Earliest Childhood Memory

This is part of the #30daywritingchallenge. Because I did this a year ago, I have some answers that I’ll be doing differently. The first time I wrote about my sister being born. This time, I’m going to go with one of my first, scariest memories.

Totally weather related because, as I grow older, I am more interested in weather and its patterns.

I grew up in Michigan, where weather can be unpredictable. Sometimes 80 in the afternoon, by evening we’ll need the heater. I’ve seen snow, rain, hail and beautiful 78 degree weather all in the same day.

It’s an element I am writing into my Michigan based novels. Many of the characters keep spare clothing in their car, meant for any weather change, precisely because I always had. Now that we’re in Florida, my Companion thinks it’s an odd habit, but there have been many occasions when I’ve pulled a sweatshirt out when we’ve gone to eat and the room was like the arctic.

But I digress.

It was the early to mid-80s so we were still wearing the high-waisted, sometimes bell-bottomed pants. I was in the single digits, though my exact age escapes me now. I assume 7-ish, purely because I like that number.

It had been a hot day. Like super hot. Like play-in-the-sprinklers-and-bitch-that-the-water-coming-out-was-hot hot. We went to bed with windows open and blankets on the floor.

I was startled out of a dead sleep by the sound of thunder and my mother grabbing my arm. I was and still am a heavy sleeper. To this day I imagine she could have left me in my room and I’d have slept through it.

“Up! Get up! We have to go to the basement?”

“What?” I whined. I was a whiner.

“There’s a storm, a tornado coming!”

To this day I have no idea how close that tornado was. There is a firm belief that it went right over my house. It better have, I was woken up for that crap.

Totally random, but also weather related: In 1983 there was an ice storm. That’s where ice comes out of the sky and covers everything. Friends have pictures, and they often show at least 2 inches of ice caking the world.

Our area lost power for two weeks. People couldn’t drive, as the roads couldn’t be thawed as it was too cold for salt to work. The people that had snowmobiles could charge an arm and a leg for rides to the store.

I was actually 7 at the time, my brother was 9. My sister was a couple of months old. I can’t imagine what our poor parents put up with for two weeks of no power. Admittedly we didn’t have internet addiction then – and our only video games were probably Atari or ColecoVision at that point.

All I know is that it can’t have been easy and I give my mother, especially, mad props.

This has been brought to you by day 2 of the #30daywritingchallenge.

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