I have always been terrified of storms. I’m not sure why, exactly, as I’ve never been in any physical danger when a storm hit, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been afraid of them. Wind, in particular.
I remember back when I was very little, living with my foster family in a Toronto subdivision. We were not exactly in prime tornado territory but we often get weather warnings in the summer because there are a lot of thunder storms that move through the region. Where I am now is the place that gets the most lightning in Canada, in fact. It has something to do with being surrounded by the Great Lakes, I think. One of these ‘tornado watch’ warnings came through the television “emergency broadcast” with the horrifying bomb siren sounds screeching from the speakers to get everyone’s attention. There was a severe thunder storm brewing and a cold front moving in and funnel clouds had been spotted in the area. I was only little….maybe 3 or so, and I panicked. I ran around the house slamming windows closed (I didn’t know it was best to keep them open – I just wanted to keep the storm out!) and locked all the doors. I went so far as to lock the tiny little flip lock on the handle of the metal framed screen door at the front of the house. Then, I went into my closet and hid, waiting for the scary event to pass. I told my mother I was afraid but she just blew me off. I was kind of terrified of everything at that point so I don’t think she was being cruel on purpose. She just knew me well enough to know I’d be okay once it passed. (I could have used a kind word and a hug, now that I think back on it. I was just a little one and I remember tears rolling down my cheeks and my whole body trembling with fright.)
I went to hide and stayed there until I heard a loud pounding on the front door.
*OH MY GOD IT’S THE TORNADO!* I screamed in my head, too afraid to actually move or make a sound.
Of course, it wasn’t the storm…lol…it was my father who was stuck outside in the torrential rain, unable to get inside because I’d locked the screen door. My mother thought it was hilarious but he wasn’t so amused.
I still hate storms. I hate new articles about damage caused by storms, stupid shows about people who idiotically drive INTO storms for the sake of the thrill, and I hate videos of storm photos or damage. Hurricanes have the same effect on me, however, it would have to be a damn huge one to reach as far inland as I am so I don’t worry about them quite so much.
This morning, Dayne woke me by text at 9 am.
**Hey did you hear that there was a tiny tornado (ground spout? funnel? I can’t recall what the news called it but it was an F-0 on the rating scale they use) behind X’s house yesterday?**
I was up and wide awake in seconds. I looked it up on the news, checked out bystanders videos and then, reading there was very little damage done, relaxed a bit and kept investigating. I read that there was a children’s wooden swing set that had been picked up and deposited into the neighbour’s yard and some damage to a bit of siding on one of the homes right next to the house where the family who babysits Colt live. They are away on vacation (which is why I’m off as well) so I thought it a good idea to go check on the house, no knowing if neighbors had contacted them. When we pulled up, it was obvious it was their swing set that had been tossed about as the bright yellow slide was jammed, at a very awkward angle, into the neighbors shed roof and the other bits of it were scattered into the fields behind the houses. I took pictures and texted them to the family, just in case no one else did and they need to call insurance (they have solar panels on their roof and at least one was clearly smashed) and headed back home. It wasn’t until I got here that I suddenly realized, with a gasp, that had they not been away, all of us parents would have been at work and the kids, including Colt, would have been there, alone, when the storm hit. It wasn’t a long ordeal and the winds weren’t even that strong (80 mph but we get some pretty high winds here this time of year) but it would have been terrifying for them had it happened that way! Thank heavens they were away and Colt wasn’t there.
The other thing that bothers me is that they were the only house affected. Another home had some siding stripped off but it was a chunk of the swing set that caused that to happen, so really, a tornado formed, touched down, destroyed my friend’s swing set and called it a day.
I guess, if it had to happen, this was the mildest, gentlest way it could have gone. Regardless, I’m not leaving my house again today. More thunder storms are coming and I’m much happier holed up in my house, nice and close to the basement crawl space. I even have a plan to get the cats down there, if need be. Mind you, they will never talk to me again if I throw them into a dark hole in the ground without warning. Still….the other option would be decidedly worse.
And that’s my exciting Friday! Got my car fixed, got my phone fixed, got the kitchen, living room and bathroom clean, did my nails (twice), took Colt out for lunch and I’m done until tomorrow. Planning on a peaceful evening with no tornado warnings! (Work with me here, Mother Nature).