We got up early today to see what needed done after the horrendous storms we had last night. The whole tri-state region was under a tornado watch, and then later a flood watch for most of last evening. All the local TV stations suspended their usual programming for the hour after the 6:30 national news to alert, inform, and rehash, over and over, every little detail of the storm as it passed through the area. BEEP…BEEP…BEEP..the weather alert warning sounded over and over. The weather map showed an almost solid area of storm passing through — and not in the usual everyday rainstorm green color — this map was a moving ocean of bright red and yellow mega-storm danger, with two circles (indicating actual tornados) to the southeast of us.
I don’t know how it is in most areas, but our local forecasters LOVE their storms. Maybe nothing too exciting happens in these parts, because when we get any kind of inclement weather around here, whether it’s a couple inches of snow in the winter, or a big thunderstorm in the spring, they’ll interrupt the show you’re in the middle of watching to bring the “breaking” news. Then, they’ll keep reporting on it, snowflake by snowflake, raindrop by raindrop, until you miss the entire ending to the show you were watching and have to turn off the TV in disgust. Big Daddy says they dare not show the forecasters from the waist down or you’d see their weather-induced woodies. Yep, that’s how excited they get.
I have to admit, this storm was a little scarier than most. I jumped up out of my chair when the skylights over my head sounded like they might crack from the hail hitting them. I ran upstairs to close the windows and the lights flickered once or twice. Oldest Son was visiting a young woman north of Pittsburgh, and I was hoping he wasn’t on the road somewhere attempting to drive through the buckets of rain pouring down. Youngest Son and I kept exchanging wide-eyed looks when we’d hear a particularly threatening rumble. And where was Big Daddy? Somewhere out on his bicycle, with his bicycle-riding friend.
You see, last night was Wednesday. And Wednesday is their biking night. This year, Mother Nature hasn’t been too kind to our bikers. It’s either rained or threatened to rain almost every single Wednesday. One night they stayed home and it ended up not raining. Another night, they took a chance and ended up getting soaked. They usually ride a good 30 miles, up huge hills and on narrow back roads. Big Daddy checked the radar map when he got home from work and even though he noticed that storms were moving into the area, they made the executive decision to go for that ride. He said it would probably be a shorter ride than usual.
Even on their usual 30-mile ride, they’re normally back here by 7:00 pm. BEEP…BEEP…BEEP…the TV kept warning. It was raining like a bi-atch, it was after seven-o’-clock, and there was still no sign of our cycling die-hards. Youngest Son asked a couple of times if I thought they were OK. “Dumb asses,” I grumbled. I couldn’t decide if I was more pissed or worried.
Big Daddy normally carries his cell phone with him. I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t calling me to pick them up. I’d done it before, one time when his chain broke, and he’d ended up eating some pavement. I finally broke down and called him, leaving a voice mail that asked them where the hell they were, and that there were tornado warnings everywhere and I would be happy to come and get them. Then, of course, I started worrying that maybe they couldn’t call me because they’d both been hit by a car and were lying in some flooded out ditch.
Eventually, they straggled in the front door, sheepish grins on their faces. “We saw some tornados,” Friend joked. “We got your message, haha,” they chuckled. And they insisted they didn’t hit any rain at all until they were right at the bottom of the hill to our plan. I pretty much called them liars, because this storm was everywhere. They finally were able to convince me when I realized their clothes were only slightly wet. Seems somehow they’d managed to ride in the only sliver of clearing in the whole tri-state area, and when they saw the storm approaching in the distance near the end of their ride, they poured on the speed and made it home in the nick of time.
I guess it’s true that God takes care of the most clueless of creatures.