While I was in Texas, the weather forecast was for very heavy, severe thunder and lightning storms later in the week. I was headed for a specific destination and decided to leave a day early so I wouldn’t be traveling in the storm. In Georgetown, I got settled into my campsite, bought gas and groceries and was ready when the storm began overnight. The radio kept warning of hail damage and I had no place to shelter my car. I asked three good friends back in California to pray for no hail as I hunkered down to wait out the weather. The next morning, the rain had stopped, birds were singing… it was like nothing had ever happened. And, (thank you, God) there was no hail damage to either car or trailer.
A couple weeks later, camped at Lake Conroe north of Houston, I was out and about doing some errands. Suddenly my car radio crackled to life: WARNING! SEVERE WEATHER ALERT! TORNADO ACTIVITY WITHIN 5 MILES OF CURRENT LOCATION! I swerved into a Walmart a couple blocks away and dashed inside. Images of Walmart roofs being ripped away during tornadoes replayed in my mind, but I figured this huge building was safer than staying in my car. Hurrying into the store, I was surprised that no one seemed concerned. No. One. I was freaking out… they were at the registers just checking out!
Hmm, so maybe tornado warnings aren’t that big a deal here. A friend familiar with tornadoes explained that there are different levels of alerts, threats, watches and warnings. Oh, OK. Personally, I would take an earthquake any day.
The heat and humidity that accompanies this kind of weather is rough if you’re not used to it. I don’t mind heat, but the humidity makes it feel like you’re in a steam room. Even a few simple tasks outdoors can leave you “glowing” and wishing for a shower.
Wild weather is not limited to the south, however. I discovered lots of rain, lightning and thunder in Indiana and Michigan. In some of these states, farmers have been unable to plant or have been delayed in putting in their crops this year.
One afternoon in Indiana, my phone received a severe weather warning, so I pulled in the trailer awning, put away my lawn chair and pushed my plants under the steps. The wind picked up, and later, one of my neighbor campers discovered his awning had torn in the storm.
My trailer has held up well in wild weather: no leaks and everything intact. Sometimes, though, I’ve unhooked from campground electricity in lightning storms, concerned about frying the circuits in the trailer. And once in awhile, the power goes out for a few hours during these storms. The refrigerator can run on propane, I have a solar light and quite a few interesting books. It’s all good.