Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some people worry about ants...

Most people go on picnics and worry about the ants. Most people go on all sorts of lovely day-to-day activities and never have any sort of overly dramatic, chaotic, insane, whacked out things happen with their days.

Not I. I am the Queen of Chaos. A friend of mine once came home from a yard sale with a tee that read "Chaos, Panic, Disorder: My Work here is Done." They then handed this to me and advised that I wear it as a warning to those who did not know me and my propensity for disaster. I can take any simple thing and turn it to a full scale catastrophe. It is a gift. I do not know how, precisely I do it. I do not mean to do it. I mean, I am a writer. I am a people watcher. I would be happy, sitting, book in hand. Writing what others are doing and speaking of and not ever having anything to do with others panic and craziness.
However, I am a magnet for disaster. For example, a friend and I once thought we would take my daughter to a botanical show. Flowers, for goodness sake. Nothing could possibly go wrong with flowers. On the trip home we got some lovely pictures of the ball of flame that was once someones car... we had to drive through it. Not planned... not my fault exactly, but as I said chaos just is attracted to me. I would rather, say money, or fame, or terribly attractive famous rich men or chocolate covered men be attracted to me but no, chaos is attracted to me.

The point of all this lead in being, it happened again today. My friend Ami and I decided today was a wonderful day for a picnic. At the last minute we decided to change location and go to Lake Erie in Madison, Ohio and have said picnic to get our kids together. We packed lunches and off we went. On the drive on our cells we discussed the neat clouds. They were kind of layered. Bottom dark the tops looking like mountains.

Hm mm.

After lunch we went down to the water. I snapped some pics with my cell of the kids looking for shells. In a few, which are viewable on my facebook and my Space, you can see the ominous clouds (of which, we were cheerfully oblivious to) as we played in the sun. The sun shone down on us. The sand was hot under our feet. The water was warm as bathwater. The wind was blowing and the lake looked so pretty.

We went up to the playground and the kids were on the merry-go-round when the screams started. My youngest started yelling, "Tornado!" I thought to myself, I cannot believe every adult in this place is listening to my seven year old and panicking.

And then finally I looked where he was pointing frantically.

Okay. Yeah. Sure. That sure was a tornado. I had never seen one that close before. Not just appearing right in broad daylight out of nowhere. I mean you get some warning. High winds. Rain. It doesn't just come out of nowhere on a sunny day.

But there it was spinning like a graceful angel coming down from the sky. For about a minute (which is quite awhile with a tornado bearing down on you) I stared at it stupidly. Then I grabbed Ami's arm and I believe I said something like 'tornado.' I really don't remember. I then remember thinking, "No one is going to believe us unless I take a picture. They are going to think we dramatized this whole thing."

So, instead of running, like all of the rest of the (I must say, far smarter parents, Ami included, who was trying to gather children, mine included) parents and children, I pulled out my cell phone and began snapping pictures of the tornado. I quickly also identified that as it was over the lake, it was not a tornado. It was going to be a waterspout. If it made land it would be a tornado. So long as it stayed water bound it would stay waterspout.

I snapped and tried zoom and all the while yelled at my kids, "Run!"

The flaw with this is the same flaw that my kids have every darn time something like this happens. They don't listen. Somehow if their mom thinks things are safe enough to take pictures, then well, why run? Finally I spun and realized they would not go so long as I stood and took pictures and by risking me, I was risking them.

Also, when it hit water, it grew. Like a lot. It hit water and sucked up water. It went from gentle spiral of air and cloud to monster of water. It now was huge. And then it moved faster. It moved faster for shore. And there I was. On the shore.

I decided I needed to get the hell away from the shore and inland fast.

I ran as fast as a big girl can beat feet for my car. I ran and the kids ran and we made it to the car.

About a block or so away it either hit land and lost speed or just lost power... I really don't know which. I just saw it spiral off into the clouds again... We circled back and went to get Hannah's shoes (abandoned by the merry-go-round when we all ran for cars because we couldn't find them and I was taking pictures).

But again, nothing ever is JUST a picnic for me. Sometimes it is a picnic and a waterspout. But never JUST a picnic.

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