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Wicked Thunderstorm Smashes My Car, Brings Memory To Mind

July 6, 2016

Lots of storm damage in Madison today.  All over our neighborhood large trees or branches are down and the sound of chainsaws can be heard.

Last night I literally screamed when I looked out the window and shined a lantern onto my 2010 car.  A massive branch from a neighbor’s tree landed on my convertible VW Beetle–a car that only has 1,500 units worldwide (I have 1112) from the year the model was discontinued.    It had additional pin-striping which made it the most unique car on the road.

The windshield is broke, the front end suffered a cave-in appearance, and the roof which is made up of multiple layers of material suffered much damage.   This morning I had a company remove the tree, the insurance adjuster is about to arrive, a tow truck to follow, and then I am lined up for work in the Volkswagen body shop.

But there is still that bond between a man and his car that runs deep and hurts.  I still have not had the stomach to take the cover off and inspect it all–will let the adjuster do that.

But in spite of all that I always have a reason to smile and think positive.  The thing that came to my mind was the following as I helped pick up debris with the arborist a couple hours ago.  This snippet comes from my book “Walking Up The Ramp” and brought a needed smile when I read it again.

I often told my Mom she worried too much about storms, and she always had a stock response. “Someone has to worry.” I never was able to place that into any useful context, and just accepted it as part of her personae. Nothing ever truly bad happened from the storms, but she was going to be prepared just the same. Mom would have been a great military leader; she was prepared for all eventualities, and I loved her for it. She had a mental list of things that needed to be done when storms moved through, and had determination that everything would be ready when the first blasts from a wind bank cut loose. Mom sprang into action when the threat of severe weather was reported on the radio. We would monitor the reports over the scratchy AM signals as the static competed with the announcer. Mom filled large yellow containers with water and placed them in the bathtub. All the major appliances were unplugged so they would not be burnt out from a lighting strike. All windows were shut and fastened except when tornadoes were probable and only then one was left slightly ajar for the expressed purpose of equalizing air pressure inside the home. She also had us kids make sure everything was picked up outside. Bikes got put away, clothes were taken off the line, the hoe and rake were stored safely back in the barn, and all the doors on all of the outbuildings closed securely. Mom had a file box which she took to the basement. The box contained all the important information any homeowner needs to access in case of an emergency. The only thing we lacked was an air raid siren. Mom would have had one located in the backyard for the full effect of a looming disaster had she had her druthers.

  1. July 7, 2016 1:25 PM

    Great story–thanks for sharing.

    Yes, this car has a name. Eros.

    My first bug in 2003 was called Bailey—(get the joke?)

    The second one in 2008 was Azure.

    They placed an IV into his system and took him on a tow truck Wednesday afternoon with details about restoration coming to me Friday.

  2. Solly permalink
    July 7, 2016 1:15 PM

    Sorry to hear about your “Bug.” Did you name this one? Your post reminded me of my Mom. She used to freak out about storms and tornadoes too. We lived in a big ol’ two-story, 5 bedroom, concrete and stucco house in New Franken that had a yuuuge porch across the front of it. Probably would have survived Katrina or a nuclear blast. But Mom would always roust us out of bed when a storm would blow through. Dad stayed snoring in bed on the first floor. We had a cistern in the basement, no longer used with poured concrete walls that Dad had broken through to make a playroom for us. So we’d sit down there while the wind blew and rain pelted the house. Mom would light one of our First Communion candles and maybe make us say the Rosary. Nothing like laying a little Catholic guilt and worry on the situation. “Dayam, I knew I shoulda gone to confession last Saturday!”

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