Saturday, July 01, 2006

A New Tradition?

Some people need coffee in the morning to wake up and some people need to take a shower. Others can get along fine without either. My dad needs the newspaper. Let's discuss to what extent.

The year...hmm...Somewhere between 1983 - 1985. I can't exactly remember. I was young, that's all I remember.

It was morning. It was dark. The sky was ominously green. Pea soup green. Like a tornado is going to strike down anytime soon green. The thunder was loud. Rock concert loud. Standing beside a speaker at a rock concert loud. The lightening was fierce. Step off your porch and I'll strike your ass down fierce. For all storm lovers (my family included) it was beautiful. Watch from the porch beautiful, not dance in the streets barefoot because it's just so beautiful beautiful (that's only reserved for showers, not tornadoes). We used to get our chairs out on the porch, blankets if necessary, and watch the storm.

The car, a Voltswagon Thing. It looked just like the cars below, only it was yellow. Sunshine yellow. Please note: Canvas roof (totally practical). Plastic windows (you had to unzip them to open them). The passenger window on our was ripped, and held together with duct tape (along with many other things in that car).

Instead of asking if I wanted to join the family on the porch and watch a seriously wicked storm, my dad looked at me and said, "Heather, we're going to get the paper". I don't think I had a choice in the matter. I know it seemed ridiculous at the time, but I also know I wasn't scared.

I remember my mom running out to the car trying to stop us. I can't remember what she said, but it was likely somewhere along the lines of, "Are you fucking crazy Tony? Do you really need a paper that bad. Can't you just wait?". I imagine my dad's response was something along the lines of, "Don't worry, we'll be quick. I'll keep the car running, and Heather can run in and get it" (UM...WHAT?)

Driving away I could see my mother. Well, a sort of warped version of her, because when you look through plastic windows covered with rain, things are just not as clear as they should be (a little safety feature courtesy of VW). That and the duct tape was blocking my view. She was clearly pissed (though I believe she was secretly happy that she would soon have the crossword in her hands).

Crazy drive to the store. Windy, low visibility, flooding in the streets, branches falling, thunder that shook your body to the core, rain pouring hard, rain pouring through the holes in the plastic windows, me holding the door closed because sometimes it just didn't want to shut.

Shortly after (in my dads defense, the store wasn't that far), we arrived at Beckers (I still miss Beckers chocolate milk...Straight from the jug). I ran out, now it was hailing...Large balls of hail...Dent the car large (lucky me). I have to admit, it was exciting.

I grabbed the paper and proceeded to the counter. The store clerk looked at me like, you are too young to be reading the paper, and clearly if you do read the paper, what kind of parents let you out in this weather. It was that moment that I saw the clerk look out the store window, see my father (more likely the bright yellow car), waved (yeah like he can see you) and looked at me and said, "Is that your dad? Nice guy. Crazy, but nice." Crazy but nice. "Yup, that's my dad".

Another crazy drive home.

We arrive back home. I can't remember how pissed my mother was, if she was at all. I'm sure she got over it as soon as she got her crossword, and discussed the foolishness of our actions with the family on the porch (watching the storm of course)....Wait...I'm not taking the blame for that...We were discussing the foolishness of dads actions.

Since Miles was born, we have watched many storms go by on our porch (I'm so lucky to have a husband that loves storms as much as I do). Now that Miles is older, he sees and points out the lightening, and he gets so excited, just like his parents. I hope to watch many storms, wicked storms, fierce storms, thunder storms, lightening storms with my family. And if Miles is lucky..I just may take him to the store in the middle of a tornado to buy a news paper. Perhaps I'll make it a tradition.


Dad (Former "THING" owner) said...

Several times during that drive (perhaps when the broken LOG floated by the window) I asked my self what am I doing & why did I bring my daughter !! I'm only disputing one small fact in your blog - you were as excited to go as I was - I'm don't think I could have left you behind. I guess it was worth it - especially since it may become a tradition.
P.S. It was the nastiest shade of pea soup green sky I have ever seen !
P.P.S Thanks for the memory - not a stormy day goes by that I don't think of that drive with you.

Anonymous said...

I remember this day like it was yesterday. We continue to love a great storm & are often rewarded by rainbows....such as our daughter!

Trish said...

Stormwatching runs in the family...who knew!?
I enjoyed visiting your blog, by the way. Great writing and pictures
P.S. Belated Happy Birthday to Miles

rb said...

Storms rock! I remember working at camp when i was a teenager and sleeping through the most wicked thunderstorms. If you've never slept in a tent during a storm, you absolutely have to!

Laural Dawn said...

That was beautiful! I love memories like that - just the perfect ones that come back.
And, you're an amazing writer. I started to read that on the weekend but Matt was cranky, so I waited till I was alone at work and could enjoy it!
I've never been a storm watcher, but we live on the 12th floor of a condo and it's really amazing to watch from that height.

Anonymous said...
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ninepounddictator said...

I like storms too. I also used to love Beckers chocolate milk from the jug...

cara winsor hehir said...

this is a great story. and for your mum and dad to comment on it is so sweet.
first time i've visited your blog, i arrived via em.will be back.
i, too, mommy blog, mr. llew is 15 mths tomorrow and is the absolute joy of our lives. (
for more adult matters you can follow me back to my own site.

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