Monday, February 28, 2011
I awoke this morning to that least favorite sound of mine, the storm siren. Warnings are going up for every county around and it made me remember. It brought back memories of storms I have been a part of and survived, for one the super outbreak of 1974. But, it was not until the mid-80’s that I became storm prey.
I was working as an Architectural assistant, needed to inspect the project site and had traveled about 2 1/2 hours from home base. The day was gorgeous, hot but not a cloud in the sky; one of those days you enjoyed being out and away from the office. Then I had to return home.
I loaded my clip board and set out for the return trip. At the time I was driving what I affectionately called my beer-can-on-wheels truck. A small pickup truck, I just knew was made out recycled beer cans. Driving it in any kind weather was like steering a piece of paper in the wind, a ride you will not forget.
I turned onto the interstate and did notice the dark clouds in my rear view mirror but thought nothing of it. I drive in the slow lane as fast I can with music as loud as it will go without blowing speakers. I also sing in the car when I’m alone, I do not believe in torture. I was in my element, then I noticed my rear view mirror.
It was black and I do not mean dark, I mean black. The black that says evil is coming to get you. At the same time I realized I needed to breathe, that dark monster stole my breath again; a funnel was forming. “Oh crap and I’m in a beer can,” I thought.
With one gust of wind my little beer can went from the slow lane to the far shoulder of the road. I knew I was in trouble and my foot slammed on the gas.
The speedometer only went to 90mph and had never hit that mark, I was in virgin territory. My little truck sensed the storm and went as fast as it could. That evil dark spinning monster was chasing us.
The funnel was there I could see the rotation but by now was very near to home. The rain caught us first and as I rounded the state road to home I knew I had maybe 15 minutes to get parked and to shelter, my house.
My house at the time had no basement, the bathroom was on the exterior wall and the center of the house was a big open area. Gathering my 3 dogs and the cat we all headed for the huge closet under the stairs.
There we sat, all of us, in a dark closet just waiting. I heard the back door open, Ms. Twister was home. I also heard her yell for us and responded, “We are in here.” I cracked the door and motioned her to come in but what did she do?
She rolled over in the floor laughing. To this day it is one of her favorite party stories about me. How I out ran a tornado only to get home and lock myself in the closet.
May you not hear the storm sirens where you are and your week be filled with sunshine. Just don’t forget to watch your rear view mirror.
For my other storm story go here.