Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gimme Shelter

There weren't a lot of boundaries when I was a kid. There were a few rules to be followed and with the rest, my parents just kind of hoped good old common sense would kick in.

My dad has always been weird about safety. Safety Dave. He was a boy scout. If you take me camping, I'll be really prepared.

I will have my raingear and maglite, promise.

If you count from a flash of lightning to the next thunder and divide the seconds by five that is how many miles the lightning is from you.

I was three when I remembered hail for the first time. It broke the kitchen window and I sobbed when dad went outside by the tree to take pictures of the ice stones. The front steps were AstroTurf and the railing was wrought iron.

There, you can feel a storm coming. The barometric pressure makes your bones feel peculiar. The sky becomes eerie and the clouds develop into worrisome formations. Colors change. I am afraid of storms. My heart drops down to the pit of my stomach and I worry.

In the warm months of Minnesota, the tornado and thunderstorm and flash flood warnings are a fairly regular sound. Then, a lady's voice comes over the emergency broadcast speakers and tells you to seek immediate shelter.

This was a Safety Dave rule. Get home, get in the basement, have flashlights, listen to the radio, or watch the weather report.

My brother David was always in the garage watching the storm approach, the clouds change, and the lightning. I wanted safety. Sometimes my mom and dad were home. Sometimes I was alone. Sometimes I was with one brother or the other or with both. Thunder so loud it would reverberate in your chest. I waited storms out in the basement.

Weather can be terrifying. Especially, when you're a kid.

Colorado monsoon season is happening. Almost every afternoon for the past couple of weeks there have been thunderstorms. Rain, hail, lightning, thunder, fast water, etc.

The storms come in and roll out quickly here. Sirens don't go off very often.

Still, when the rain begins and I am rattled by the claps of thunder and the lightning I cannot help but want to go home and get in the basement. I don't use the phone or shower when there is lightning either.

I know I am safe. I keep myself safe.

Why are some fears more difficult to outgrow than others?
Do you watch the storms come in?

1 comment:

  1. I have that same storm fear. I grew up in a house with no basement, and when those sirens turned on and the sky grew dark, I became really scared. A green sky just isn't right. Now my dream is to some day chase tornados.


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