Monday, May 26, 2008

lesser of two evils


All day long at work, people would come through the door looking like they'd been swimming and say, "Good Lord, it's muggy out there." The forecast was for rain and heat in the eighties, but the storms held off. It just kept getting more and more humid as the thermometer climbed.


When I left work at 10 pm, it was still warm and humid, but there was a breeze. It was almost comfortable, and climbing into my car I thought that maybe the storms were going to pass us by after all. It's been wild, weather wise, the last few weeks, and it was nice to think that maybe we'd gotten a Get Out of Jail Free card on this one.


An hour later, I'm sitting in my living room as the sky lights up on all sides with lightning. I have big, old house windows and it looks like someone has a spot light set up outside of each of them and is randomly flipping them on and off. The thunder is rumbling enough to worry the dogs and the heat just continues to climb. I refuse to turn on my air conditioner since I'm still paying off my $700 heating bill, so I'm a little on the clammy side. And in the last few minutes, the rain has started pounding down.


My memory is probably off, but I don't remember this many nighttime storms until the last year or so. It could be crazy weather during the day, but at night it was usually calm. When you laid down your little head to sleep, you could feel confident that you wouldn't be waking up to the sound of tornado sirens in the middle of the night. But we've had some whoppers come through while we were sleeping lately, and it vaguely unnerves me.


The news doesn't help. I've just finished reading the on-line news about the tornadoes in Minnesota and Iowa. Just finished reading that the tornado fatality rate this year is the highest in something like ten years and we're not even halfway through the season. Just finished reading that our county is under a tornado watch until 4 am.


It's not just tornadoes, either. We actually had a lightning fatality here this week. Flooding has been an ongoing problem. And the wind here can be something else. I have the leaky roof to prove it.


The weather feels wild somehow, in a way I can't really put my finger on. When we moved here I was so thrilled at the thought of not waking up in the middle of the night to my house gyrating that I underestimated the power of a good old midwestern storm. I always said I'd take a tornado any day, because the last time I checked, the National Weather Service doesn't issue Earthquake Warnings or seismic doppler radar. No one warns you to take cover in an earthquake, you just run like mad for a doorway as your plants fly through the air and you wonder if this will be the one that finally brings your house down around your ears.


I'll still take a tornado over an earthquake. I'd just like to do it when it's light outside.

23 comments:

Carolyn said...

I'm unexplicably tense tonight and this post didn't help. I think I'd be a massive bucket of nerves with weather like yours looming over me all the time. Although, we're due for a huge earthquake, so I always have that to worry about...

Take care of you, eh.

Rudee said...

I'd rather see it coming too. I wouldn't hear the sirens-I'd worry I'd just sleep right through them. I do think I'd have a good chance of being awake because of the humidity. Humidity + Menopause= blood boiling. Not a good equation.

Living on the northern edge of tornado alley, we've not had any bad storms yet but maybe I shouldn't talk about that.

Rose said...

I've got a great pasta recipe for your cookout if you still need one! Sorry it's late.

Kaycie said...

Growing up in Oklahoma, I don't really pay much attention to storms until the sirens sound. I know what you mean though; I hate getting up in the middle of the dadgum night and watching until we're out of the path of the storm. So far this year, we've done that twice. It's enough to make a person want to install a flatsafe in the garage.

Lil Mouse said...

yup we had to dive for cover in iowa. all those storms were within an hour. one town that we visited last weekend checking out a 'home' place, well the home place isnt there anymore, it was flattened. we're kind of shocked.

laurie said...

the storm here was very very bad. it smashed into hugo, which is about 10 miles away from where we live, and killed a small child. destroyed houses. crushed cars. a lot of people homeless now. their houses look like toothpicks.

in our neighborhood, the wind came up very suddenly. we'd been sitting on the back porch in the muggy 81 degrees when suddenly it got very very dark, and the wind picked up and kept getting stronger and stronger.

we dragged flowerpots and tables off th back porch and into the kitchen, ran around shutting all the windows...and then it was over. just like that.

moved on down the road to hugo.

PixelPi said...

We had the remnant of those storms come through here this morning. No lightning or tornadoes, just wind and rain (which we needed). But we are expecting severe weather this afternoon after it heats up. It's cool but humid now.

Thank heavens we have a sturdy basement with three areas without windows to sit in if necessary.

My biggest fear is trying to round up the cats during a storm. They all hate the sound and will hide anywhere I can't find them. Sigh. They have brains the size of walnuts.

aims said...

I'm still watching the news and keeping an eye on the weather in your area. I have a friend further east that was involved in that tornado that killed twenty or so. Her place was fine - it was the rest of the town that got it.

How do people live in this area? I'd be terrified all the time. And I'm sure I couldn't afford the insurance.

Hoping you and yours stay safe.

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Nora said...

I'd hate to see a tornado come my way. Luckily we have only very tiny little earthquakes here and very tiny rare tornado like thingies. We do get huge storms sometimes, but the houses are built of brick and cement, so they hold up pretty well, I don't know about the roofs, though. We just worry about floods, but not where I live, we are on high grounds. When the rest of the Netherlands is below water, we will still be above.

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Pamela said...

People don't understand that I want to take a tornado chase vacation.
It doesn't make me want to see destruction.. I just want to see mother nature in all her glory.
(Sorry to all those who have to run to their fraidy holes. sigh.)

Nearlydawn said...

The two weekends before my "starter marriage" there were tornadoes, both of which I saw, up close and in person. As in, while I was at the mall getting fitted for my dress it hit the mall - twice!

My family swears that it was an omen and I should have called off the wedding. LOL My Dad actually offered me money not to marry him... However, he'd not said word one before the day of the wedding.

Eileen said...

The weather has been so out of wack for the past few years. I hate storms, especially with lightening. I hate the huge trees, that sway and make my house look so small. There has been a lot of tree damage here, but not a tornado, just high winds. We don't get many tornados here, thank God. Or earthquakes. But you just never know, with Mother Nature.
Hope the rest of your week is cool and sunny.
XOXOXO

Akelamalu said...

Englandd doesn't get real extremes of weather like you do over the pond but we've had really high winds for the past few days. The weather seems to be going very strange all over world now don't you think?

the planet of janet said...

yeah, daylight helps. *shudder*

jettied said...

as a minnesotan a 2year old little boy died in the last tornado here. my heart goes out to the family. It has statred way early this year and the weather has been scary. toradoes terrifiy me.

Sandy said...

I couldn't agree more. I used to live in the shaky state and now I live in tornado alley. I would much prefer them in the daytime but I am REALLY tired of the friggin' straight-line winds...

CrazyCath said...

Makes me count my blessings to live where I do. I don't know if I could cope with that level of uncertainty about tornadoes and earthquakes and stuff. *shudder* Hope you slept ok.