Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Last night the sky turned green at Robert & Debbie's and curtains of rain lifted and fell as the wind rushed by. There was a tornado warning southwest of their house, but the storm's fury lessened as it moved their way. We paced the floor, keeping an eye on the storm outside and the weather station as TG Shuck excitedly pointed out the different bands of color on the radar screen and explained their implications.
I have two memories of previous near-encounters with tornados. In the first, the whole family was sequestered in the basement of Gary and Lorrie's old house south of Beloit, Wis., listening to the crackling radio. I remember looking up at Mom and worrying about my hamsters on the second floor of our house in Rockford.
In the second, we were at Grandpa Clow's funeral in Minnesota. A tornado warning was issued for the area, and we all went into the basement of the funeral home, where the coffin showroom was. I remember some men looking at the array of coffins, most with their doors partly open, revealing the white silk lining the empty space within, and joking that if the tornado should hit, we could all jump into the coffins and surely be safe.

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