Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thunder And Lightning

It's storming here. I love it. My cat, however, does not.

She will tremble and mew until the storm ends and there is nothing I can do but keep my hand on her. That seems to be what she needs from me when the thunder rolls. Then she will get up and stretch and claw my couch and I know she is over it. And now she has jumped up to lay between me and the laptop. She is a scaredy cat anyway, so just about anything scares her. When people come to the door of the apartment she runs and hides. She has done this since I found her. Well, my dog found her. I wrote a short story about how she came to join our family and it will be in a contest in May. I will let you know when it comes up.

I have always loved storms. Something about the forces of nature unleashed to show her glory just stirs the primal being in me.

When I was a toddler we lived in two different trailer parks. Both were hit by tornadoes. During one my mother picked me up off the couch just as the air conditioner fell out of the window. If she had not done so I would have been squashed. In the other tornado the trailer was tipped onto its side. It was during that one that I remember the Pet milk man giving out milk to the children and moms in our park. He was just passing stuff out of the back of his truck.

I've also been in hurricanes on land and at sea. In Myrtle Beach I would help make sure the lines of the boats at the marina were secured. The first boat I was on was in 1993 and we were in Florida when it was snowing during the "Storm of the Century". One day it was bathing suits, the next it was sweaters. We were in a safe marina when the worst was going on. The wind would make the lines on the mast thrum loudly. To sleep I had to put my headphones on and turn Pearl Jam all the way up on my walkman. We were able to go explore (somewhat) the town in a car borrowed from the marina because it was three days that we were stuck there.

Hurricanes at sea are another matter. It's exhausting. Although you try and plan a route and trip around the weather sometimes the weather changes its mind. Everything is wet. Your nice hot drink is watered down with either rainwater or saltwater from the constant sea spray. There have been times when the weather got so bad that the captain tied the cord from the lifeboat onto a stanchion, small poles that go around the deck of the boat. That way, if the boat was going down, all you had to do was heave the lifeboat into the sea and the cord would pull, inflating the thing. If you stopped to think about it, it was scary. But there you were, two hundred miles offshore. It wasn't like you could step off the boat. You just had to deal with it.

The storm has subsided here, for the moment. We are supposed to have them for the next few days. There could be tornadoes in the states to the northwest. Tornadoes are rare in East Tennessee. Add that to the fact that I live in what seems to be a concrete bunker and I am not afraid. But I do look forward to opening the windows and letting the sweet smell of ozone be blown into my small apartment. And maybe I'll dream of the sea.

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