3 April 2003
Waiting for the storm
You know it's coming.
There's a tiny space between the clouds where the sun shines just as bright as can be, but otherwise the sky looks like something you scraped out of a garage-sale coffeepot. You listen for the thunder and reset your mental clock to register in seconds. As you round the corner, you catch just enough reflected glare to make you hope for enough rain to wash the top layer of crud off the car.
You know it's coming.
What you don't know is what will come with it. Will it be straight-line winds, depositing the trash (and sometimes the trash can) from half a block away in front of my door? Will it be the sort of lightning that defines shock and/or awe? Will some galactic equivalent of Tiger Woods spend two hours on the practice tee at Cloud 8, propelling balls of ice incredible distances? Will it be, heaven help us, all of the above?
You don't know. All you know is that you know it's coming.
Or it might not. For every storm that stopped and spent the night, there's another one that took a detour and dropped on somebody else.
Welcome to Oklahoma. It's spring, dammit.
Posted at 6:38 PM to Weather or Not
Oh...oh...Oklahoma storms. For a storm lover like me, there is NO FINER PLACE to be than Oklahoma in the spring. The twisted, psychotic portion of my brain almost -- almost -- wishes that I had been there back on May 3, 1999. From a distance, of course. My sister was in Moore at the time; it missed her by about two miles...and apparently it just barely ran out of steam right before it got to my first employer, Heritage Park Mall.
Shock & awe, indeed.
I was here. And that damnable F5 was still hanging comfortably above F4 spec when it crossed Northeast 10th Street (a mile north of the mall) and headed for me.
(It missed me by, oh, 500-600 yards. Like an idiot, I was standing outside watching. Power had already failed, so there wasn't much point sitting in a dark closet just to keep Gary England happy.)
I was fortunate enough to be living several miles to the north when that granddaddy F5 came and took a God-sized chunk of Moore, Oklahoma. One vivid memory I will always carry is of the 30 minutes immediately following the storm. The power was out everywhere, so the neighbors and I were standing on the street, discussing the events of the last hour and marveling at our good fortune to have been missed one more time.
And then we stopped, and sniffed. A sulphurous, musky scent with slightly nauseous undertones. It was the smell of natural gas, coming from the south. Calamity had struck miles away, and we could smell the gas venting from hundreds of suddenly-liberated furnace lines.
It was then that we knew - this had been a *bad* one.
Weather appears to have the tendency to evoke all manner of language; i.e., people seem to describe various forms of weather conditions using the most visually and aurally provocative wording.
I, on the other hand, prefer to get to the point. Winter sucks. Spring is good. Summer is nothing short of pure, unadulterated passion...sending waves of orgasmic pleasu... Oh. Sorry.
So what are you doing this summer?