This is a blog that allows me the space I need to get the information I have learned our of my head and into the heads of my friends and family without making 13 phone calls of equal length and duplicate conversation. There are sites to meet new and interesting people and be asked for money for airline tickets by perfect strangers, and this is not that. Mom doesn't understand that I do not write this blog to recruit new friends or pen pals.
I like comments because they help me know if I am making a point or just rambling. I bock all comments that appear to be advertising, and there have been many. Do you really want to see the comment "ohh. I didn't know that" under a banner advertising some kind of plastic coated drywall in Denmark?
I can understand the viewers from Northern Europe and Russia bailing on a conversation about a lot of rain coming down in Florida. It is difficult to empathize with things you have never experienced. So, let me share a little story.
I have a sister and I love her, but I am going to tell this story any way. She is the youngest of my generation and the most hard headed sure of herself person. She makes up her mind and that is IT! She was born and raised in Central Florida, traveled once to Delaware in the Summer as a child.
One day she joined the ARMY. oh, yes, Miss Rocky Horror Picture Show and Bay City Rollers joined the US ARMY! She was stationed in New Jersey for her A school. Classes were called one day on account of snow. She went about squaring away her area and when done, she realized she could be shipped anywhere in the world when her training was done, maybe even back to Florida, so, this might be the only time she would ever see real snow. At the age of nineteen, she had never built a snow man and this might be her only chance, so out she went to build her first snowman.
After a short time, she had built a small man and wondered what all the fuss about the cold was. She didn't feel cold, even though she was not in long sleeves or a parka. Just about the time she felt she had seen all the snow she cared to see, she heard a voice, "Soldier! What are you doing?" It sounded authoritative so she answered, "Building my first snowman, SGT!"
"That's Captain, soldier! And Again, What are you doing outside in a blizzard?" She answered, "What is a blizzard, Captain?" Well, the poor man almost suffered a mental meltdown, muttering guttural sounds. When he could make out real words, he told her to look up. She saw snow swirling around above her head in little tornado shapes skipping around the parking lot now covered in a blanket of white. She commented how pretty it was. He asked her unit designation and told her to point out her barrack to him. She looked around and turned around looking for the door she had come out of, which could only be twenty feet away and could not see it. He watched her spinning and when she was just about to step away from him, in panic, he took her by the arm and turned her. He counted out loud as he said, ' right face, twenty paces, one, two, three....' they stumbled up the steps and into the building.
Once they were inside, she realized she couldn't hear what people were saying, it was dark and she could blink away the darkness, she was wet and started to shake violently when blankets came out of no where and smothered her as they rubbed her all over.
When she recovered her hearing, and some of her vision, she heard other soldiers cursing her for getting them ripped for loosing the stupid girl in the snow! She heard talk of an ambulance and hypothermia as the Captain was on the phone in the next room. There were threats of courts martial and she was completely confused. She wasn't sure who was in the most trouble.
When she was able to stand she was called in to talk to the Captain. He then explained to her, there were rules and he was not allowed to lay angry hands on a soldier in this New Army, and he needed her statement to keep him from loosing his career just because she was dying in the snow. She just didn't understand.
The SGT at the CQ asked her where she was from. She said Florida. He asked her if she knew how dangerous it is to play outside in a hurricane. She told him sure, that would be stupid. He explained New Jersey was currently experiencing a blizzard, which is basically a hurricane with rain you can see because it is frozen and white. He told her how the wind speed had picked up and the temperature had dropped in the twenty minutes she was outside. He told her she didn't even have a temperature when the Captain first dragged her inside and he had to tell her an ambulance wouldn't even come because of the winds.
She had no concept of her own mortality and how close she came to dying of being nineteen years old. Of course she made a grateful statement favoring the Captain. She was called in to be questioned several times after that to verify she had not been forced to make the statement favorable. Each time the person questioning her, laughed at her for her nearly fatal stupidity. WE still bring it up at holidays, in front of her children!
So, I talk about hurricanes and loose the attention of people who experience typhoons and blizzards. But, I am telling you from my sisters' personal experience, the only difference between the three is location and temperature. Another grave difference is experiencing these weather disasters in ignorance. Preparing for foul and deadly weather tips tend to be universal.
As I have used my sister as an example of a funny story when we face new and dangerous weather, I would like to add this....
Thank you, Ann, for serving.