Friday, February 23, 2007

Waiting for a storm....

Funny, isn't it, how much anticipation one feels when waiting for a storm? For the last several days the predictions have been coming in. Of course they keep changing. And, according to the last time I heard any of the weather reports the oncoming storm seems to lessen in severity. It hasn't started snowing yet, but the wind has picked up. It reminds me of the good old-fashioned blizzards we had down in the snow belt of southwestern Minnesota when I was a kid growing up. It wasn't uncommon to have a snowfall of over a foot several times during January. And I remember the howling of the wind. The house we lived in was over a hundred years old and certainly not the most well-built, it was cold and drafty and the wind seemed to rattle not only the windows but the entire house on it's foundation. There were times after a storm that our neighbor had to come shovel out to the front door so we could get out of the house. The house was obviously built before two exits were required. We could have been stuck inside all winter if not for the kindness of our neighbor! In bed at night trying not to move to retain the heat my body had generated in the small space I occupied, I would listen to the howling of the wind. It wasn't frightening to me, but more mysterious and exciting. Who knows what could happen in a wind like that? And I was safe inside the house, away from the sting of the snow blowing around. I was also aware there would likely be no school the next day, which was always a reprieve not to have to get up and go out into the freezing temperatures. I'd spend the day sitting as close to the furnace as possible, and if the storm hadn't subsided, listening to the howling of the wind as the storm railed on. Somehow when you're inside and warm you lose touch with the reality that a storm like that can easily take lives. Listening to the sound of the wind, which I always found pleasant, never brought fear to my mind. But, I don't suspect the storm that is coming will be that kind of storm. The last time I remember a good storm was the Halloween blizzard that hit Minneapolis and dumped over 30 inches. At any rate, we're hunkering down and waiting for the storm. No need to go out all weekend, we have everything we need. Who knows how much snow we'll get and how bad the wind will be. One thing is for sure, I am thankful for the warmth of a home and the ability to stay put when there is a storm threatening. But it does make me think about all those who are homeless in the Midwest and where they might go to be safe from a storm?

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