Gill hadn’t heard from me for two days and sent a somewhat panicked email asking if the tornado had taken us out. Hmm…how to answer?
“Well, L’il Sis and I, The Pig (the beagle) and the canaries are fine. We were under a tornado watch but it skipped over us. Crazy D, however, may be another story entirely.”
Since he is in training for a grueling north-south bike ride through the U.S., he takes every opportunity to expose himself to the rigors of the trail, often doing overnight rides to test out his gear and different weather conditions. And so it was that he took off early the morning that thunderstorms were predicted. His destination was Port Dover. Throughout the day, the winds picked up to dangerous levels. As I battled white caps in the pool, I wondered how Crazy D was managing riding into the gale force winds. By mid afternoon, the tornado watches were issued. “Oh, for heaven’s sake,” I fretted. “Why does he always do this? He has spent the last two months mapping routes for his great ride, carefully planning every last detail, considering every possible contingency and/or emergency, and then he takes off for an overnight camping trip without checking the weather??!!”
At least L’il Sis was on the ball. She had heard of the tornado warning and texted Crazy D. I suspect she did this because she knows how freaked out I get about tornadoes. And because she knows of Crazy D’s proclivity to drive right into the line of danger ‘just to see’. I still recall the terrible damage in Joplin, Missouri a few summers ago. Dave and a friend drove into the mess to film it. Gill (who was a nervous wreck here) had to keep track of NOAA updates, text him to give him the best way to get the hell out of Dodge after things (tornadoes) took a turn. I swear, for his birthday I’m going to get him a pair of sparkly red shoes. He’ll need them when he lands in the middle of a field in Kansas.
Back to Crazy D…somewhere on a wooded path featuring dead, gnarly trees (think Tim Burton) driving into the darkening, threatening clouds. As he said later, “It was looking creepy. In fact, it was called Sleepy Hollow Road. I began to think that sleeping in my hammock strung between two trees on the beach might not be the best idea.” Duh. Really?
So he found an almost deserted ‘ Summer Bible camp’ facility that had a cabin for rent for the evening. (Nice to know that God was close. Crazy D might need help…if not an Intervention.) It was primitive but had access to a basement — if he had to play Dorothy all of a sudden. Although, since their promotional literature noted that ‘demure attire only’ was to be worn, there was to be no drinking or profanity, playing Dorothy would be the least of his problems. So he hunkered down, cooked his canned food on the small stove and tried to fly beneath the radar of the morals police by spending a quiet evening alone in the woods. As you do. Please tell me this isn’t the way The Unabomber got his start.
To my son’s credit, he was thoughtful enough to give us a heads up via email that he was safe. Except for his eyes. Riding into the wind and blowing sand as he had been, he noted that he could hear his eyelids close, scraping the grit over his eyeballs. Perhaps he needs aviator glasses to go with his sparkly red shoes, spandex bike shorts, white leggings and expensive bike covered with plastic bags containing food and water bottles hanging everywhere, flapping in the wind. He is nothing if not a fashion statement in search of a tornado.