Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday, the 13th

I'm not much for superstition, but I have been known to do my share of knocking on wood. Other than that, very little attention is paid to this date.

I do not happen to be one of those who goes around shouting, "The end is coming! The end is coming! Repent!!". I am not a religious zealot, altho I am trying to be a born-again Christian. I say 'trying to be' only because, deep down in my heart, I have trouble believing that God would welcome me with all of my past (and even a few current) sins into His kingdom.

Wow!! This post is not turning out at ALL like I thought it would when it began. This will NOT be an exercise on religious beliefs, OK? Let's move on.

My heart goes out to all of those rain-drenched and tornado-r/savaged folks in the Midwest. (And now I know how I got side-tracked earlier.) My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those killed when a truck was blown into the chimney at that Boy Scout camp. To me, it's a miracle that there weren't more young people severely injured. I even am somewhat forgiving of the media coverage of this event. It's important for people to have an outlet where they can express their feelings and allow some of the hurt and anguish to escape.

I've watched countless film coverage of those valiant and bone-tired folks who filled sandbag after sandbag in an attempt to stem the tide of raging flood waters. I listened to one fellow asking, "What did I do to deserve this?" (As tho he might have personally caused the horrendous flooding.)

I have not had the news on this morning, so I do not know what further terrors last night might have brought to that stricken area of our country. Let us all hope and pray that these folks might have the fortitude and inner strength to -- at least in the short term -- survive. Long term answers for these people are very much up in doubt, aren't they?

Truly, truly, I can not even beGIN to imagine their pain!

Have you ever been in a tornado? I have, many years ago.

We were living in Montmorenci, Indiana, at the time. Out in the country. There had been storm warnings all day. We frequently went out to look at the skies. We talked about what possible shelter we could avail ourselves of.

There was a pretty good-sized ditch close to our house. (By the way, a ditch or other lower-lying area than normal is ALWAYS a good idea! Tornadoes do not 'dip down'. Instead, they will go right over you. Try to cover and protect your head from flying debris.)

That was one possibility, but what if we didn't have enough time to get to it? What then? We had no basement, but did have a couple of throw rugs. We could wrap ourselves up in them and hope for the best. That's what we decided we would do if 'push came to shove'.

Well, it was much later that evening, well after dark, when the storm hit. We didn't think it was a tornado, at first, but then we heard a terrible roar (like that of a freight train). We could smell it. Tornadoes smell 'dirty'. I just don't know any better way to describe it.

We were busy holding each other and wondering how bad this was going to be when the hail began. HUGE chunks of hail hitting the house! We heard the sound of glass breaking and then the unmistakable sound of rain coming in through whatever window had been broken.

My husband went outside to inspect for damage a short while later, and, in the process of twisting and trying to nail down some sort of protection from the rain due to the broken bathroom window, he sustained what was then commonly known as a 'football knee injury'.

The next day, in broad daylight, we could see the extensive damage caused by this tornado. It had NOT hit our house directly. Rather, it had skipped over us, clipping the tops of many trees (branches, nests, and dead birds everywhere!). If it had hit our house directly, I would probably not be here to write about it.

Question ... What would YOU do in the event of a tornado warning? The obvious answer is to get out of its way. (In the Midwest, tornadoes generally travel from SW to NE.)

[This really doesn't seem like the most appropriate time to pause and tell a story that might resemble a joke, but I'm going to do so, anyway. And, by the way, I don't think it's a 'joke'. I think it might be based on a true story.

It seems that there was this motorist who was traveling at a VERY high rate of speed down this county road. All of a sudden, he noticed some sort of official vehicle coming up behind him with its lights flashing. He didn't even slow down to allow the other vehicle to pass. In fact, he urged his car to go even faster!

The 'chase' continued for another mile or so. Then he heard, "Pull over, you SOB!" He refused to do so. The official vehicle pulled alongside him, the officer obviously irate that his instructions were not being followed. Not knowing what else to do (and, certainly, he was not going to stop!), the motorist rolled down his window and frantically pointed behind them.

The officer looked back and discovered that a tornado was chasing them! He told the motorist, "Follow me!", and leapt ahead, sirens still screaming.]

I don't really know of a good way to end this post. There are so many thoughts just swirling around in my mind right now.

Let me just try and conclude, however feeble as it might sound, by wishing all of you a day without dire consequence. (That sounds just AWful!) I apologize. It's the mood I'm in at present.


Tammy said...

Just the same, I'm glad tomorrow is the 14th. ;)

Goldenrod said...

I'm with you there, Tammy. Only 38 minutes more to go for me.

I watched the national news tonite. Lord love us! Whatever are those poor people in Iowa going to do?