Saturday, June 27, 2009

Auntie Em Auntie Em

Yesterday's work was pre-empted by life. In the morning, I was exercising and running errands. I thought I'd work last night, but then we had one mother of a storm. Two tornados were spotted in this county - neither were too close to me, and both headed away from where I'm at, so it's all good.

I don't like storms, but I'm fascinated by them. It's almost like the way a deer is fascinated by headlights - until they get run over by a semi, that is.

Once when I was a teenager, I was home alone during a tornado warning and I spent the entire time standing on the porch watching the clouds swirl in circles above me. I was scared shitless, but I couldn't stop watching. Or take yesterday, for example. I really probably should have been hiding in the basement watching the weather on TV. Instead I was wandering the house looking out all the windows, monitoring the warnings on the boob tube, and refreshing the radar online every few minutes.

Anyway, yesterday's storm passed without too much trauma. A lot of limbs were blown out of trees. After what appeared to be an inch of rain in an hour, the leak in my basement sprouted anew, and I spent some time (and a lot of towels) stemming the flow, so the drywall we just got dry again would stay that way.

My husband took a nap just before the storm headed this way, and he slept through it all. Lucky guy. I would've woken him if it got really nasty, but it wasn't. He shrugs off storms anyway. I'm the one who quietly freaks out.

Since I was a kid, I've been this way. You wouldn't think growing up in Michigan would present a lot of tornado encounters, but I lived at the West end of what we referred to as Tornado Alley. (Not to be confused with the major Tornado Alley that runs through the middle of the nation.) Between Lansing and Flint there's a lot of flat farmland. Tornados regularly spawn in there and drop on Genesee County. Sure, they're only EF1 or EF2, but still pretty scary. Needless to say, many hours of my childhood were spent in our basement while my father wandered the house watching for a funnel to drop.

I come by this honestly. I learned later Dad was terrified of tornados. That's why he wandered the house. He couldn't stand waiting in the basement for the worst to happen. He wanted to see it coming, so he could - I'm guessing - keep his family safe. For our part, we kids spent the time collecting cobwebs into cotton candy, and catching salamanders. Mom usually sat on a chair by the stairs and read. We never worried because Dad did the worrying for us. If he'd called down that he saw a tornado, we all would've taken further shelter, but he never had to.

So, I spend my tornado time wandering the house while Darling Daughter waits in the basement. If it gets bad enough - like last year - I go wait with her and the cat while the man of the house scans the skies. (You should've seen us crammed into the bathtub of the last house, but that's another story.)

How do you handle bad weather?

Oh, and since it's supposed to be time for the Saturday Super Site, I'll give you a couple weather sites I couldn't live without - Weather Underground and The Weather Channel. Oh, and a fun weather blog by some storm chasers - The Southern Weather Brigade.

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