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©March 2001

Carol Jane Remsburg




Storm Girl






I should have known better, I really should have, but I fell for it anyway.  Over the last three days there has been this enormous build up around a Nor'easter, a massive late winter snowstorm that was to ride up the coast and deposit nearly 2 feet of snow upon us. 


This was to be a storm that would go down in the record books along with our memories.  This one was going to be big!  Actually, more than big, it was to be horrendous as a matter of fact.


In most cases of life I'm a realist/pessimist but when it comes to storms, I'm an optimist—in favor of the storms.  If there were a stadium where folks sat in the bleachers and could root and scream for their choice I know I wouldn't always be alone.  People are funny like that—and kids always.


Don't get me wrong; I realize the cost of the damage and the possibility of lives lost.  It still doesn't stop me.  It's just that there's something so primal about a snowstorm or thunderstorm that draws me.  I realize I'm not alone in this.  If it weren't then the "Weather Channel" wouldn't be doing such a great business.


Since the dawn of mankind, men and women have wondered and worried over the weather.  I'm almost sure that one of the first words once language was created had to do with the weather.  People are enthralled by it day in and day out.  Of course, anything to do with the weather is also a handy conversation starter for those awkward and impromptu gatherings in a stuck elevator, a bus stop, or at any social gathering—it's a standard, it's a given, and continuously something that will generate a spark. 


The topic may begin as general or be specific.  It might be over whether we'll have a hard winter, a wet spring, a drought in the summer, or if our autumn will linger.  These topics are touched on every year and every day of the year. 


When I was a kid worrying over a wet spring or an Indian summer meant nothing to me.  The only thing that would catch my attention was whether it was going to snow enough to play in and if school might be cancelled.  Other than that, during summer, whether it was going to be a slam-bang of a thunderstorm that would send one of my sisters into a screaming, cowering fit.  Oh, how I loved those days.


Still the build up to a storm often catches me off guard.  I watch the weather more closely than most but sometimes general living gets in the way and I miss a forecast or two and that's when it usually happens—like it did this time.


Thursday afternoon someone mentioned that we were up for a bad one.  I know I must have responded with a dumb look, I'm good at giving them.  Then they further explained that we were to have a bad, late winter snowstorm at the end of the weekend—something to rival the storm of February 19th, 1979.  I remember that one quite well!  It certainly got my attention.


Since Thursday I've watched and worried and hoped.  Right up until Saturday night, the forecasters at the "Weather Channel" and "NOAA" were laying down a dire, frightful forecast.  I was ready.  I was excited.  I was also prepared.


I told others on Friday that we wouldn't get it—we couldn't be so lucky.  However, I secretly hoped and mentally pushed and willed that storm to route itself so that it dumped its load upon us.  That hope looked good—right up until late Saturday when things began to fall apart.  It looks like NY will suffer and some other major cities, but here on the Lower Shore of Maryland we'll just get the rain, the blow, and lots of general discomfort without the payback. 


Humans are funny creatures at best and we often try to mold everything into our control—break things that don't fit.  It's the weather, strong or mild that humans cannot control.  We've opted to predict it rather than govern it.  We often fail in that respect too.  I will say we've gotten much better about predictions but dash the hopes of many when it doesn't come out as planned.  Mother Nature is definitely a woman of whimsy and won't deign to suffer fools as we.  Therefore our weather will always and forever be capricious.


I've always felt most alive just prior to when a storm breaks and then ride the wave of adrenaline as the storm expends its force.  I feel like I'm fighting a battle and eager for the win.  I'm always ready for another round.  I think I will be right up until I face I storm I don't win.  That may happen one day and I don't look forward to that.  However, in the meantime, I'm a "storm girl" whether the weather is gray or bright, I'm ready for the wind, the electric thunder, the majesty of the snow, or the power of the rain.  A bright and sunny day is to be savored but a storm is to be relished.  Thus, no matter how old I am, in my heart I'll always be a little "storm girl."


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