Reflecting on Hurricane Gloria
Weather - especially severe weather - has a way of teaching us lessons, reminding us of our limitations as humans and stirring our curiosity. Hurricane Gloria did this for me.
I remember it well. It was late September, 1985, and fall had already begun to set in throughout Connecticut. I was young. We were gathered at my aunt and uncle's house, and my mother, aunt, uncle, cousins and I were sitting comfortably in the living room listening to the weather report on the radio.
I could not contain my curiosity any longer and decided to go for it. I walked to the front door, opened it and looked out at the gray, windy day. It was like none that I had seen before. I wanted to go outside, so I began to turn the handle of the screen door. I faintly heard "No, Annie!" in the background, but paid no attention. I didn't understand what the big deal was.
Milliseconds later, I knew. As I pushed the screen door open, a hurricane-force wind gust took hold of the lightweight frame of mesh and metal and flung it open. I held on tightly to the handle, my feet now parallel with the ground, and proceeded to get swung across the front porch. I eventually let go and landed with a "thump" on the floor of the porch.
Wow, what was that?
My mother ran out to check on me; I had not been injured (maybe bruised), only scared and embarrassed...and later, curious.
Hurricane Gloria taught me never to mess with Mother Nature again. Even though I have never lived this moment down (to this day, my cousin still jokingly reminds me of this incident at every family party...I can imagine it had looked like an "America's Funniest Home Videos" winner from his point of view), I also attribute my intense curiosity in the power of weather to this storm and other close encounters with severe weather I had as a child. Perhaps those of us who witness fascinating or dangerous weather at an early age are also those who become weather enthusiasts or scientists later in life.
What weather event did this for you? What is your first memory that led to your interest in weather -- your first encounter with the sky that made an impression on you? Share your story by commenting below.
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