"" Writer's Wanderings: Tornado Wimp

Monday, March 13, 2006

Tornado Wimp

Okay, when it comes to tornadoes, I'm a wimp. The minute the little boxes go up on the radar screen, I go into my tornado preparation mode--leaving the TV on to watch the storms approach and pacing with an ear for that train they say you hear and a small flashlight in my pocket in case the lights go out.

I've never been in a tornado. Had one pass close to another house we lived in. All the while it was tearing up a garage a mile down the road from us, the sun was shining in our yard--is it any wonder I get nervous?

I have had plenty of "tornado dreams." They are right up there with the dream of being in a convertible and driving up a hill that gets increasingly steeper and then the car starts to free fall. Thankfully I wake up then--sometimes screaming. In the tornado dreams, I see them coming in the distance, ripping up houses and buildings. I know they're getting closer and sometimes I can even feel the wind pick up...of course that could be my husband snoring in my face. I wake up before they hit but the anticipation sets my heart racing.

This morning amid news reports of the storm system approaching us (after leaving houses in ruin in Missouri) I looked outside to see--sunshine? Taking advantage of the warm weather and the sun and knowing it wouldn't last--this is Cleveland, good weather never lasts--I went for a morning walk. To the north, the dark gray skies told the story of the storms out over the lake. To the south, the sun shone through a small gathering of clouds. As I walked back east however, I had the sense of being followed. I looked over my shoulder and there they were, the thick black clouds of the front that was approaching. I picked up my pace and by the time I arrived back in the house, the sunshine was gone, replaced by dark twilight and the ominous rumble of thunder.

I'm a wimp. The TV is on broadcasting the storm's progress. I have my trusty flashlight, and my eye wanders to the window to check the skies outside. It will probably just be a lot of noise and rain but my heart will race as fast as it does in a good action-thriller-suspense movie or book. I'm such a wimp.

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