RV trips seem to bring storms

Published 11:59 pm Friday, April 17, 2009

Lately, it seems that every few days our area is under thunderstorm or tornado watches and warnings.

We have a weather radio that sounds off when bad weather threatens. One morning a few weeks ago, it began screaming at around 4 a.m. I think it kept it up in 15-20 minute intervals until 7 or 8 a.m. Every time I closed my eyes and dozed off, it started again. Even though it’s noisy and annoying, I’m not complaining. I’m thankful for the radio and for the city of Andalusia warning sirens.

Threatening weather always occurs during our camping trips. We were parked at a Florida campground one summer when a thunderstorm blew in. A little travel trailer sat two or three sites away from us. The awning was out. Suddenly, we saw the awning lifted up. It flapped in the wind and folded over the back of the trailer. Now if there’s even a slight chance the weather might change, my husband rolls in our awning.

Some time later while camping at an Alabama state park, we drove off in sunny weather to visit our daughter some miles away. We had been at their house only a few minutes when a weather warning flashed on their television. There was a report that a tornado was approaching the park. We had left our awning extended at the campsite. My husband was a wreck until we pulled into the park. We breathed a sigh of relief. Everything was intact — including our awning.

Fellow campers told us that when the danger signal sounded, they were ordered to take shelter in the park bathhouses. One camper declared she would have been better off weathering the wind and rain in her camper. It seems that as everyone assembled to wait out the storm, somebody started telling snake stories. Then others picked up with more snake tales. She said she was scared to death by the time the alert was cancelled.

Once at home during an extremely stormy night, we were under a tornado warning. Suddenly hail pounded on our roof and bounced off our sun porch windows. My husband and I and my mother got in a closet we had decided was the safest place to wait out a storm. It was a bit of a tight squeeze with the four or five pillows we took in, next to racks on both sides jammed with clothes. When my husband shut the door, the doorknob turned in circles in his hand. Instantly we realized we were trapped. After some anxious minutes (that seemed like an hour), he decided there was only one thing to do. He backed up for some leverage, and then flung himself against the door. On his fourth try, the door, which had a mirror attached to it on the other side, flew open. Thank goodness, the mirror didn’t break.

As we stepped out to freedom, we had forgotten all about the storm. By that time, it had passed.