SPIDERS, BEES, BURGLARS, GUNS, FLYING, PSEUDOFED, HAUNTED HAUSES, HAVING TO TAKE THE TRASH OUT, ERRATIC DRIVERS, LISTENING TO PEOPLE EAT, ASBESTOS, LEAD, FLY LARVAE, UNDERWEAR LINES, DIVING BOARDS, HEMORRHOIDS, AND ANOTHER BUNION…….THESE ARE ALL “REAL LIFE” FEARS I SUFFER FROM, IN ADDITION TO A MUCH LONGER LIST, THAT WOULD TAKE TO LONG TO EXPLAIN!
At first glance, most people wouldn't guess, from my tough exterior, that I would be the type of person to have so many fears, but anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I'm a GIANT “fraidy cat”!!
The fear I obsess about most is STORMS, particularly ones with tornadoes, and high winds. In the past, I've talked about this in depth, and this fear just refuses to leave me.
Several years ago, I had an experience, where I watched a full grown tree, break free at the roots. I was standing in the doorway as it fell. The branches brushed against me on the way down, before smashing my glass table, and bending the metal of my chairs in half! The tree took up the entire back yard, and we had to crawl over it to get out of the house.
So, this being said, I have good reason to be terrified. However, I really do go overboard with my behavior, and I wish I could control it better! If I know a storm is coming, I watch the forecast constantly, annoying people often by asking them to “See where the storm is now”, or “Is the storm about over”!
Well…. Yesterday, the Indiana weather forecasters predicted SEVERE storms for most of the viewing area, in the evening. They then started alerting people that it was highly likely that a DERECHO would be heading our way. They followed it up by saying that there is likelihood of tornadoes as well, but that it was the least of our concerns!!!!???
WHAT?!!!… I wondered if I heard that clearly. If it is worse than worrying about tornadoes, then I have a new found fear, I'm unaware of! What in the HELL is a derecho?…..
Naturally, I looked it up immediately! In case you didn't know, Wikipedia describes it as a long lived straight line wind storm, associated with a fast moving band of severe thunderstorms, capable of delivering flash floods, torrential rains, lightening from all directions, hail, and rivaling hurricanic and tornadic forces. It also says that while tornadoes do form amidst this storm, they are very hard to see!!??
WHAT??!!….As I was reading about the characteristics of this storm, I saw words like…baroclinic, rear inflow notch, bookend vortices, and convective available potential energy!!! My eyes immediately started getting blurry, and I became weak in the knees!! I didn't know what any of this meant, but I knew it couldn't be good!
Then, I read on, with glossy eyes…. There are 5 types.. Serial, single bow, multi-bow, progressive, and hybrid… I think they describe themselves…. Plus, they are capable of producing winds in excess of 100 MPH, and for at least 6 hours…And…Prior to hurricane Katrina, the death tolls from derechos and hurricanes were comparable!!!
WHAT?!!…. What I found most fascinating about that though, is that they occur most frequently in the Midwest states. I have lived in Indiana for most of my life, and I watch the weather channel more than one person ever should, and I have NEVER heard this word before! How could that be? They were even describing what it was, on the television……somebody's calculations must be wrong!
Regardless, I was supposed to meet my good friend for an afternoon run and a couple of beers, close to the time that the derecho was predicted to hit. I really had myself in a tizzy! I knew if I told her I wasn't coming, she would make fun of me, because my rational was dumb!…So…against my pangs of anxiety I went.
The run went fine, with no signs of what I would call a derecho. Then on to beers, BUT… CAN YOU SEE A DERECHO IN THE DARK?… I did start to panic a little, and made her check the radar. She obliged me and laughed about my new obsession with derechos. I suggested we drive separate… She laughed and said ok, but was looking at me, and her eyes said “why exactly”?
I realized then, that I was being irrational! We carried on with our evening (driving together), and hung out together, in a building with little light. Truthfully, I was then able to push the fear, to the back of my brain, and just enjoy conversing with my friend….
How can we be so afraid of things that we've never experienced? And while it may not be storms, I think everyone can relate to a fear of this magnitude….. I guess IT TRULY IS, the fear of the unknown…..
THE DERACHO NEVER CAME……..