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March 25, 2009

March 7th, 2009

When I was a child I was terrified of thunderstorms.  The first sight of rain would prompt me to search the house frantically until I found The Brother then proceed to cry and shake with worry.  The Brother and I would cower in his bedroom under the blanket shivering with fear.  

I mostly blame this on the tornado drills we had in school.  As a Midwestern girl, tornado drills were frequent and of vital importance at a young age. My classmates and I would be sitting at a large table with our craft supplies spread out, laughter ringing through the room as we created paintings of Easter eggs.  Suddenly, the alarm sounded, the laughter died and everything came to an abrupt halt.  Craft projects forgotten, everyone filed into the hallway and tucked their heads between their legs.  The Principal would come over the loudspeaker and announce “This is a drill.”   The fun activities interrupted, we’d file back into the classroom in a deathly silence.  The teacher would get the tornado picture book out and share with us the scientific reasons for tornadoes, show pictures of tornadoes in full swing and finally, the devastating damage caused by the storm.

Being the tender heart, the images scarred me.  I would be upset for the remainder of the day (or longer).  How incredibly sad.  One stormy night, fed up with my sadness and fear of storms, my father dragged my brother and I out to our covered front-porch in the throws of the storm.  My father held me to his lap as I writhed in terror, tears streaming down my face.  Thunder cracked in the distance, the earth shook.  I screamed and cried the fattest tears.  My brother stood next to my dad with his hand on my shoulder for comfort,  I could feel his hand shake through my sweater.  

March 7, 2009

Lightning flashed the sky, there was loud crack that sent the house into darkness behind us.  My mom opened the front door and asked if we were okay.  I sat dumbfounded on my dad’s lap, too afraid at that point to shed more tears.  My dad wrapped his arms around me again and whispered, “It’s okay” in my ear.  My dad, brother and I sat out the storm.  After what seemed to be hours, the rain stopped, the sky cleared and we traipsed into the houe to tell mom our war stories. We reagailed her with stories of the “baddest lightening EVER!” and “You shoulda seen it mom!” excitement.  We survived and we were on top of the world.

Since that day I’ve loved thunderstorms.  The Husband and I live by a huge lake that affords us a spectacular view of the beautiful Midwest storms that roll through Kansas.  Most stormy nights will find me in the open garage staring up at the dark and facinating sky.  I don’t feel the wind, the rain or thunder.  I become one with the storm, thriving on it’s beauty and power.  

I’ve never witnessed a tornado with my own eyes.  I imagine if I ever have the unfortunate opportunity,  I’ll run screaming like a small child to the hallway of my elementary school where you will find me with my head tucked between my knees. 

I’ve experienced the calm for the past month… the storm’s brewing.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 13:47

    I loved your post. I could feel your fear as a little girl and take joy in your triumph of overcoming it. I remember those tornado drills in the midwest vividly and didn’t like them much myself.

  2. March 25, 2009 21:07

    Having grown up in Florida and never really dealing with Torndaos until now living in Kansas I have turned into a giant baby who whimpers at every dark cloud!

  3. March 26, 2009 06:52

    I love thunderstorms, hubby built me a covered deck on the back of the house to watch them. 🙂
    I can’t imagine the drills, wow!

  4. March 26, 2009 08:07

    I love storms of all kind-rain, ice, wind, snow, lightening, but I haven’t been around for a tornado. My least favorite weather is sunny and mild. I love hearing your stories!

  5. March 26, 2009 14:15

    I remember those drills! After elementary we we just happy to get out of class for a minute. Once we had a real tornado alarm and were sent to a special room, I barely remember this (I was in second grade) but I don’t think a tornado ever touched down, it was just a warning (remember, warning is worse than watch — I’d always mix those up).

  6. March 26, 2009 14:45

    Thunderstorms are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. This post makes me want to cuddle up by the window and watch one 😉

  7. March 26, 2009 18:49

    Cool pictures! Growing up in LA, I used to have a similar fear of earthquakes. We didn’t really have thunderstorms too often, so they fascinate me now. I love sitting by the window in the summertime watching the summer thunderstorms roll in.

  8. March 26, 2009 22:04

    Your pics are awesome! I have lived in this area all of my life and tornados are just a part of life. I’ve luckily never been in the direct path!

    My favorite memory of living in Lawrence, though was when the hubs and I were just living in sin in our apartment. Gary Lezak said and I quote, “if you live in Lawrence you are safe”….uh, yeah…two minutes later we WATCHED as a tornado blew over about five miles away! The sight was awesome….and if it were now I would have been in the basement with my kiddos. But, back in the day…we were outside drinking just watching the storm roll right by….ah, memories….

  9. March 29, 2009 18:46

    Great picture! I totally understand the fear that comes with storms! I grew up in Alabama and remember many a night sleeping in the closet under the stairs with my brother and mother while my dad stood outside looking up for the tornado!

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