Tornado alley. What a benign name for such a terrifying place. Can’t you just hear the old guy at the gas station giving directions? “Well, you go down the road a spell ’til you get to where the old rendering plant used to be. Take a left there and go past the old Parson’s place; you’ll know it by the forsythia that blooms in spring. Well, no. It’s not spring now, but you should see it when it is! Keep going another mile or two and you’ll see Tornado Alley. You can’t miss it! It’ll be the one with all the people running for their “fraidy holes” tonight!”
I’ve got to tell you; I’ve lived here for over 34 years now and somehow tornado alley doesn’t seem so benign right now. As I write, the immediate threat of a tornado is past, but for an hour or so tonight, the combination of lightning and thunder and wind and strange sounds up in the air made for a few tense moments. The tornado sirens in town and the loud beeps of constant weather bulletins on the television didn’t lessen the tension any, either. You’ll pardon me if I waste the next few moments on levity now, just to achieve a sense of balance in my psyche. And, if someone will just turn down the volume of the thunder rumbling up above, I’ll be able to shift gears.
Someone wrote online tonight that tornadoes kill more adult males because men go outside to see the storm instead in staying under cover. Well, of course we do! What kind of real man could stay inside hiding in a closet when there is no sign of danger except for the sirens going? Why, just tonight, the mayor of our town wrote on Facebook that the sirens were only sounding to caution us, not because any tornado had been sighted. I think it may be as my son-in-law phrased it when describing his babies who wouldn’t go to sleep at night. “They are afraid that something might happen while their eyes are closed.” Come to think of it, that could explain my lack of sleeping hours, too!
I am afraid that I am just as much a “looky loo” about the weather as I am about other events with people involved. I don’t want to be the only one who didn’t see it as it happened. Who wants to be the one to say, “That was right outside my window. I didn’t see it because I was hiding in the bathroom, but it was right out there next to me”?
I hope you won’t think the facetiousness misplaced. I know that many people have died or lost possessions in the storms of the last few days. That said, I find that humor and self-deprecation is one of the ways we can get through bad times without losing our sanity…although, as you are no doubt already aware, I have taken leave of my senses long ago (hence, the title of this blog). It has been a trying few days and I’m working at staying out of the dumps. That’s the place in which I tend to linger when events have gotten the better of my spirits. There’s not much good to be found there, anyway. While we’re in the vicinity though (of the dumps, that is), I will mention that we’ve had to say goodbye to a good friend, since our faithful family mutt, Strider died unexpectedly last night. It’s a personal sadness that won’t soon be banished, but I had the chance to contemplate the temporal nature of pets with you in a recent post and I’ll not make you dredge that up again. He was an indefatigable puppy all of his life and we enjoyed him immensely. We should all be so happy-go-lucky.
So, if you happen to be driving by my place the next time there’s a tornado warning and I’m standing outside looking at the sky; honk your horn and yell at me to go inside. No, wait! What are you doing out driving in that kind of weather? Maybe you should stop and watch with me. That way we could all head for the fraidy hole together if we see that big, bad twister coming at us…
There’s a technical term for a sunny day that follows two dreary, stormy days. It’s called Monday.
Whatever happened to the cow that got carried away in the tornado? Udder disaster!