Friday, June 18, 2010

How To Weather A Storm

First, you have to live on a farm. Then you have to notice that it has gotten really dark in the middle of the day or that the sky is kinda a funny color and that the tops of the trees in the shelter belt are bent over about ninety degrees. Someone should say loudly "We should probably go to the basement." Someone should root around the junk drawer for candles and matches while someone else roots around the tool drawer for flashlights and spare batteries. Someone should go to the shop to get the men and someone should go to Grandma's to get her and hold her elbow while they rush across the lawn to the house. They should stop with her to comment on the trees. Everyone should convene in the basement. Discussion should ensue as to which corner they are supposed to be in. Someone should attempt to figure it out scientifically based on which direction weather patterns generally travel and someone should counter that with how it comes from every direction at some point when the tornado spiral is passing over. There should be discussion of the strongest part of the basement structure and dangerous things like the fuel oil tank and the gas water heater. One of the men should get curious and go upstairs to take a look-see. The other men should join after he doesn't come down after a bit. One of the women should dash upstairs for the camera and go out and stand behind the men and ask if they can see anything yet. The other women should get curious and go up. This leaves the kids and Grandma, who is just as curious and powerless to stop the kids from joining the rest in the front yard. She should make one kid stay back to help her get up the steps so she can see. When everyone is in the front yard watching, if there is or has been hail, someone should find a couple of the biggest pieces to put in the freezer. After it dies down, everyone should get in the car and drive around to look for crop damage and watch the water rushing through the ditches along the highways. The final stop should be that one place where the slope of the highway is misleading and it looks like the water is flowing uphill in the ditch. Then everyone should go home and have snacks. Remember to offer that Grandma should come in for snacks too and remember to help her back home afterwards. Go check on the hail stones in the freezer in the morning.

3 comments:

Chuckles said...

And, keep your head up high...

XSarenkaX said...

Did this actually happen once or several times, as you detailed? Or is this a tale you've spun from the winds of our last few storms? Either way, it was interesting and fun to imagine, especially with the safety and happy ending.

goprairie said...

Oh, every detail happened but not in the same storm. From about fourth grade on, Grandma lived in a mobile home in our yard and so we did go get her during storms because she had no basement and 'trailer houses' were referred to as 'tornado snacks' and one time, she DID stop on the way to look around and remark on the strength of the wind needed to bend the trees that way. Usually the men were in the fields, tho there was one occasion where they were in the shop on the farm and reluctantly came to the house to go to the basement. Most of my actual memories of my dad standing in the yard to watch the storms were at night though. But you did have to go drive around to check for crop damage, either right after a daytime storm or the next morning, and we really did have a 'mystery spot' where the water in the ditches seemed to flow uphill. There always was and still is that conflict between wanting to hunker down safely out of harm's way and wanting to BE OUT THERE and SEE IT HAPPEN.