Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nobody Panic!

Image and more information can be found here.

I must confess that I have always been skeptical of those newfangled iPhones. Secretly, I have thought that they were a bit on the ostentatious side. Good grief, we all have computers available to us in every conceivable shape and form. Really, who needs all that information instantly and in the palm of your hand? Just show-offs, that's who.

Well, except for the time that we were looking for answers to a trivia contest. At church. Not that we were cheating, or anything. I'd feel a teensy bit guilty except that our team lost.

I used to feel a bit irritated at those who would whip out their iPhones at any opportunity. Until last week.

My family and I were driving into Minneapolis after a two-day trek across the country. John caught my eye as he was driving and not wanting to alarm everyone, quietly mentioned that we seemed to be driving into a wall of towering, ominous looking greenish clouds.

I have seen clouds that look like that on occasion, but only in the Midwest, and only when they accompanied some really nasty weather. Dang, I thought. This doesn't look good.

I was right. As we drove into the storm, we heard tornado sirens shrieking around us. So much for not alarming the rest of our car's passengers.

We quickly began punching the seek buttons on our radio, looking for local stations to give us weather bulletins, but could only raise commercials. As the wind began to whip our car around, sheets of rain pummeled us, and lightning flashed, some of us began to feel panicky. Not naming names here, but I have to confess that I was one of them.

I made it clear to everyone that we should all calm down, and that John should pull off the road immediately and we should seek shelter somewhere. No hysterics were necessary but for cryin' out loud we should get this damn car off the road already!! Or we would all be killed!! Daughter number two was hyperventilating and daughter number one was attempting to downplay my reaction and provide a quick tutorial on surviving a tornado to a friend accompanying us.

It was interesting to note my husband and son's reaction to the fact that a twister was nearby as we barreled down eastbound I - 94 at 70 MPH.

I have to admit that their reactions were much different than mine.

John and son immediately shifted into an infuriatingly calm problem-solving mode. My son pulled out his fancy shmancy iPhone, and within a minute, had the latest radar picture of the storm above us in view, along with information about the tornado which had appeared just miles from us. Together, they made the decision to continue driving based on the direction of the storm and our location.

It turned out to be the correct decision, as we found out later. The tornado touched down remarkably close to the area where I had insisted we pull over.

I'm thinking that I should get an iPhone. They're really useful devices.

I've always thought so.

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