Friday, March 5, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - A Crazy Weather Event

Today the theme for Memory Lane Friday is A Crazy Weather Event.  I've been through my share of snowstorms and hailstorms and even an earthquake in Costa Rica, but there is one weather event that stands out in my mind.  One of those memories that is so distinct that you can still see the details richly in your mind.

I grew up in a baseball family.  My brothers and Dad were all about baseball.  So we used to go to a lot of games.  Sometimes, our family vacations centered around baseball.  We would ride the train up to Boston to see the Red Sox play, or drive to Cincinnati to watch the Reds, back in the Pete Rose days.  Even if I wasn't the most avid baseball fan, I always enjoyed the trips and loved seeing new cities. 

Locally, we had a little team called the Buccaneers.  We would often go to their games, and my favorite parts were seeing the parrot mascot, and eating.  Hot dogs, nachos, huge sodas - it was all good. 

One lazy summer afternoon we were at a Buccaneers game.  The old man in the corner (who never missed a game) was doing his best to slander those "MULEHEADS" into the ground for their lousy plays when the clouds started rolling in.  The air changed and grew tense, electrified.  We knew a storm was coming. 

Many people began grabbing their things and heading home.  But not us.  Oh no.  We were true fans.  The hardest of the hard core.  The skies cracked open and the rain began.  We were seated in an open area, but we gravitated toward "MULEHEAD" man who was under the sheltered part of the stadium. 

Click here to see the design of the stadium.

So there we were under the shelter with old "MULEHEAD" man and a handful of other hardcores.  Lightening began striking all around.  I remember myself thinking (at the tender age of 11) that we were never going to survive this storm.  There we were surrounded by metal bleechers and fences, standing on a high rise of stadium under a metal roof, while lightening struck surfaces so close to be blinding.  The rain battered so hard we got wet even under the shelter.  My heart was pounding.  I was absolutely terrified.  The chain link fences rattled from the force of the storm.  And at this point, it was too late to try to make it to the safety of the car.  It was a very long ten minutes while we waited it out, holding our breaths. 

I don't remember who won the game that day, or even if the game continued after the storm had passed through.  But I will never forget the power of the storm.  And the long tick of the minutes as rain poured and lightening flashed.  And of course, the huge, thankful, sense of relief when the storm moved on.

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Next week's topic is 'A Family Vacation'.  Break out the scanners!


Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Wow! Lightning is definitely nothing to take lightly!

And it looks like you and I have the same theme today! ;)

Mary said...

Great story! Baseball is a fun sport to watch. Around here it's all about the Twins.

My story is pretty lame, just to warn you... :)

Unknown said...

Wow, that does sound scary!

Anonymous said...

Another surprise for me. I thought you would write about the tornado that went through Waco when you were in a freshman dorm at Baylor. I don't even remember a storm at a Bucs game, although I will never forget the Mulehead Man.