http://www.one.org Dixie Peach: Friday Shuffle - Batten Down The Hatches Edition

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Batten Down The Hatches Edition

A big storm is expected to barrel through Germany this weekend, complete with heavy rains and very strong winds. I'll be keeping myself indoors as I am not fond of having rain blowing in my face as I walk down the street nor am I a fan of dodging stray branches as they rip off from trees and fly around looking for an innocent victim to bash in the face.

I'm not a weather wimp though. I know folks who cringe and fall apart whenever a bit of rain or a stiff breeze is predicted but I had too many years of working for an electric utility for that. Work for a power company and you'll soon learn that there are no days off for severe weather and in fact you'd better be coming in early for your shift because all hell will be breaking loose. I've driven to work in blizzards and ice storms and tropical storms and was late for work due to difficulties in driving in bad weather maybe twice in eleven years.

I can be fairly blasé about impending storms to the point of not necessarily being as careful during them as I should be. For example:

In 1998, B and I went to Mississippi to visit my family for Christmas. That winter we were having crazy weather. When we arrived a few days before Christmas we had weather in the 70s and then on Christmas Eve we had a bad ice storm that threatened to call a halt to our celebration. Then in January we experienced one strong storm after another that would spin off tornadoes. I've been in a few tornadoes but B had no experience with them at all and he became a bit fascinated by TV programming being interrupted by news reports of impending storms and tornado watches and warnings. We had been lucky enough to be spared but towns north of us in Tennessee and well west of us in Arkansas had suffered a lot of damage. B and I would see the news reports and I'd semi-jokingly say to him "Honey, I reckon if a tornado is heading our way I'll drag you into the bathroom, throw you and me into the bathtub and put the mattress over us. Don't you worry. I'll save you!"

When B and I were in Mississippi we stayed with my brother in his apartment. One afternoon my mother came by and we left B alone while she and I drove the 1 1/2 miles to Walmart to get some groceries. More strong storms were rushing through Arkansas and Mississippi and when we left there was a tornado watch for our area but the worst of the storms were over Lafayette County, ninety minutes or so southwest of us. While inside the store I could hear a gawdawful rumble and whooshing sound and I figured it was the heat coming on in the store. It's one of those giant Walmarts with the open ceiling where all the pipes and whatnot are exposed and it's always noisy and clanky in there. My mother and I finished our shopping just a few minutes later and as we were fixing to leave we hesitated because the skies were black with storm clouds and it was positively vomiting rain. We waited until the rain slacked up enough for us to get our groceries and ourselves into the car and we were home a few minutes later, despite the fact that the roads had quite a bit of standing water on them in places.

We'd no sooner got inside when the phone rang and my Aunt Cora was on the other end calling me from the appliance shop my uncle owned at the time which was in the downtown area just a couple blocks from the county courthouse. "How are y'all? Are you all right? Is B all right? That scared the thunder out of me and Glyndon"[my uncle]. Aunt Cora is no stranger to Mississippi storms so I thought it was slightly strange for her to not only be upset by a big thunderstorm passing through but to call me about it. I assured her that we were fine and told her we'd just come in from the Walmart and B was okay and my mother would be leaving soon to fetch my nephew from school as she did every afternoon. A few minutes later my sister called in search of my mother to tell her that my nephew's school was probably going to be released early and she needed to get down there and pick him up. I couldn't figure out how she knew Sam would get out school early and when I asked she said "Because of the tornado! Where have you been? You didn't know there was a tornado in town? It went right down Cruise Street!" [the street where my uncle's shop was located].

Oh! No wonder Aunt Cora was calling me and no wonder she and Uncle Glyndon were a little rattled.

I told my sister that Mama and I had been at Walmart and ohhhhh! so that's what that noise was! gee I thought it was the heat in the store kicking on! Boy, no wonder it was nearly pitch black outside when Mama and I were leaving!

"Wait. Where was B?"

"At home. We just went to get some groceries and we left him here. We weren't gone all that long. Not more than an hour. I leave him alone for that long all the time when we're at home."

"YOU LEFT A QUADRIPLEGIC AT HOME ALONE DURING A TORNADO?!"

"Well. I guess I did. But I didn't know we were going to have a tornado cut through town just then. Plus I had to get groceries before Mama had to leave to get your kid at school!".

"DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN! DON'T YOU EVER LEAVE YOUR HUSBAND AT HOME AGAIN WHEN THERE'S A TORNADO WARNING!"

"Sure. I won't. But it was just a watch when I left. I mean it's not like I knew we were suddenly under a tornado warning."

Afterwards I curled up with B and said "Honey, I'm sorry. Are you okay? Between all the phone calls and getting the groceries in and getting stuff put away I didn't even check to see if you were okay."

"I'm fine! Don't worry about me!"

"No, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have left you alone. I didn't realize we were in the path of an impending tornado. I should have been more careful. I won't do that again. So anyway, what did you think of the tornado?"

"Well, I was here watching TV and it was just getting interesting. I mean you could see on the radar maps the storm getting closer. And then it got really, really dark outside and I could hear something really, really loud and just then the cable TV went out and I couldn't follow the storm anymore. And I didn't get to see the tornado either. It was....well...boring!"

I love a man that takes everything in stride.

Time to shuffle.
  1. All I Want is You - U2
  2. For Your Love - The Yardbirds
  3. If You Say Jump, I Will Say No - Irving
  4. Something Changed - Pulp
  5. Beautiful Dream - Adam Ant
  6. All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down (featuring Flaco Jimenez) - The Mavericks
  7. Don't Smoke In Bed - Nina Simone
  8. Fill My Little World - The Feeling
  9. You Wear It Well - Rod Stewart
  10. Star - The Crash
Y'all have a good weekend. And button up your overcoat.


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6Comments:

Anonymous Juanita said...

I had no idea that you had taken B to the US. That must have been quite the trip. I know how much trouble my son and his family have traveling with a child with Prader-Willi, wo is in need of oxygen. The trouble you went through must have been 20-fold.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Marshamlow said...

Those are some great weather stories. I used to work at a tv station in fort wayne Indiana and I had to be there even when the city was closed during a state of emergency due to too much snow. I guess if you have to have electricity you also have to have tv.

4:36 AM  
Blogger J said...

I don't know what the weather is like on your side of the country, but we had very high wings and heavy rain at about 7am.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

We had the same as you, J, but earlier - it was about 6:15am. The thunder woke me up and the wind was blowing so hard from the west that I was afraid it was going to blow the windows in. I got up and went over to the east side of the apartment because I got a little freaked out.

9:26 PM  
Blogger sari said...

I have to say, I always love stories with Aunt Cora in them!

I'm glad all ended well!

9:32 PM  
Blogger The DP said...

I was in Lafayette County for those very storms of which you speak! I thought I was going to die, we were all in the bomb shelter! No lie!
Freakin tornado reports on the radio in North Mississippi officially creep me out, I spent so many sleepless nights because of those. Hurricane reports are nowhere near as creepy.

4:00 PM  

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