It was coming. We knew it for days and I thought we were prepared.
No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
I’m a little more impacted by the weather these days, living in an RV and working 24/7 at a gate. I never paid a whole lot of attention to the weather forecast before. It doesn’t affect me like it does, say, a mail carrier, but I do spend a lot of time out in it, whatever it is.
We knew there was a fairly significant storm headed our way. We put away the lawn chairs and bungeed down the lights.
Around 10 p.m., I watched the morning GMA segment on severe weather preparations.
1. HAVE A PLAN
OK, this is a little problematic for gate guards. Where would we go since everyone on site lives in a trailer. And it’s moot anyway since we can’t leave the gate. I had more traffic during the storm than I’d had on any other night to date.
2. NOAA WEATHER RADIO
Don’t have one of those but Channel 4 was interrupting every program I wanted to watch with constant dire warnings of hail the size of golf balls and tennis balls and tornadic activity so I thought (hoped) that would do.
It didn’t. I lost satellite reception an hour before the tornado warning was issued.
But, I could still get on-line and follow the storm with the Weather Wunderground under my Weather Links. I lost the internet a just after the tornado warning was issued.
But, I could still get The Weather Channel on my phone, which is smarter than the rest of my electronics. And honestly, what difference did it make? We couldn’t leave the gate anyway unless there was a mass exodus from the rig. Highly unlikely.
I put everything away, which included the 3 clean dishes in the dish drainer and decided to read and wait and watch the lightning.
But I couldn’t relax. I had this niggling feeling that I was forgetting something. But what?
I hadn’t erased GMA from the day before, which I record every morning and watch at night. Since you don’t need a satellite connection to watch pre-recorded programs, I hit the back arrow to review the piece on severe weather preparedness.
1. HAVE A PLAN – well, not exactly but that couldn’t be helped. We did discuss taking shelter in the bathroom.
2. NOAA WEATHER RADIO – too late for that one.
Then I saw it and remembered. How could I forget the most basic of all severe weather preparedness items?
3. HAVE A HELMET NEARBY
I looked all over the place. Nope. No helmet. What was I thinking?
And then I got to thinking, I’ve never owned a helmet in my entire life. Not one. How have I lived so long, in a world of flying debris, without a helmet?
Part of my problem is that I cannot dispel the myths that have somehow accumulated over the years. Somebody writes something, it`s completely off the wall, but it gets filed and repeated until everyone believes it. For instance, I’ve read that I wear a football helmet in the car. ~ Stanley Kubrick
Mr Kubrick, you might want to reconsider. I have.
Next time you’re traveling down the windy back roads in southern Texas and pass a lady wearing a helmet, driving a giant dually, you’ll know to just smile and wave and I’ll wave back!