As a young hurricane watcher, I could not wait to catch a glimpse of the huge storm. It is amazing what amazes children. I forget which storm was brewing, but I was around 10 years old when that hurricane was being tracked through the Gulf of Mexico.
Our neighbors across the street had a fort for their sons. It was similar to ours, except that it had a canvass roof cover which made it more popular during the Summer dog days of heat. Looking back, it would have been a stellar fort if it had a dehumidifier!
At every opportunity, we would find the latest information and coordinates of the hurricane. We had those charts in which we would plot the storm. Our excitement would grow as it shifted toward Victoria. As kids, we didn't fully understand that the excitement around town was not the "Santa Claus is coming" excitement, but the possibility that the "Grim Reaper was coming."
Nevertheless, we would find our chart, a clipboard, and binoculars and climb the fort. Every cloud became suspect that it was related to the storm. It didn't matter that we were looking North. Did you know hurricanes can apparently sneak around a city and hit from the North? Well we were sure of it. Actually, it was the easiest direction to gaze.
These amateur meteorologists were going to announce the first sighting of the hurricane, afterall it was only 1000 miles away!
Did the storm hit Victoria? No. If I recall it turned South and disappointed two young kids who wanted to to see it in the sky.
The life of a child is so simple and adventurous. Even as I watch my own children at play, all the toys in their bedroom do not compete with a piece of plastic tubing, dirt, or a stick in the yard. The creative mind of the child will fabricate some adventure even if the physical presence of it is not at hand. My son, D, became a black belt in Kung Fu shortly after we went to see "The Karate Kid" and my daughter, A, a princess that could save the land after "Barbie and the Diamond Castle." Just last night, she did not want me to tell her a bedtime story. She wanted to tell me her bedtime story which was filled with imaginery characters from distant lands that protect and guard others from scary witches and goblins.
Children are indeed a wonderful gift and hurricanes are now dangerous in my mind!
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