Thursday, May 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Weather

Week 18:  Weather. Do you have any memorable weather memories from your childhood? How did your family cope and pass the time with adverse weather? When faced with bad weather in the present day, what do you do when you’re stuck at home?

My earliest weather-related memory:  We were in the car.  I must have been 5 or so because I think we were living in Jacksonville.  It was storming.  I was scared.  And my mommy told me that if I would pray really hard, the Lord would stop the rain.  Sure enough, it did!  It wasn't until years later that I realized the reason it stopped raining at that particular moment was because Daddy had pulled into a gas station and we were under a canopy!

I do not remember any really bad weather as I was growing up.  There was one instance where we saw funnel clouds developing in the field down from the house, and we were a little concerned about a tornado.  But it never materialized. 

However, as an adult, our lives literally revolve around the weather.  We live by The Weather Channel.  My husband works for an electrical contractor.  Bottom line:  He builds power lines.  So when power lines go down for any reason, he helps put them back up.  Our entire live together has been full of "storm troubles."  Ice storm of 1993?  He went.  (One month before our wedding!)  Most of the major hurricanes you can think of - Hugo (before our time together), Opal, Bertha, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, Gustav, Charley, Francis, Katrina, Rita, etc. - he was there in the aftermath.  Also, ice storms, tornadoes (He's been in Chattanooga for a week.), thunderstorms, or just plain old high winds - he's there.  He's missed birthdays, anniversaries, college graduation, and Valentine's Day.  Forget about planning a vacation from June 1 - November 30 - hurricane season - because we will have to cancel it.  Any and all plans are subject to change and/or cancellation.  Just last week, he was scheduled to do the NASCAR driving experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway... we had to cancel.  It doesn't matter if it is a once-in-a-lifetime event, he and the other employees have a higher calling.  And the worst thing anyone can ask me?  "When will T be home?"  WE DO NOT KNOW.  As long as it takes to put the power back on.  That could be as little as a day or as long as 6-7 weeks.  I know he is coming home when he calls me to tell me he's on his way.  Literally.

Luckily, I have always been the independent type.  If I had not been, I would have needed to learn it very quickly.  Storm at home?  Doesn't matter.  I will be riding it out on my own.  Car, washing machine, air conditioner, (insert any other household item here) break down?  I'm on my own. I've eaten countless meals alone and have gone to numerous family functions, even funerals, alone.  It's not all bad.  He makes extra money when he works storms which helps us get caught up on things, do some work around the house, buy that latest technological wonder (for me!), or actually have a weekend away.

I know that it is not easy on him, either.  Long hours, bad motel rooms (if they have a room at all - it could be just a tent), bad food, ungrateful customers, and working in extreme conditions.  This is not something he does just for the paycheck; he does it because he loves it.  That is one thing I have always admired about my husband - he loves what he does.  He takes pictures of power poles.  He watches storm programs on TV.  If you leave him alone with the remote, he will turn the TV to The Weather Channel.  

The weather certainly affects everyone.  Next time there is a storm and the power goes out, know that there is someone out there working on it, no matter what time of day or night.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Liz. Wherever you live it's easy to forget the many "emergency services" people who get the rest of the world back on line. It also ignores the effect on their families who have to be self-reliant and independent while others similarly affected are looked after. I don't live in the USA but my father went to work hail,rain or shine and my son-in-law has work commitments around cyclones and weather events, so I know what you mean. A big thank you to all the men and women who take care of the rest of us, at the expense of their families, during big weather events!