We were living in Spokane on May 18, 1980, when Mount St. Helens finally erupted. They had been saying that it was going to do so for some time, and had evacuated almost everyone out of there except the fellow (forgot his name) who lived by Spirit lake, and refused to leave. Even so, there were some campers who had gone up there that day, and some lives were lost when it erupted. In Spokane, it was a nice spring day, almost summer, and we were all outside in the yard. The kids were playing, I was working in the garden, and my ex was probably in his usual place, the garage, doing something with the car. About mid-afternoon, we noticed that the sky in the west was starting to get dark, and it looked like a massive storm was rolling in. As it came closer, we noticed that the birds had stopped chirping and none were even flying around. The sky kept getting darker and darker, and I was starting to worry if we were going to have a tornado, something virtually unheard of out there, for the most part. We decided that it would be prudent to go and tune in the weather report and see what was headed our way, and quickly learned that it was the ash from the Mount St. Helens eruption. Probably about 4 that afternoon, it was almost totally dark outside, and what looked like grayish snow was drifting down. It was almost surreal. Except for a few cars, the streets were deserted, and no one was driving much unless it was necessary. By the next morning, we had a thin layer of ash all over everything, and the news reported that almost all businessess would be closed, school was cancelled. For the next several days, things were pretty quiet around the city; but we were much luckier than some places in central Washington, which had received several inches of ash fallout. It actually took a few years for the ash to absorb into the ground, and then it really acted as kind of a fertilizer to the dirt, and we had some of the best huckleberry crops that had been seen in many years after that.