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.