As I was reading Ramana's post about the monsoons this time of year, I was reminded of growing up in Texas and living through tornado season this time of year. I know it might sound weird, but I loved tornado weather!
I found that usually, right before the storm, the light in the sky would get kind of pinkish. Then the air would be charged with electricity, and everything became eerily still. I remember that not even a leaf on the trees would move. We knew a storm was brewing, but I still loved that calm time.
Even though tornadoes are very dangerous, I never really felt that afraid. It could have been because I grew up experiencing tornado weather, or it could have been that I was influenced by my brother Twist's curiosity and lack of fear about tornadoes. He would often get out the binoculars and watch for tornadoes.
I can remember that sometimes my mother pulled out old couch cushions and put one in my closet for me to sleep on. Closets are some of the safest places to be during a tornado. Another time I remember going in to the bathroom for safety. One time we were listening to the radio for weather reports and we heard the reporter say, "Take cover!", and then the station went dead. That was one of the worst storms that ever hit our city, and there was a lot of damage done. Another time I remember my mother taking us all in to the laundry room because there were no windows in there, so it was safer. Still other times, we would go to the church and gather with other members in the basement there for safety.
One of my clear memories is of reading a newspaper clipping my mother saved that reported that one of the tornadoes started over our house; and our address was given! Our neighbors' tree was uprooted!
Another memory I have is of my father taking us for a drive around the city after the tornado hit. He showed us all of the damage that was done. He told us of one telephone pole that had a pop bottle impaled in it. The bottle was sticking in to the wood, but the bottle itself wasn't broken. We drove by a home where the only structure left standing was a closet.
One thing I loved about the storms was that after it was over, there was often flooding in the street. We kids would blow up air mattresses and play in the water, sometimes dragging the air mattress behind our bikes.
We were very blessed that our home was never damaged, and we were never hurt in a tornado. I know that many people suffered because of the damage to their homes. I looked online, and found a picture archive of a tornado that hit our town in 1970. That was about the right time, so I think these are actual pictures of the bad tornado I mentioned above. But mother nature really knows how to put on a show, and I loved to watch!