Friday, May 31, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I scared of storms. I mean terrified. Petrified. Mortified. Stupified scared. Living in Kentucky, and being raised in a trailer (a contraption that they say you’re better off going and lying in a ditch outside in the storm rather than staying inside if there’s a tornado) left me with a phobia of them.

Today the system that has been ravaging the west is moving through where I live. How afraid am I? My parents have a house. My Aunt Debbie and Uncle Frank have a home with a basement. If there is severe weather they let me stay with them. Aunt Jan is there too.

I’ve been trying to conquer my fear of storms. But it’s just so damn hard. When I was twelve family and I were down at Nolin LakeI got caught out in a severe thunderstorm. We don’t have beautiful seaside or oceans here so it’s lakes and rivers. You know, I’ve been to Florida but I’ve never seen the ocean in person. Only ever on movies or television or in photographs. But I digress.

My cousin Corey and I had gone fishing. To get where we were going Corey and I walked down an incredibly steep hill. Honestly it looked more like a drop off. I was wearing flip flop sandals and was carrying a fishing pole. There were rumblings of thunder but as any kid is want to do I charged ahead wanting to fish. 

But as we stood on the embankment the clouds rolled in, the wind kicked up and the thunder came more frequently. I was DONE at that point. Corey wouldn’t leave so I left without him. As I walked up the embankment the hook caught in my shorts (great) and I was forced to break the fishing line with my bare hands. Which if you know anything about finishing line it’s that no 12 year old girl should be able to break it without something sharp. I was lucky that the hook didn’t open up into my leg and all I got from it was a scratch.

As I walked down the road which was nothing more than rocks and dirt the rain started to come down in buckets. I looked to the sky and black raced over the white ones. My stomach was in knots and my shoes were getting slippery and hard to keep on so I took them off and started to scream for help. Keeping calm really wasn’t my strong suit at the time. Eventually I stopped yelling and looked for a landmark. Which as you can tell by the picture is no easy feat. What I remembered was a large vehicle with a busted out window. 

When I saw it I still wasn’t sure I was in the right place, but I was determined to at least get up the steep 
drop off and get around civilization. So up I went.

Fishing pole and sandals in hand I grabbed onto tree trunks and slowly pulled my way to the top. I stepped on thorn bushes, twigs, and God only knows what else. I was incredibly fortunate nothing poisonous bit me and that I avoided poison ivy altogether.

When I finally got to the top I was flushed, hot, red faced, and out of breath. And like a gift I was right behind the trailer we were staying in on the property.

Ever since then I’ve been terrified of storms. I have a shitload of storm stories. One from when I was five years old and a babysitter was watching my sister Brandy and me. We had a basement back then. One where I was at a pizza joint with a friend and we heard a funnel cloud go over ahead. And another still where there were some dumb asses standing outside while I heard a hitch wailing moan. Truly, the only thing scarier than hearing tornado siren to me, is hearing the tornado itself.

Missy often says it’s not the tornado that’s going to kill you, but the heart attack you’ll have when you see it that will. I’m pretty sure she’s right. I wish I had a house with a basement. That’s a dream you know. Nothing fancy, just a place that will withstand an F5 tornado. I’m not asking for too much am I?

Anyway, I feel better now that the storm has passed and that I wrote this. I know you’re not really there, but thank you for listening anyway. ;)


Amy McCorkle

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