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03 March 2017 @ 06:16 pm
The Wonder Of Nature, Baby!  
The weather here has been so wonky. Middle of February, we had 65F weather, sunny, beautiful. I was sitting out on the sun-porch everyday. Tuesday night, we had tornadoes. Not right where I am, a little south, right where my little brother lives. He lives close to the state line, so they get every bit of weather that blows through, no matter where it’s headed. The alarm went off on the TV and I thought the noise of it would wake my sister, thought she’d come running into the room half-asleep and alarmed. But no. So I went into her room - not quietly mind you, I do nothing quietly. Banging open her door, dragging my walker with me. Nothing at all, until I yell, “Hey, tornado!” You would expect a groggy response, a murmur perhaps. Instead she sat straight up in bed and yelled, “What the hell are you talking about?!” She paced around the house for a bit, called everyone in our family, then went back to bed. The alarm went off a second time a few hours later. This time there was a confirmed funnel. I muted the TV and let her sleep. The rain was slamming against the window so hard, it kept me up all night. That was Tuesday. Thursday we had snow on the ground. It’s ridiculous. A month ago New Orleans was hit with tornadoes. Texas, some other places too. Tornado season doesn’t start until April! Don’t tell me global warming isn’t real!

Speaking of tornadoes has reminded me of the sad news that Bill Paxton died. He seemed like a genuine and fun guy. I can’t believe he is gone. I also can’t believe he was already 61. That means he way 58 during his action-packed stint on Agents of Shield. He did not look it. How could he be felled by his heart?

But yes, I am a nerd for disaster movies and Twister was one of my first and favorites. Here’s what I remember about going to see it:

It was the summer I had turned 18, my little brother was 13 and Dad took us on the only family vacation we had every been on without Mom - (it was a year or so after the divorce and Dad was on new meds and doing really well.) To this day, I declare it as the best family vacation we ever took. (Don’t tell Mom, she tried to compete a few months later with a trip to New York). We were going to the Tennessee state line to Cumberland Lake to spend a week on a houseboat. (Also, to this day, I want to live on a house-boat). Dad figured we’d stop early and drive the rest in the morning. We wanted to stretch our legs, but there was no pool at the hotel, nothing fun nearby. So we ended up at the movies. To see Twister. My brother and I had been wanting to see this movie, but Dad knew nothing except it’s title.

We all end up loving it! Dad and myself claimed Dutsy as our favorite character (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). If you know the character, you aren’t surprised he was my favorite, but it may tell you a bit about my dad. He also laughed so hard during the bit where the cows fly across the road. “I’ve got to go, we got cows,” was quoted by my dad for years and years, anytime he’d drive pass a field of cows. He told us ahead of time that he had heard a ‘true story’ - (of course the urban legend already forming around the movie) - about how some people were at the theater watching the movie and right when a tornado was onscreen, an actual tornado came ripping through their movie theater and right through the tornado onscreen. We believed it at the time and then during the scene in the movie where they are at the drive-in theater and suddenly the tornado rips through the movie screen, Dad leaned over and said, “This is where the real tornado destroyed that theater.” That asshole, lol. My brother and I are were griping the arms of our chairs!

Later, on the houseboat, there was a nasty storm - I’ll tell you about it someday - but I remember thinking, “We are in Tornado Alley. We just saw Twister. This is clearly the part where the tornado rips through our movie screen.”

Twister gave us a great bonding moment with our father. And Bill Paxton gave us so many other great roles and I am sorry we lost him. RIP, Bill.
Shireboundshirebound on March 4th, 2017 12:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing that wonderful memory.

Your sleepy sis is in good company! I remember years ago reading Mary Lou Retton's book, and one night she was so tired out from gymnastics workouts that a tornado damaged part of the house she was living in and she slept right through the chaos.
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on March 4th, 2017 03:11 am (UTC)
Glad to hear that y'all didn't have a tornado hit you!

PS, thanks for sharing that story about your dad. I never saw Twister, but I live in Texas, and really wasn't tempted.

PS we're having wonky weather too! I'm just worried what this will mean come summer. When we have mild winters, we have a terrible bug season come summer. Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, biting flies, ugh..... Need to get bug control stuff for the dog and feral cats. Maybe they'll let me put that stuff on them?

Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on March 4th, 2017 07:05 am (UTC)
Maybe it was because I lived in an area that never had tornadoes, but I was fascinated by that movie and intrigued by the idea of become a storm chaser.

We've had the rainiest winter in the 10 years I've lived in the Bay Area, but I think the sun has finally come back for good. And, bright side, drought over!
Jo Annyeuxdebleu on March 5th, 2017 02:51 am (UTC)
I loved Bill Paxton in Twister and Titanic, but I loved him most in HBO's Big Love.

You have a pretty good tornado story of your own.