Hurricane Sandy has hit Toronto and while I prepared by making sure we were stocked up with candles, first aid supplies and matches, I didn’t bother telling the Princess as it would just cause unnecessary worry. I knew that other areas would be hit harder than we would, it wouldn’t hurt to safe. I picked up the Princess as usual but she was panicked and told me we needed to get home as soon as possible because we would “blow away and the city would be destroyed.” I stooped down and asked her what was wrong. She explained to me that her teacher had told them about the Frankenstorm that was coming our way and Princess was afraid. I explained to her that it was going to be no worse than any other storm we had experienced. I hugged her and took her home as fast as I could. I knew she was upset and being at home would make her feel much better. The entire time she kept insisting we were in peril and despite my best efforts to calm her, she was sure that we would be hurt in this storm.
I then sat her down and explained that I had endured the Ice Storm of 1998. I told her that for almost 20 days, we were without power and I had 17 relatives living in my home. She sat there in front of me enthralled by the thought of my surroundings covered in inches of ice, telephone poles collapsing like match sticks and no television. I also explained that while it was very dangerous to be outside, it was also on of the best times I’ve ever had. It was like living in the pioneer days. We heated water on the wood stove, played games with my sisters and cousins and my dad only even cooked my sister’s birthday cake on the barbecue. I told her that this storm would be nothing like that and while it may be scary, it was very unlikely anything bad would happen. After that she seemed more at ease and even felt comfortable looking out the window to watch the wind blow in the trees.
This is not an image from my home back then, but just an idea of the amount of ice that hit Ontario, Quebec, some of the Eastern Provinces and some States.
She is now sleeping peacefully just as the wind outside is getting stronger. Hubby and I are watching TV, checking the news periodically but knowing that we will be fine. I understand that the teacher was probably just trying to inform the students about the storm that is happening, but somehow the Princess turned it into some sort of Perfect Storm-esque situation.
I just dashed home with Princess after going to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream because the pitter patter of rain was beginning to fall. While thunderstorms makes most people grumble under their breath, I love them. They remind me of my dad. Not because of his booming voice, or his large presence, but as a child, whenever it would storm, my dad would go out into our screened in porch and watch it.
I don’t know what he enjoyed so much about them, but he very rarely missed one. My mother was terrified of them, especially after her, myself and sisters were home alone during a tornado that ripped our roof off. I was no more than 13 when it happened. I was in 4H and was in my room getting changed to go to the farm. My mother was shouting up the stairs telling me she didn’t think I should go. I wasn’t even down the stairs before she was grabbing us and dragging us into the basement. Before we went down, I looked out our front window to see the branches of the spruce tree in our front yard pointing up to the sky and the sky green as green could be. My mother was shaking, but remained rather calm considering. It didn’t last long but it did sound like a freight train was going through our home. We waited a few minutes after the sound was gone before venturing upstairs. The tornado had passed and we went outside to see the damage. The ladder from our pool was thrown across the yard, the boat in the next field and all of our toys scattered all over the place. However, the damage seemed minimal. It wasn’t until my uncles came over to show us what they could see from their homes. They took us outside and pointed to the roof of our backroom. The tornado had taken the tin roof, chimney and all, and rolled it like a sardine can exposing the beams.
My dad wasn’t fearful like my mom though. He would sit in the porch at the picnic table and just sit in complete darkness and quiet and watch. I would often sit out there with him and I don’t ever remember seeing him at such peace the way he was when he watched the storms. The lightning would flash, the thunder roared and the rain pounded the roof and blew through the screen, but he did not move. His grey eyes would just watch. His calloused hands were folded on the table top. He watched the storms and I watched him. It always blew my mind how he was so calm and peaceful. And he was like this every time it stormed. And every time the clouds and sky darken, the rain falls and the lightning and thunder crack, I remember my dad. I still watch the storms with the same wonder I had when watching my dad.