So we had a wild weekend in a not good way. Not that there were drunken brawls or anything but the weather was heinous. Mississippi took a major beating. We had 3 tornadoes in my area alone, though none directly in town. Ten people died. Zoe was flabbergasted that I wasn’t freaked out, but really, I’m married to a meteorologist who can tell me what’s what without any of the alarmist announcements they tend to put on the actual broadcasts. Common misconception is that when there is a tornado warning, it does NOT mean there is a funnel cloud. It just means there’s tornadic rotation in the atmosphere (I think I got that right…). The general public hears tornado and automatically thinks “Twister!” (which I have been made to watch way more times than anybody has a right to). Anyway, I’ve lived in tornado alley my whole life and have never actually had a problem.
What’s all this got to do with inspiration? Forgive me, it’s Monday and I’m rambling.
Part of the whole “tornado’s comin’!” experience where I live is the sirens. There are these enormous air raid type sirens mounted all over town and the university that go off during tornado warnings. It’s a message to take cover (which usually means interior room in the house, preferably a bathroom with no windows as most folks in the South don’t have basements). They also go off at noon on the first Tuesday of every month to make sure they still work, but high noon on a sunny Tuesday isn’t the same as in the middle of a storm when everything’s suddenly gone quiet, the air’s gotten still, and the sky is a sort of gray green that looks like a witch’s brew (which, of course, I saw because instead of being in the hall away from windows, hubby and I were standing on the friggin’ front porch). When they go off THEN, every dog in the area starts howling at the same pitch and it’s the eeriest damn thing to hear. It’s what I imagine it would sound like when a rift to hell was being opened. A long, ululating wail, presaging something really, really bad.
I’ve always wanted to use that sound, that circumstance, in a book. Haven’t yet, but give me time.
I know exactly what you mean about the sirens. Ours also chime, like a grandfather clock, when there is a tornado within a 5 mile area of our city … so, the sky gets dark and grumbly, the air is thick and electric, and then ‘BING BING BING BING … Waoooooooooooo’. Always gives me the chills.
I think also living in an area where frequent weather patterns occurs lends people a certain… calmness when dealing with them. I live in Florida, and most people outside of Florida panic when they see a hurricane is heading my way. I’m pretty nonchalant about it. I’ve lived here since I was six, and I’ve seen quite a number of hurricanes. I’ve lived through some of the worst. I know when to be afraid — but not panicked — and when to just tell people not to worry, it’s not nearly as bad as the weather people make it out to be. 🙂
However, I’m glad you’re all right, and my heart goes out to the families of those 10 people who died.
Yes, I was a basket case. I kept watching the radar to see where the warnings were. There was one right above and right below us.