This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Friday, May 23, 2008

With A Thunderous Clap And A Funnel Cloud...

Mudslides. Wildfires. Earthquakes. Flash Floods. Tornadoes?

Anytime California weather makes the news--or alternatively Jay Leno--my grandmother, a Leno fan who in my home state of Nebraska, calls me.

"Is that at all affecting YOU?" she'll ask, her voice quivering.

Yesterday, leaving the Encino library with my arms full of books (and 3 DVDs that I'll never get to in the span of a 2- day loan) I got caught in an unexpected rain shower. It doesn't rain in Los Angeles...not in May. Then, suddenly I spied a long, narrow shock of lightning flash in the sky and just a moment later, a thunderous clap roared.

THUNDERSTORM!!! Yeah!!! With my childish excitement, you would've thought that I'd just caught a falling star (the subject matter of the only library DVD I got to--"Stardust.") I ran to my car and looked over in pity at a carnival trying to set-up in the park across the street. Later, after a stop at good ol' trusty Trader Joe's, I heard reports of funnel cloud sightings--aka tornadoes. TORNADOES???!!!

In Nebraska, I grew up on thunderstorms and I genuinely miss them. I love the rain and the electricity in the air whenever a T-storm comes storming in. Here we may get a sprinkle here--and an occasionally downpour, but a thunderstorm? Hardly ever. And reports of tornado warnings in the Southland gave me thoughts of home.

Of course, I don't wish for tornadoes--but there's something about them. The freakish hail, the pink and purplish sky, the stillness right before, and the amazement of seeing a black snake rising from the earth. Aaaahh...tornadoes bring back memories: Memories of dancing in the hail as a funnel cloud formed just miles away, squatting in a basement closet--clutching a battery-powered radio, eating KFC with my family underneath our pool table, sneaking looks at approaching funnel clouds while being scolded by my parents to stay away from the windows.

The adventurer inside of me loves the excitement mixed with danger. Nature in all its glory reminds us that as humans, we are not nearly as important or as powerful as we'd like to think we are. Sometimes, we need those reminders from nature. Often they bring destruction and pain along with them, but there's still something fascinating and humbling about watching nature in action.

With reports of thunderstorms, flash floods, and tornadoes yesterday in California, oddly enough, I did not get a call from Grandma. Tornadoes and T-storms are nothing new for her--it's tornado season there, after all. But the next time there's an earthquake or a wildfire anywhere within the state's borders, my phone will ring and a familiar, quivering voice will ask

"Is that at all affecting YOU?"
I will now take a literary bow--
as this concludes my 100th blog post in just over a year!!!

Copyright © 2008 KLiedle
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