Last night we had a bad thunderstorm. Some folks lost their electricity. I started talking to Rick about the thunderstorms and tornadoes of my youth. First of all my mother was terrified of storms. I remember as a child sitting in the hallway of our house, along with my brothers and sister, at night. Most of my memories are of night storms. The power was off so no lights or T.V. We would listen to the battery power radio for storm alerts. I don’t remember any of the alerts, but I always associate Tom Jones with tornadoes at night. Why you ask? Tom Jones was very popular then and his song Delila would be playing while we sat in the hallways. It seemed he was always signing Delila when there was storms. I am sure it played during the day too, but I just remember it playing at night. My mother was afraid to be alone, she as the only adult in the situation. I remember being driven, through the storm, to Grannie’s house. I don’t how we did it but we all seemed to fit in the hallway between two bedrooms and a bath. I remember a day time storm when we were at Grannie’s and I could see through one of the bedroom windows outside. I guess that was the first time I saw hail coming down. I remember wondering, how it could be raining ice balls in the summer time?
Other storm times were when we moved to the country. I was barely a teenager then. There was no Grannie’s to go to. One thing they did have in the country was storm cellars. I have sat for hours in the underground cellar with folks that I really didn’t know that well. But my mother was acquainted with everyone that had a storm cellar. Most of the storm cellars doubled as a root cellar too. You sat on boards that ran between the end blocks on both side of the cellar. It was muddy and the wall were filled with canned jars of fruits and vegetables. No power in the root cellars so it was lit with coal oil lanterns. It really seemed like you were jerked back in time by at least fifty years. And this was 40 years ago. So to add it up, it was like maybe a hundred years ago in time. It would be pouring rain outside and of course, some of the men were going out to look at the storm. Opening the door just let more rain in the cellar. I don’t know what they could have seen, it being night time but I guess that’s just the nature of men. It is kinda funny that when I was grown, I was in the office that ran the siren warning system for a large city. And also for shelters, be it weather or hazardous materials that called for shelter. I never even put the two together before I started writing this story. I guess life is funny that way.