Mother Nature and I are close, so I try to please her by staying home. Sometimes, however, I travel. That's when Mother Nature shows her displeasure. The trouble is that others feel her wrath as well.
The pattern became established after my college graduation in Oswego. My parents followed in convoy as I drove my grandparents to Buffalo. Suddenly a fierce rainstorm struck, making visibility nil. When I could no longer see the truck taillights before me, I pulled off the road.
A decade later, my husband, our 3-year-old and I visited family in Iowa. We adults huddled in the basement as a tornado roared outside. Our daughter slept through hail so big, it dented the house siding and the top of the car.
Both daughters were wide-awake when we stayed confined in our Connecticut motel room as a tornado skipped around the area, taking out power lines. Our children found the noise of the storm and debris flying through the air exciting. I hoped our car wouldn't get damaged.
Workers at the motel had brought in all loose objects, including chairs and tables. By evening, we could visit friends. The circuitous route
we took to avoid roads closed because of trees, signs and roofs relocated by the storm offered unusual scenes.
There was the surprise, fierce rainstorm when we visited Disney World. Rainwater felt welcome because the weather was so hot. Did I mention I had left our rain gear back at the motel, telling my family we wouldn't need it? We bought plastic raincoats at a gift shop.
The Christmas we visited our daughter in Georgia, where she attended graduate school, the area had a rare snowfall. We could drive in the wet two inches; native Georgians could not.
My relationship with Mother Nature has not changed through the years. Now that our daughters are grown and living miles away, I bring interesting weather with me on visits.
Just last fall, our older daughter took me to her favorite tropical island beach. I am certain it is wonderful, but I don't want to return — ever. She is a scientist. When she assured me that those ominous rain clouds approaching us were actually moving away, I ignored my feeling of unease.
I should have paid attention to the fact that she is not a meteorologist. The storm caught us in flash flooding. Our escape became frightening and challenging as the car nearly tipped. I hope my nightmares about it stop soon.
This past March, I went to San Diego to celebrate our grandchild's birthday. Her mother, our younger daughter, had planned for the party to be in a local park. Soon after I arrived, forecasters predicted the "storm of the winter" for that very day. Not only was the party day windy and rainy, but it was also cold. Indoors for the party, we watched the storm rage.
For much of my visit, our daughter ran their heaters. If I had stayed at home, I would have been treated to warm temperatures. That Mother Nature sure has a great sense of humor!
Three times in one day sizable hail fell in San Diego. The second time we had just returned from the farmer's market when the white pellets fell. I am thinking of staying in Buffalo for the rest of this year and probably next year, too. I manage to disrupt weather patterns wherever I go.
My daughter says San Diegans would be grateful if I came in usually dry August, when they need rain.
Sandy McPherson Carrubba, who lives in Kenmore, disrupts weather patterns wherever she goes.