freezer. Those hail pieces sat in there for years, and every now and then we would climb on a squeaky high chair, when mom wasn’t looking, and take the cold frozen memory out,  just to revel. Amazing! As a kid, I never knew what else to do with the hail, and in time, I’m sure my mother removed it to make room for ice cream.  

Yes hail.

As I got older and my mother’s local history books were being published. I was struck by one photograph of the 1934 Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart overflowing with hail -looking like, yes,- like a snowstorm had come!

In this photo by Frances Carlberg King in “Stuart on the St. Lucie: A Pictorial History” by Sandra Henderson Thurlow, hail covers the old Roosevelt Bridge on Feb. 10, 1934. A hailstorm covered Stuart with ice, creating street scenes that some say looked like “someplace up North.”

Hail, though it can be destructive is a novelty, one to be appreciated, even celebrated. 

Just last Sunday, April 19, 2020, month two coronavirus containment, it stormed wildly and hailed in south Sewall’s Point. The noise on our metal roof was deafening! Right after,  I ran out and collected the hail pieces just like I had when I was a kid. The air was so chilly! My bare feet were cold against the deck and wet earth. Somehow, the whole thing was exhilarating! 

When I brought my hail inside, I quickly put the bowl in the freezer and looked for my husband, Ed.

“Ed! Come look! I collected some hail!”

There was silence for a bit, and then I heard him slowly ask, “what are you going to do with it Jacqui ?” Ed grew up in Chicago so ice is not so unusual. 

“I have a surprise!”

That evening after dinner, I said, “I recommend we do something special with this hail. I think we should  make real cocktails with it, you know, like the kinds from the 1950s? And  then, we are going to toast Mother Nature.”  

Ed laughed and we did just that, “for the hail of it!”

12 thoughts on “For the Hail of It!

  1. I have been following your posts for quite sometime and thank you for all the hard work you have been doing to bring the waters back. But todays post really got me. We have a condo in IRP and my son-in-law lives with my daughter and their two daughters in Snugg Harbor. I forwarded him your email and he responded right a way and said that your husband removed his wisdom teeth.. His names is Brandon Abell. Small world. Thank you. Sarah Wattendorf

    1. Isn’t that something! Yes, it is such a small world Sarah! Thank you for letting me know the connection. These are the things that really make blogging/sharing worthwhile! My mom calls it “serendipity.” 🙂

    2. Thank you for your comment Sarah! I will tell Ed that I met you online and that your friend was a patient. IRP is a great place to have a condo and Snug Harbor just beautiful! My grandparents lived there and I always so enjoyed the Marina as a kid. Thanks again!

  2. Great story, we didn’t get much hail at our house, was over very fast. i liked the pix of the hail on rosevelt bridge, my mother had similar pix. Francis king was a great artist, i took lessons from her when i was bout 13. i have one of her oil painting , THE HUNTSMAN, my favorite paintings, story goes that she gave a lot of painting away, then years later went around and asked for them back.

  3. Jacqui ~ What a strike of good fortune, however noisy it was. Your photo of those lovely pearls nestled in the tree roots is fascinating. I also grew up in the Chicagoland area (western suburbs). Please ask Ed for me if he remembers the Blizzard of ’67. We ate icescicles that hung from the gutters (yikes !!) and made snowdrift igloos in the backyard !!

    At any rate, these temps are refreshing even if we’re enjoying them during the stay-at-home advisory. Loved this post !!
    ♥ Debra Magrann

  4. Jacqui, my sweet friend. If we don’t drink unfiltered/unpurified rain water, should we be putting hail in our drinks? J/S LOL PS That hailstorm back in the 70’s was about May ’73 or ’74. It totally destroyed my Dad’s flower farm and his Mother’s Day crop.

    1. I am so sorry that the flower farm was destroyed by the hail of the 1970s. It can be so totally destructive, I know. Ed and I were just making light in this serious Covid-19 prison we have been in. Some say there is more nitrogen pollution in rain that goes in the worst entires to the St Lucie. I don’t know. Ed and I just decided to use it for ice. All the best.

  5. I understanding that hail can be very damaging, but nature can be very beautiful even when it hails. There is something about watching it.

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