We were vacationing in Minnesota, when a violent storm came up. The wind gusted to 80 mph and some places were without power for more than three days. I had been talking to this one woman who lives in Wyoming where the sky is clear and wide. Here, in the upper midwest, she was terrified at the sight of a thunder-storm. She is terrified that the storm will turn into a tornado, something that is not seen Wyoming.
I must have been in the third grade when my aunt took me to see the Wizard of Oz. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more Toto!” I didn’t like that movie. In fact, fifty-five years later, I will not watch it, and I have no idea what occurs in the middle of the movie. At that early age, I became fearful of storms. I thought a tornado would come along and take me away from my family.
At that time, my mother was working to earn some extra family money. There were some days that I had to be home alone after school until she arrived. There was this one time, after seeing the movie, that I was riding the school bus home, I spied an ominous cloud (I doubt in third grade I used the word ominous). So, I just stayed on the bus and went home with a friend. My friends’ mother was shocked at my arrival, and kept calling my house until my mother could be reached. Mom picked me up, and “instructed” me on the importance of going “straight” home from school. One of the those following days, I went straight home, a storm came up, thunder, lighting, heavy rain (can’t remember if it hailed). In terror I took off down our residential street. A few doors down the road, a grandmotherly woman took me in out of the storm.
Just click your heals together….fast forward 30 years and I’m married living in Minnesota, venturing into a new hobby….Ham Radio. One facet of the hobby was learning to be a “Storm Spotter”. What better learning event for someone fearful of storms. A study of storm formation, its paths and destruction. Yep, I became a trained and certified Storm Spotter, relaying information on ham radios to a weather center.
As with many things in life, I grew out (or is that grew up) of driving around looking for tornadoes, much to my families happiness. They had been left at home, while I drove around.
Ok, so I can understand this Wyoming ladies’ concern, I used to be terrified, before I was trained. I took the picture, shown at the beginning of this blog, in Minnesota, Memorial Day Holiday 2008.