Whether you are a fellow fiber artist, enthusiast or just an admirer, walk along and talk with me on my journey.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weather Neurosis.

I'm writing about the weather...probably again!  It's really not calm here at all.  The winds are blowing very hard out of the South.  A cold front approaches from the North.  Bad weather is on it's way.  Apparently, where I live is the bulls eye.  I'm rolling my eyes at this prospect.  Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel is in Nashville for the impending weather doom.  Someone said today, "If Jim Cantore is there, you shouldn't be."  Sounds like good advice!

I often wonder when or from what I came to be so terrified of this weather.  Most people seem to go on about their business and are mindful of what is to come.  I've been completely distracted and unable to work today.  My mother and grandmother as well, were both very distracted when the weather was bad. My grandmother would get up in the middle of the night and get dressed and watch the weather.  No one was going to catch her in her jammies if her house was sucked into the sky and she was left wandering...!   It reminds me of countless movies I've seen where the main character dies and wears the same clothes for the duration of the movie.  The lesson?  Never die in something you wouldn't want to wear for eternity!  Pick something comfortable!

But I digress.  My objective was to talk about how I came to own this neurosis.  I wrote about this briefly the other day.  When I was done, I was a little shaky and nervous.  So I must be on to something.

When I was a little girl, our family lived in Chicago.  It was a sweet little community called Brighton Park.  Very seldom was the weather violent there.  Feet of snow piled up in the winter and that was the worst I can remember up to April 21, 1967.  I was 4.  During the afternoon, I could see the skies becoming stormy.  My 9 year old sister was already home from school and my 16 year old brother
would be on his way home from Quigley South High School.  The school was closer to the town of Oak Lawn.  Which is, I would learn in later years, why my mother became so frantic that day.

That afternoon, an F4 tornado touched down in Oak Lawn.  It destroyed everything in it's path and killed 33 people.  My sister and I were playing in the basement where our mom had sent us.  We knew she was freaking out a bit, but I don't think either of us understood fully why-not at the ages of 4 and 9 anyway.  My brother's high school was directly in the path of this tornado.  It was predicted to carry on it's Northeast trek and end up somewhere over Lake Michigan.  After hitting Oak Lawn, I believe the tornado dissipated/ascended or whatever it is that tornadoes do when they aren't on the ground anymore...and my brother made it home safe and unharmed.Coincidentally, our family moved to the town of Oak Lawn in 1972.  That house had a finished basement to hide in  as well.
I lived in Nashville for a while in a home with a basement.  Our children were all born while we lived there.  I never really worried about these storms before we had children.  The basement in Nashville was tricky.  You needed to exit the house and go down the stairs to get to it.  So, when storms were bad enough to warrant a tornado warning, it meant going out in the weather with small children to get to that safe room.  My husband and I now have 3 teenaged children and have moved to a beautiful rural area.  Our house sits upon a hill and gives us a lovely view of the scenery.  We um, don't have a basement.  Soooo, you can guess what this does to me .  (she said in a humorous and snarky way)

We lived in this house not one year before we had a tornado in our front yard!  On May 5, 2003 at approximately 1:00 am, a tornado warning was issued for our county.  I had brought our 3 children into our closet and covered them with pillows.  I think I might have even put a football helmet on one of them!  The last thing I heard WSMV's Nancy Van Camp say before the power went out was the wind speed-110 mph.. Yikes.  My husband was the last one in the closet. I was praying and holding on to our children.  When it was over, I asked him if he had actually heard it because I really hadn't.   He said he heard the train and was really surprised I hadn't.  I realized right then that I had kind of  'checked out' while it was actually happening.  There's a tiny little lapse in my memory!  lol

Neither of us really slept that night.  The next morning, we saw what it had done.  The house was covered with tiny little shreds of leaves and bark.  A shingle or two were found in our back yard.  A few limbs were down on the 8 acre property.  But it wasn't until we tried to leave to get some breakfast, we found the small, but effective tornado had churned up many trees and stacked them neatly at the end of our driveway.  Fortunately, we had 4 wheel drive in the Jeep and found another way out.  When we came back, the work began and we spent several days cutting and dragging brush and limbs. John used the tractor to pull the larger trunks and limbs that littered the driveway.  The power was repaired that afternoon.  All was well.  Our home was basically untouched.   We were blessed!   The turbulent weather lasted for a few more days.  The sky would appear to be clearing and then darken again.  Then another warning..and another.   It was very tiring.  But still we were blessed. 

Nearly 10 years later, I sit at the computer listening to the wind howl and toss things around outside.  It unnerves me to have to hear it. It's been difficult to concentrate on any one thing today.  I've had to force myself to keep at this blog entry in the hopes it will be therapeutic for me and entertaining to you.  I'd much rather bury my head in a basement for the night under stack of pillows with iPod ear buds stuck in my ears. It's February 20th.  Not a time anyone expects violent weather. But in the South, it can happen whenever it chooses.  (I'm rolling my eyes)

My good friend who lives just down the street understands how I feel.  She has given us an open ended invitation to her home whenever the weather is bad.  We have hidden in her basement several times since 2003.  Many times, we end up simply talking, drinking wine and passing the time in the most pleasant way, while waiting for the weather to pass.  Thankfully, nothing has ever happened as it did in 2003.  But in the event it does, I'm so very thankful to her and her husband for being so gracious.  They help me to feel so much more calm when waiting for such badness to pass.  God bless them!

Scary Clouds!

I'd rather be here today.... Well okay, any day.  ;)

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