Posts Tagged ‘tornados’

The Winds from Hell

May 23, 2011

Like most of you, I awoke this morning to the news of those latest devastating tornadoes that struck Joplin, Missouri yesterday. On the heels of the previous destruction in Alabama and other parts of the southeastern and eastern United States from these winds of hell, it’s hard not believe that something is seriously wrong with our weather here in the second decade of the 21st century. Unfortunately the apparent reality of global warming has been too caught up in the vortex of our usually polarized arguments between liberals and conservatives to be seriously addressed as a matter of our responsibility for doing the right thing.

Too many people are too worried about casting or taking the blame here for us to have any kind of constructive dialogue on what, if anything,  we might be able to do about our own energy use to ease the patterns of weather that are forming these violent storms. Like most of you, again, I am no meteorologist, climatologist, energy mogul, or politician. I just sense that we are ignoring some things these days because the weight of special interest politics again stands in the way of correct action.

As a result, add 89 people, at least, from Joplin to the list of Americans who have now lost their lives to this apparently unstoppable (by present standards) juggernaut of death from “natural” disaster in 2011. Maybe there isn’t anything we can do about it, but I sure think we need to open the door on what we might do to help ease the situation. As it is, our enemies don’t even need planes, bombs, and missiles. All they have to do is wait long enough for us to have our next stretch of bad weather. Then they may simply watch whole American towns and cities fall hard to the wrath of Mother Nature.

"I tried to tell him about the storm, but I couldn't find the words!" - Babe

I’ll never forget my own closest call with an apparently small tornado. It happened here in Houston back in 1979, I think. I was living in a little town home on Briar Forest near Dairy Ashford back then. I had just moved in there with with my one-year old English Bulldog, Babe.

Due to the move, Babe was having trouble with my absence during the day. I was working a pretty heavy schedule back then, but that mattered not to my sweet Babe. Because she had chewed off one window sill staring out the window watching for me to return, in momentary desperation, I tied her to a leash that I fastened to the locked-inside area near the front door with a bowl of water when I left for work the net day. It was only for the day. I knew that I would need a better solution.

It turned out to be a move that led to my first clue about an awesome close call with a potentially killer wind that came by our house before I got home. Driving home, I heard on the radio about a tornado that had touched down somewhere in my area and then jumped over Dairy Ashford and destroyed several homes near the Briar Forest intersection.

A feeling of ill-ease came over me. “That’s too close for comfort,” I thought.

Turns out it was closer than close. Driving into my cul de sac neighborhood, my house was always first visible from the rear on the corner. “Holy crap!” fell easily from my lips as I drove up to see my entire back fence laying scattered in the yard and the street. I quickly parked in the garage and ¬†called out, “BABE!”

There was no answer.

I walked through the kitchen into the living room. There was Babe, still tied to the inside knob of the front door. She turned and gave me a mellow bark hello as she remained seated facing the sunlight out front.

Sunlight out front?

Yes! The tornado apparently had pushed in the lock, opened the door, pushed it open, and then, rather go through my house, it simply knocked down my front side fence, jumped over my house, knocked down all of the back fence, and then jumped over Dairy Ashford on its way to wiping out several houses.

When it all sank in, I simply dropped to the floor and started hugging Babe. I got a lot of gooey kisses for that move. She wouldn’t tell me what happen, but she had a look on her face that pretty much told me what I heard her trying to communicate:

“Daddy, you had to be here to believe it!”

I just hope that some people in Joplin were as lucky as Babe and I were that crazy day in Houston back in 1979.