Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Frightening Weather

I woke up at 1am this morning. I knew the temperature had changed. The hot humid air lingered in the bedroom, like a choking smoke. I kicked off the covers and turned the fan on. Outside I could hear the wind picking up. I knew that I needed to make myself go back to bed but instead I laid awake listening to the sounds outside my bedroom window. My eyes felt heavy but I continued to lay there in tranquil thought.

My alarm went off at 4:45am. I turned if off and laid there a few more minutes. I really needed to at least get thirty minutes of rest. After I turned right and left, kicking the covers to the floor once again, I decided that there was little hope to fall back to sleep. There shall be little rest today.

The children and I walked out to the truck in order to head out to school. The pink rays of sun shown through the low dark clouds. The three of us stood out in the driveway staring at the peculiar colors in the sky. The trees would bend and bow while the wind would rustle the leaves to the ground. My pony tail whipped across my neck as the warm gust of wind danced across my face.
Sis, looked over at me concerned "Momma are we going to get a twister".
"No baby, I heard it storming last night, I think this is just the leftovers", I think she knew that I was lying. Its never this warm after the storm.
"But, why is the wind blowing like its just starting", she pressed on.
"I don't know", I said as I was reading farther into her concern.
She still hasn't forgot sitting for hours in a hot closet with two dogs and her newborn baby brother. She still reminds me about it on days like this. "Remember when we sat in the closet with my blanket and flashlight?", She would ask.  "Do you remember afterwards sitting out on the front porch watching the fire", she would continue.

I never feared storms until that night. We stayed in the closet. It was humid just like my bedroom this morning. I remember looking down at Aubs as he laid asleep in my arms. His fine hair was wet from sweat and Sissy's cheeks were red. I kept my eyes on my cell phone. As soon as I had enough bars I would call my mom to find out what their weather service was saying. After I would get off the phone, if I had enough bars I would call me friend who lived in a trailer in the middle of a field. I remember the terror I felt when she said "O MY GOD, its here", and then the phone went dead.

My friend and her family ended up fairing the storm well, but there were many people who weren't so lucky. I cant recall the body count but there were many. I will never forget hearing about the mother and baby who were found out in a old corn field 3 miles from their house. The baby survived. It still gives me chills just thinking about it.

The fire that Sis reminds me of happened that same night. I'm not sure what caused it but a gas plant exploded in the next county over. We sat on the front porch watching with uncertainty as the flames shot above the tree tops. Was it the Apocalypse?  I half heartily wondered.

As a thrill seeking child I always enjoyed tornado season. That sounds sick, right? But I loved the excitement. I was never scared. When the wind would blow it was like witnessing the environment race to keep up with its people. The things that usually are unmoving take motion. The trees would sway quickly, sometimes cracking and blowing away. It was a miraculous sight. The feeling of the warm air blow across my skin made me feel like I could just spread my wings a fly away. What child doesn't dream of flying?

I don't think Sis has those same feelings. Up until the last five years or so I never witnessed the wrath of an angry Mother Nature. Sissy understands it far better than what I did at that age.

I still love that warm wind that rakes across middle Tennessee (but despise it when its cold)  but now the enjoyment wavers in angst.

 I walked down to the field this morning  to do the morning chores. On my way back to the house the wind hit me just right... I looked around at the sky the trees the animals and then closed my eyes. For a moment, I enjoyed a care free world. There was not a thought in my head. Just the wind crashing against me. And once more I thought I might just take flight.

I then thought of Sis.

I opened my eyes. I hope the weather doesnt turn....


  1. Growing up in Alabama, I learned to not like that sort of weather so much. It terrified me, and I spent way too much time hiding in a bathroom or closet with my transistor radio while the world raged outside.

    By contrast, my teen LOVES "weather" and is fascinated by tornadoes and hurricanes. She occasionally laments the fact that we don't have storms like that up here. A few years ago, we had a very powerful Nor'Easter blow through that resulted in coastal flooding. Many of our roads were closed due to storm surges, and we couldn't even drive north. Her enthusiasm for those violent storms subsided a bit, I think, although she still thinks they're pretty fascinating.

  2. We know more awe when we're young than danger. Only experience teaches us fear. That knowledge came early to your daughter. We're getting some of the rain off the bad storms to the west and north of us. I'll pray you stay safe.

  3. Wendy,
    I guess it is perspective. I did the same as a child but I never really scared me until I was much older. I'm sure it has something to do with Children tending to believe they are invincible.

    I think another thing that amazes me is the sense of community after such disasters. When we were living in WV in 2003 (?). It became quite dangerous but the entire community came out risking their lives in order to take water elderly to neighbors and make sure farmers could check on their livestock. Watching the camaraderie is a pretty powerful thing.

    Exactly! We ended up not getting much, just high winds and rain. I hope you all faired the storm well. I watched that it was heading your way. I hope that everyone is safe and sound?

  4. I saw on the weather channel the storm that went through yesterday. It looked bad. Are you all okay there? I sure hope so!(: