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And Then Came the Lightning

I really didn’t want to play softball last night.  I drove to the fields and I was sitting in my car just praying for rain as I watched black clouds roll past my moon roof.  And nothing.

But at 8:15, everything let loose and there was cloud to ground lightning all over the place.  I was so thankful that the games were cancelled.

For the longest time, lightning and severe storms have fascinated me.  When I was younger, my cousin Meghan and I would sit in my father’s Jeep Wrangler, parked in the gravel driveway of my grandparents’ farm in Clyde.  We had just seen Twister and we were hooked.  We were storm chasers, and we chased tornadoes.

Ever since then, I’ve been the girl in the front yard waiting for the lightning to flash across the sky, or a strange cloud formation.  I want to be Jo Harding sometimes.

Wouldn’t hurt to have Bill Paxton, either. 😉

There’s a man from my hometown that chases tornadoes named Allan Detrich.  Someday, I think it’d be fun to go along with him.  Maybe when I die, his team will fulfill my wishes to be sucked up into a tornado. Ha ha maybe not…

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Daily Happenings

 

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Jumping on the Bandwagon

When something big happens, we all want to be involved.  Even if it’s something unfortunate.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It is this desire to be involved that spawns compassion among human beings.  It’s because we can imagine what it would be like if it HAD happened to us.  So we reach out.

I am lucky enough to have never been in danger because of the weather.  I’ve never seen a tornado, been in a hurricane, or felt an earthquake.  I’ve never suffered through a tsunami or ran from an exploding volcano.  I just haven’t.  I like to think that I live in one of the safest areas in the world.  I live in the United States.  Safety #1.  I also live in northern Ohio.  So no hurricanes, no fault lines, no tsunamis, and rarely a tornado.

I am lucky.

But here’s the thing:  I’ve always wanted to see a tornado–just not have to worry about it harming anyone or anything.

And when I lived in North Carolina, I so badly wanted to experience a hurricane.  Not a horrible one–just a hurricane.  I wanted to see the rain and watch the trees bend, listen to the wind howl and hear the windows shake.

And when the earthquake hit yesterday, I wanted to feel it something fierce.  But I didn’t.

I want to experience these types of weather–I just don’t want to deal with any of the negative effects.  I’m stuck somewhere in this thinking that this makes me a bad person.  I want to see these things that ruin people’s lives.  But I don’t want them to ruin people’s lives.  And I certainly don’t want to be in danger either.

I just want to see it, you know?  Bah.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

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My Storm Survival Pack – Throughout the Years

In light of all the recent storms, I thought I’d address my survival pack.  By survival pack, I mean what I drag to the basement with me whenever the tornado sirens start going off and the wind picks up.  And once all my stuff is IN the basement, I abandon it to stand out in the front yard until I’m bound to be swept away like Jonas’s truck in Twister.  I know I can get into the basement fast, but it takes a little prep time to gather the items that mean the most to me.  The pack has changed throughout the years based what’s important to me at that juncture of my life.  SO here are my survival packs throughout the years:

Infancy-10 years old:  Whatever I was wearing.  I had no sense of urgency, I did not fear the sky, and I’m sure my unawareness of bad weather left me in a blissful state of childhood.

10-16 years old:  Teddy Bear, jewelry, my keepsake box from all the men I loved who didn’t even know my name.  Favorite blankets.  Omar Vizquel baseball card collection.  Autograph book.  Photo albums.  Journals Journals Journals.  Beanie Babies.  Want to know why?  I was sure–absolutely SURE–that if my house blew away, it would be my super valuable Beanie Baby collection that would restore our lives when the storm was over.  Shut up.

16-18 years old:  Pretty much the same, minus the Beanie Babies.  And the keepsake box from men who didn’t know me became a keepsake box from my boyfriend at the time.  And then I got sentimental, and began grabbing something from each grandparent, something from each parent, something from my brother.  I wanted all my bases covered.

18-22 years old:  I was in college at Ashland University, and most of my valuable belongings were still at my parents’ house.  So the Teddy Bear (yes, he went to college, too), my jewelry box, and the belongings of whatever man I was dating then.  To be honest, I didn’t go to the basement very often when there were tornado warnings because I was a hardass in college.  Don’t doubt that.

22-25 years old:  I was in North Carolina.  There were no tornadoes.  And I never got a hurricane, and I didn’t have a basement, so I didn’t really have to worry about it.  I would have taken my jewelry box, items from a boyfriend, Teddy Bear, the quilt I made with my friend Joy, and I began taking my flash drives with all my writing on them.  Because you can bet your ass that I was quitting school if I lost my thesis and had to start over.

Quilt and Teddy Bear, first bedroom in NC.

 26 years old:  My jewelry, everything from Mike, the Teddy Bear, the Quilt.  I haven’t had to think about it in awhile.

The way it works with me is this:  I will grab everything I think I need and head to the basement.  If I don’t think there’s an immediate threat, I will run back up the stairs and grab something else, anything else.  I’ll stockpile as much as I can in the basement.  If I have time, I’m saving everything.

**of course I would save my family above all of this.

Praying for those who had to deal with severe weather this year.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Daily Happenings, When I Was Young

 

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When I Die…

I’ve always had these grand ideas about what will happen when I die.  Grand in terms of spirituality, grand in terms of what will happen with my remains, grand in terms of how people will react.

I must tell you that when I die, it will be no easy ordeal.  Whoever has the responsibility of taking care of my last wishes, well, I apologize to them now. And in case you’re that person, well, here’s what I want you to do.

So say I kick it on a late May afternoon, just pass out dead on my front porch rocking chair with a peaceful little smile on my 90-year-old face.  DO NOT BURY ME, but DO dedicate some physical thing to me.   I prefer something shiny, with some fun quote on it.  Or maybe a flower field!  I need this earthly presence, because even though I will not be buried, my remains will be unvisitable–in a way.

Well, obviously I want to be cremated.  But it gets more complicated than that.  I don’t want to be sprinkled into the sea, or buried as ashes.  I don’t want to be made into a diamond or a reef ball (thanks to Kate, I know what those are now).  What I do want is to be placed in a coffee can (Maxwell House, preferably) and handed off to some tornado chasers.

I don’t care how long it takes to find the right opportunity, but when it arises, it must be taken.  In the middle of Kansas during a tornado, I want the storm chasers to peel off my lid and leave me in the path of the storm.  You all know (if you’ve been around long enough) how much I love Twister and as much as I hate to say it, I don’t think I’ll ever get the time to chase storms out west.  I love my job, and I don’t see myself taking off for a storm season.  And if I have kids…well, once I have kids…I wouldn’t be able to forgive my ghostly self if I died during storm chases.

I can think of nothing better than being sucked up into a tornado, to finally get to fly with the force of nature.  Truly, what other way is there to fly so high, and to be free, and to be partially in the Heavens, partially on the ground.  I accept that part of my ashes will fall to the ground, and that part of them will remain in the sky.  But think about this…

Ash is something so fine, and so small that it could be swept down a river, evaporated into a cloud, and rained down miles and miles from where it began.  I could be all over the world–in the water, the earth, the sky.  I love that idea.

And while I do want that gorgeous flower garden dedicated to me, I think it’s a nice idea that my kids can look to the sky wherever they are, and know that part of me is up there.

Cheers!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

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