12 October 2006


What's the most extreme weather you've been in? A memorable storm? Heat wave? Or something else?

I guess this is as good a place to start as any! Here I am avoiding chores again.

Well, we have our share of combined heat/humidity here and I do remember a power outage once in the summer and mother had some M&Ms she was going to bake with that actually sort of exploded from the chocolat inside melting. But being in the south, heat and humidity is the norm. What really does us in is the cold when it comes with ice and snow. Yankees Northerners come down and mock southerners for not being able to drive on ice, in the snow, et cetera. Well, we have snow of any account (that is, more than half an inch) once every decade if we are lucky, so yeah, why would we? It's like people in El Paso knowing how to drive in the rain. They don't. Why would they? It never rains for more than ten minutes and when it does, it floods.

Once winter we had my grandmother stay with us as the weather was particularly cold and getting treacherous. Our power went out so she slept with me and we were in sleeping bags with blankets piled on top of us. I filled my bag with my stuffed animals so they wouldn't get cold either. >_>

The power didn't come back on and it was going to be days before it did. The city was covered in ice. So we went to my aunt's who still had power and a bit more room. The four of us joined the three of them. Then, my other aunt and uncle, with no power and out in the country joined in: four more people. Ok, the house wasn't that big. My uncle (the uncle of the original house, not a visitor) couldn't take it and went out to see what sort of good he could do; removing limbs, helping the elderly, deliving food, he was just that sort of person.

In the end I think we were all there for nearly a week. For the kids it was just playing, fighting, making up and playing again. We played a lot of He-Man. I still remember Skeletor fondly. Our fishtank at home froze nearly solid. I don't recall how big it was, 75 gallons maybe? I can stretch my arms out and it's about the length it was. We had one of those sucker fish (placostamus?) that we'd had since he was tiny and he'd grown to almost 8 inches. It was sad. We never had fish after that.

El Paso gets very hot. One summer we were out there and our AC went out about 6 hours outside of the city. I spritzed dad with a spray bottle of water and we rode with the windows down. The next morning mom and I took the car to a dealership to get it repaired and while waiting for the ride back the radio news said 'Goooood Morning El Paso! It's 10am and 104º!' That's too cheery a voice for that kind of heat. On the other hand, I've heard people in Mesilla, NM complain about the high humidity. 'Oh I can't take this, it must be what, 30%?' HAHA. Try 100% humidity with no rain. At least you can escape to the shade. Here, the shade just drips on you.

In Zagora, Morocco however I experienced the most amazing heat outside of a kerosene heater. It was estimated to be 135º but as this was July I assume it could have been higher after the guy up north told us they lie about the weather there just to make sure poeple won't avoid it. We would get in the pool just to cool off, not swim or goof off. Just hover in the water and slowly climb out. We were bone dry in five minutes, like we'd never been in the water. Martin came down and asked 'Aren't you getting in the water?' 'We've been. Twice. We're resting.'

Saw a tornado once. Luckily we were driving the opposity direction. It removed my cousin's apartment building completely. Gone. Her father came home from a business trip that night and thought 'wow, I'm really tired, this seems like a longer walk than normal.' He walked straight to the building behind them over where theirs used to be. So yeah, it was a nasty one. All the power was out as we drove home and mom was driving like a bat out of hell. She never drives like that so I know she was scared.