Wednesday, September 15, 2004

an ode to storms

A surprising number of bloggers I know are in danger of hurricanes this year. Or maybe it's not surprising since I tend to lean slightly conservative and God is always pelting the most conservative part of the country with hurricanes and tornados. Don't know why.

I'm jealous. I love a good storm. I love hearing the wind rush by like a jet plane, rain slam the windows like a sledge hammer. I love it when I'm on a hill and I see a streak of white fluorescence suddenly appear, connecting the sky above with the earth below, bathing the clouds and the valley in a white glow as from a huge car headlight. Then I count the seconds till the BOOM.

I like hearing the house creak ominously with the force of the wind (as long as it doesn't creak too ominously). I like it when I get home just before the worst of the storm and I'm all wet. I dry off, put on some comfortable clothes, and sit there watching the storm through a window drinking hot chocolate. Nothing's ruder than having a storm drop in unexpectedly when you don't have any hot chocolate for it.

I like driving in storms. That's when you get to really see it. That's when you aren't in the audience, you are a player. Tucson has great storms for driving, much better than the Bay Area. The storm directs traffic by flooding some streets and leaving others just a rapidly-running stream a couple of inches deep.

I've seen actual tumble weeds flying through the middle of the city. In light winds, they tumble. In storms, they fly. The rain sometimes slams your windshield like it's trying to get at you. Your windshield wipers become vain gestures, like waving away a charging rhino, so that you have to come to a complete stop. You can only hope that the guy behind you has sense enough to stop too.

Motorcycles are fun if you are dressed right. You get splashed with the two-inch deep water and smell the tar and oil and road-waste. If driving a car makes you a player, driving a motorcycle makes you the ball. You have to be alert. Cars can't see you very well and any quick turn or stop is likely to take your wheels out from under you. I can tell you from experience: that's no fun.

I've never been in a hurricane but I've always wanted to see what it's like. I hope the bloggers have fun.

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