I have always had a fascination with weather since as young as I can remember. I think I got a lot of that from my grandfather. Pops would be constantly listening to the weather and checking his trusty barometer which he hung proudly in his living room. He was the type of person who would drive to the ocean if a hurricane were coming to see the big waves. Mind you, in Nova Scotia driving to the ocean to see a hurricane swell is a much safer activity than doing the same thing in South Carolina. Yes, he was a little obsessed about the weather and I have definitely followed in that obsession.
My inherited obsession with the weather and storms, in particular, has allowed me to put myself in perhaps not the safest of places. In the late nineties I decided to try my hand, one afternoon, at storm chasing in the Canadian prairies. Thunderstorms in Canada tend to be much safer than their American counterparts. The big danger is usually lightning which can kill you regardless of which side of the border you are on. I am probably lucky that I never got struck as I stood in a field with a disposable camera trying to catch a lightning bolt. I did luck out and got a pretty great shot for the lack of a proper camera.
Let’s jump ahead ten years when I was spending Christmas in Alabama. December is not typically the time of year for a lot of storm activity and I was pleasantly surprised when the tornado warning came. I have always wanted to see a tornado and I was honestly hoping that this was going to be my chance. The family I was staying with was calm about the storm warning and said they were ready to bunker down if necessary. I, on the other hand, was rearing to get outside. I was determined to see what Mother Nature had up her sleeve.
It was windy, windier than I could ever recall experiencing. This made me hopeful as I saw Twister and it was a wind almost like that. I was ready to witness my first tornado if one was going to come along. Unfortunately, I suffered a setback as I was struck by debris from the storm. You are probably imagining, a piece of a house or a cow, but it was not that dramatic. I was hit by a leaf in the eye. A fast moving leaf to the eye can really sting. Anyway, it stung enough that I went back inside to get laughed at by the family I was staying with. They would never have been laughing if the leaf had hit their eyes, let me tell you. It also turned out to not be a tornado, just a whole lot of wind.
-Candace MountainPin It