Chicago Sun-Times
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Ramble with Storm: End of the World

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storm3x Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

The crescendo of southerly winds gave the meathead the willies this morning.

He cocked his head and ran around like a high-strung racehorse.

We were out on our morning ramble an hour early.

I anticipated weather trouble.

The 5 a.m. news on WGN-AM (720)--best in the business and my start to the day--said there was a tornado watch until 11 and warned of a line of thunderstorms from ``Rockford to LaSalle.''

Naturally, the first thing I did, after starting coffee, was check the radar online and saw the line of storms an hour or so away.

I plugged in my laptop as a backup in case power is interrupted on my deadline day and backed up the stories I was working on by e-mailing copies to myself.

Then Storm and I headed out in the dark. He is so tuned to our morning routine, he remained curled on the couch even when I shook the leash invitingly. He knew it was too early.

In earlier times, we would deal with trouble when it came. Times change. Now we anticipate trouble--windstorms, snowstorms, extreme heat or cold--and act as if it is guaranteed calamity.

The high-wind watch was in effect yesterday.

So Monday morning I whacked off branches and shoots on our backyard maple anywhere near our telephone and electric lines. Of course, it also happened to be a wonderful day to putter in the backyard and wrap up the garden.

When I called Ed Bohn for a story later Monday, the Alsip bass pro said he was delaying a trip for a day or two in case the wind caused trouble around his home.

Our approach to not only anticipated weather problems, but other problems, too, has changed in this time of nearly instant information flow.

Not a value judgment (well, maybe a tad), more of an observation.

As the meathead and I walked out this morning, I flopped the kids' plastic chalkboard over on the porch, then pulled the bird feeder and the thistle feeder down and set them in a protected corner.

The wind made waves of rumbles that kept Storm skittish.

Instead of my usual drifting into ruminations on life and art, I watched closely in the dark for cats, raccoons or opossums.

Anything that might stir Storm into a mad dash and threaten to pull my arm socket out.

But we survived.

The first drops splattered as we neared the town pond.

I shortened the walk slightly.

Before going in, I pulled the little guy's plastic basketball hoop into the garage, same with the kids' plastic picnic table.

Stopping trouble before it started.

And wondered if I wasted precious worrying unnecessarily.


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1 Comment

On the opposite end I put nothing in my yard away just to see what happened. It blew over an 85 pound ladder and rolled one of those old metal deck chairs 20 feet across the deck. And yet, a plastic deck chair never moved an inch. My wife came out at one point, "what are you doing?"

Uhhhhh, putting stuff out in the yard to see how it blows around?

"You're such an idiot."

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 26, 2010 7:02 AM.

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