Wednesday, May 6, 2009

weather memories

When I was a little girl, Channel 11 News had a special commercial about weather preparedness. It showed an elementary school in Birmingham where the kids were going through a tornado drill (like the fire drills, they were supposed to be practiced monthly), and then it flipped to scenes of the same school after a tornado had hit it. But of course, these kids were prepared and they knew EXACTLY what to do when a tornado hit. I wanted my school to be in that commercial so bad I could hardly stand it.
Every time a tornado passed through the area, we all hoped we would be the ones to go to school the next day and talk about losing a porch or having a tree on Dad's truck or having our tornado wrapped around the pine trees out back. I was never one of the "lucky" kids who had such excitement.
The church I grew up in was also a gathering place during storms, because it had a basement. Every time the weather got bad Daddy (or all of us) would have to go to the church so people could come for safety, even if it was during the night. One particular time I remember we had to stay there for what seemed like hours. All the men went outside to watch the clouds, but of course it wasn't safe for little children. It made me so mad. I wanted to watch for funnel clouds, too, and I was certain I could run faster to get away than the fat old men outside. Thankfully I did have enough sense not to tell my Mom that last part.
I look back on those days now and laugh. As an adult when I hear bad weather reports, I think of safety, of medical bills, of heartache, the cost of destruction. But storms still excite me. I've always enjoyed thunderstorms (as long as the lightning doesn't get too close to the house), and I was disappointed that my first hurricane in North Carolina came through at night. (I think that made it a little creepier than it was.)
I no longer want to be in a tornado safety commercial, nor do I want my home to be the "news" or excitement of the day. But I still find the fury of nature an exciting example of God's awesome power.

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