Ahhh! It is springtime in Oklahoma finally something interesting on TV. I am Storm Chasing. I sit here:
I watch here:
I see some amazing video:
If it really gets tough it is ten steps to here:
The guys that keep me informed are good; albeit sometimes a little overbearing and arrogant but they are good. They have the very latest in high tech equipment at their disposal and most of the time I feel comfortable, staying in the chair, if they tell me the thing will miss me by a couple miles.
I am completely relaxed at the moment as the closest thing to me is still forty miles or so away, it is coming toward me but if it holds together I still have about an hour until it is time to get nervous.
It hasn’t always been this easy or high tech.
When I was a little kid the only expertise we had were my parents. Neither of them were meteorologist (I seriously doubt either of them could spell meteorologist) and many times their opinions of the threat differed greatly. Dad took the laid back approach. Laid back was never used to describe my mom, especially if we are talking tornados. We didn’t have TV; we were totally dependent on who won the argument if we slept or if we took tornado precautions.
We had a storm cellar, I don’t know for sure how far it was from my chair or bed but it was a lot farther than ten steps. Dad built the thing; I don’t know why he built it that far from the house. I still have bad dreams about the 2:00am wake-up calls, the trek across the yard in a driving rain and going in that god-awful cellar. We didn’t just stay a few minutes; we stayed until we could no longer hear it thunder.
In the mid to late fifties Harry Volkman (sp) a weatherman in OKC began to predict when we could expect tornadoes, my mom liked Harry and had a great deal of confidence in what he did. The midnight runs became less frequent and my life got a little easier.
Severe weather forecasting and tracking continued to evolve. Most small towns had guys that would gather at the local football field or some other vantage point and watch for tornadoes if they felt the need someone would flip a switch and the tornado siren would sound. About half the people would seek shelter; the other half would go out in the yard and look for the thing.
Sharyl and I were part of that other half. We both enjoyed driving around looking for the things and we thought we were smart enough to avoid getting in trouble, I guess we were or maybe it was luck. As we matured and accepted the fact we were responsible for two kids we kind of quit doing that, but I always thought we would have made a heck of a “storm chaser” team.
Until the one shown above, we never had our very own storm cellar. We went from time to time but we just infringed on some of our friends or neighbors. If any of you read this, please accept another thank you. We installed the one-pictured three years ago. Sharyl was not physically able to travel to a shelter, and storm chasing was certainly not an option. We used it two or three times in ’10 and ’11, I didn’t need it last year. I cleaned it out today, “just in case”
It is hailing on the west side of town but I think I am going to be OK over here on the east side, however there is some more crap developing so I guess I will continue to monitor.
To put in perspective, we can do without the hail and wind but we need the rain.
I offer a big thanks to the guys and gals that do an excellent job of telling me when I need to take that ten-step journey.
Relay for Life is rapidly approaching, an excellent time to donate to cancer research.
Please say a prayer for me.
It is too early for Good Night, but never too early for God Bless.