Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Storms, The Boat

There is a rather new meme in town, Sharing A Slice of Life, hosted by Texasblu.  Week/Slice #6 is Summer Storms. The challenge reads:

"This week, let's hear about you or your family weathering out the storms. Anyone survive a twister? Flood? Have you ever evacuated for a hurricane? Or perhaps you or someone you know have participated in efforts of relief. Have you put together hygiene or red cross kits for refugees? Did you have some stay with you when they lost their home?

In family history, weather was a blessing and a curse. A storm could ruin a crop in the blink of an eye. Folks hid in root cellars from tornadoes, and Galveston was devastated in 1900 by a hurricane. Mud slides have wiped towns off the map, and vessels have been lost at sea. What has your family tree been through?"

I could chat about storms for hours. Anyone that has me as a friend on Facebook, knows I have been chatting about them a lot this spring. We have had 6 touch down tornadoes this spring in Michigan. I have a healthy, no obsessive, fear of storms. I have been in a number of really nasty storms in my life, a number of which have been the weather that surrounds tornadoes.

We had a tornado touch down not 1/4 of a mile as the crow flies from our home here in SE Michigan some years back. It bounced in, took out one house, did a small amount of damage to other buildings, and bounced up and away, only to land in the next county over and do the same thing, bounce in, take out one home, bounce out, and did again in the next county over from that. We felt NOTHING. It did not even get dark, it barely rained, no wind to speak of, nothing, and yet 1/4 mile away a neighbor’s family home, gone in an instant.

However, seeing that it is summer, I think I shall share this storm story with you, about the Chris Craft, Man’s father’s boat. Man’s father, took us all for a ride on the Detroit River. It was a fine day, sun, warm, more sun, more warm. I was sitting out on the front of the boat in my swim suit, sucking up the delights of a sunny warm day on the river with our family. Man, Son # 1, Son # 2, Man’s mother, and Man’s father at the helm of the craft.

Above:  The boat, 25 foot Chris Craft cabin cruiser

We were headed north, went under the Ambassador Bridge. About half way to Cobo Hall, Man’s father turned the boat around and we headed back south. By the time we went the short distance from the turn around to the bridge we were hit by wind. Lots of wind. The storm roughed up the river water in a heartbeat. Before we knew what happened, the storm ripped the window in front of the driver (Man’s father) right off the boat and tossed it into the river hundreds of yards behind us. This window was not ripped off at the hinges, the wood split on the section that connected the hinges to the boat, it ripped that window off along the longest side, maybe 2 foot long???

The storm intensified, waves intensified in size. Man’s father was well versed in what to do to keep us afloat and as safe as he could. Head the bow INTO the wind. He demanded everyone put on life vests, but of course. He sent Man, Man’s mother and the boys into the cabin below and had me stay with him. I grabbed whatever towels I could find, wet or otherwise, and helped him by trying to keep his face and glasses dry so he could see. His window, the only damage the boat sustained, was gone and the waves and water were soaking him. I was not very successful at keeping him dry, but, he appreciated my standing by.

The storm, as storms of this type, was short lived, but the memory of it has remained with me for well over 35 years.  It is just one of the storms I have witnessed and experienced that has left me with a serious obsession and fear of wind and tornadoes.

By the way, hummer at Branching Out Through The Years, wrote a great piece for this meme, involving the Hero and a bath tub.  I have a similar story about Man, and a trailer shower.  Maybe sometime I'll share it with ya all!  And, that house that blew away 1/4 mile from us, a great story there too about how the owner rode out that storm.  Then there is the story of my parents and the Mooney airplane in Pennsylvania, that one raises the fear factor up a notch or two.

Yes indeedy, I got storm stories!

*Man's father never felt the same towards boats after this experience.  That storm blew away more than the window. 

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence


hummer said...

What a special story. What a special relationship with Man's father. The experiences of overcoming fearful challenges together really makes for wonderful relationships.
Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the shout out. Mostly thanks for joining.

Carol said...

Thanks, hummer. Can't wait to see what the next challenge is.

Texasblu said...

I can't imagine being on the water and dealing with a storm like that. I bet he appreciated every min. you were there mopping the water off of him! I know I would have been! :)