Thursday, May 13, 2010

Stormy Weather . . . .


The last several days have been pretty shitty across the country, weather-wise. Tornadoes, flooding, high winds, people losing their homes and worse, losing their lives. Chicago is right at the upper edge of Tornado Alley, an area in the middle of the country where sucky weather pops up frequently, where you always have a storm shelter or a kit ready with battery operated radio, flashlights and candles, and a deck of cards to wait things out while Mother Nature trashes things above you.

Growing up, I had an irrational fear of tornadoes, mostly born out of unwise teachers and weathercasters who would describe these horrible phenomena in great detail, indelibly scarring a kid. I love thunderstorms, the crashing, the flashing, the rain lashed windows. But, give me a tornado warning, and my heart leaps into my throat and I break out the helmet and hide under the bed (Just kidding. I hide in the closet.)

I am lucky to live in Chicago, where we have not had a tornado in my lifetime. the suburbs will sometimes get small funnel clouds, but in the city proper, where I have always lived, there is never any serious worry that an F5 will touch down in the middle of Michigan Ave. Still, I have never lost the irrational fear, the awestruck terror of these monsters made of unstable atmosphere and air currents, there and gone in an instant, leaving unimaginable devastation in their wake. I secretly cannot believe that anyone wants to live in Tornado Alley, in Kansas and Nebraska and Oklahoma and the like, where their lives can be uprooted, quite literally, in the blink of an eye.

Hopefully, I will never have to experience one first hand. My heart goes out to the people trying to rebuild as we speak from the spate of tornadoes we have had this week. Maybe someday we'll have that Back-to-the-Future-esque weather predicting formula that will tell us precisely when and where such things will form, but for now, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

And boy, can she be a bitch.

1 comment:

Kimba said...

I have a horrible fear of tornados and have learned to hide it because of being a faire director and a mom. But yeah...I break out in a cold sweat whenever the weather gets rough...storms bring tornados, so I can't stand them! I saw one come down the street, just above the houses when I was babysitting as a teenager. It was terrifying, but thankfully didn't touchdown!