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Another Day in the Country

Nature’s own civil war

© Another Day in the Country

Whenever there’s a tornado watch, my friends from out of state start calling.

“Do you have tornados,” my friend Norma texted from Idaho.

“Do we have them? Yes! Right now, no!” I texted back.

Then, later in the morning, my sister called me and said, “There’s a tornado watch until seven o’clock tonight.”

Sometimes, it’s Colorado cousins checking in. Often, it’s California calling to make sure we are safe.

A friend of Jessica’s called from Florida this week, “Are you all okay? It looks bad on the news in Oklahoma. Do you have a preparedness bag?”

“Of course I do,” Jess laughed. “It’s sitting right here by the couch.”

“I might have known,” Victoria said. “You are a Capricorn.”

That conversation went over my head until my sister reminded me of Capricorns’ major organizational traits.

“Do you have a safe place to go?” Victoria went on questioning. 

“I have a basement,” Jess answered.

“Tell me it’s finished and not just a crawl space,” Victoria wanted to know.

“It’s not finished,” Jess said. “It’s just a 12-by-12-foot space under the houses with two chairs and a candle, but it will do in an emergency.”

I was listening to this rather one-sided conversation and then looked out the window at the lovely morning and said, “Is there really an emergency?”

Since Jess works at the health department in Marion, she has a friend in the emergency preparedness department on speed dial.

Jess gets anxious about the weather, and she knows that if there was something dangerously close, she’d get a notice from her friend.

That soothes her — along with the little emergency weather radio she keeps nearby when bad weather threatens.

“Don’t worry,” my sister said to me. “If there’s an emergency, I’ll let you know, and then you’ll just have to get your ass over here.”

She laughed.

She thinks I don’t get worried enough, will wait too long, and will be too calm.

I do have an emergency bag in a closet. We made one after a tornado came within a couple of miles of Ramona several years ago — too close. But when I went looking for it, I couldn’t find it.

We have had a couple of emergencies of our own in that closet. A pole fell down twice. The last time it was put back up, it was just me and Dagfinnr doing the whole job.

We’re still waiting for a shelf above the pole. It’s been on hold for a year, and everything that goes up is down on the floor.

“Victoria says not to forget putting food for your pet in your bag,” Jess tells me.

I roll my eyes because, in a real emergency, Skeeter is on her own, and so is Jess’s cat, Tig.

Frankly, I doubt anyone could catch Tig to rescue her. At the first lightning bolt or thunderclap, she’s out of here to who-knows-where. That cat gets seriously frightened.

One of our concerned friends believes strongly in the power of group meditation / intention / prayer and says she’s been in touch with “energy” folks in Oklahoma who are trying to “move the storm” so it does less damage.

I do believe in the power of a group working toward the same intervention, but when they are up against Mother Nature, I have serious doubts as to whether they succeed.

We humans have been using and abusing Earth since it all began, and now that climate change is making storms even more intense, we need to be paying attention and change our ways before weather threatens.

As the weather watch continues, I’m reminded of a guy named Paul who used to live in Ramona when we first moved here.

For a time, he was the fire chief and was responsible for warning the town if there was tornadic weather.

That word, “tornadic,” was one of his favorite expressions, and I must admit that before coming back to Kansas, and meeting Paul Jones, I don’t think I’d ever heard the word — or used it.

So for me, it became Paul’s word, and I can see him pointing up to dark tumbling clouds and saying, “those are tornadic clouds if I ever saw any.” 

Be safe! Be prepared! It is spring in Kansas, and the weather is always unsettled.

Wind comes from the north with a cold chill one minute, and then warm air comes from the south, clashing over Marion County. It’s nature’s own little civil war — on another day in the country. 

Last modified May 9, 2024

 

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