Jessie: In New Hampshire, enjoying the warm breezes and flowers in bloom!
I think we can all agree that recent health events were not necessarily anticipated. So, this month we are chatting about the unexpected. So, Wickeds, I was wondering about the most unexpected weather incident you ever experienced? Tornados? Floods? Hail? A beautiful day in the dead of winter?
Edith/Maddie: I’m sure many here will have blizzard stories, and I did have to drive at night in literally blinding snowstorms a couple of times, which is terrifying- you don’t want to pull over and wait it out because you’ll freeze to death, but all you can see are the taillights on the semi in front of you. So instead I offer this as entertainment to you northerners: when I was a southern California child, a freeze was forecast. We kids were SO excited because that never happened. (The citrus farmers, not so much.) My siblings and I put a pie pan of water out in the patio to see if it would freeze overnight. It didn’t, but it was cold!
Barb: That is a funny story, Maddie, at least to us northerners. I’ll never forget the sight of a college dorm-mate from Hawaii dancing in his first snowstorm. I was on Cape Cod once working at the Barnstable Registry of Deeds. The weather was fine until I started to drive home on 6A, when a snow squall blew up so vicious I couldn’t see anything. I was terrified of stopping because someone could hit me, but also terrified to keep driving because I knew there was a brick railroad bridge abutment coming up an I was scared of driving into it. Finally I pulled off to the side of the road. At least I hoped it was the side of the road. When the snow cleared enough that I could see a little, I went on. There was no snow on the ground by Plymouth. No cell phones in those days, so when I finally stumbled into our apartment in Boston, super late and muttering my excuses to my husband and the friend we had invited to dinner, they looked at me like I was crazy. Snowstorm? What snowstorm?
Julie: The winter of 2015 broke snow records, so that was pretty epic. I remember trying to walk down city sidewalks, but they hadn’t been shoveled so it would deadend into a 6 foot drift. I also remember Hurricane Gloria in 1985. I was living in an apartment with a friend, and like everyone else we taped our windows, filled up the tub with water and prepared to wait it out. We also bought a case of beer to help. We did lose power, and there were winds, but it wasn’t the window shattering hurricane we’d expected. That said, our windows were taped for several weeks afterwards.
Sherry: Julie, interesting that my weather story was also in 1985. Having lived all over the country I feel like I’ve lived through it all except for living through an active volcano. However, one of the scariest weather related experiences occurred when I lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming. A rain storm dropped six inches of rain in four hours, plus there was a tornado. I was at the mall huddled in the interior hallways not normally open to the public with one hundred other people — some hysterical. When the tornado threat passed we were told it wasn’t safe to leave because of flooding. Later as I drove home water was shoving my car as it flowed down the road and I had to pick a way to go home. I picked the right one and made it safely, but twelve people died that night. Four on a route I almost took. There’s a saying “turn around don’t drown” please follow that.
Liz: Oh wow Sherry – that’s so scary! I remember back in the early 2000s there was a wicked crazy ice storm that hit – I lived in southern New Hampshire at the time and commuted into Massachusetts for work and school. I tried to go to work that morning and it took me two hours to go two miles, then when I tried to turn around I couldn’t get up one of the main roads because it had a slight incline and the roads were so icy. Cars were stranded everywhere. I had to go sit in a Dunkin Donuts until they got the roads under control and I could get home.
Jessie: I remember that ice storm too! Here, neighbors across the river into Maine were without power for over two weeks! My most unexpected weather event was actually one of my favorite childhood memories. Once when my family lived near Chicago there was a summer evening when there was an amazing lightning storm. For hours and hours streaks of it danced and flashed and crackled across the sky like a natural fireworks display. But it never rained, not a drop. My parents let my sister and me stay up far past our bedtime to watch it. I still love a summer storm!
Readers: Share your experience of the unexpected from Mother Nature!