Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Beauty of Weather


After the Storm

This was taken by L after a thunderstorm rolled through here Thursday night.

Z was extremely agitated by this storm due to a major f***up on the weather site he was viewing. This site showed a line of tornadoes right on top of us. Somebody obviously hit the tornado warning button instead of the tornado watch button. A**holes!!

I took Z outside to "revel" in the beauty of the approaching storm. Unfortunately this coincided with a 50mph blast of wind that hit on the front edge of the storm. Z ran to the house screaming and I was left standing in the driveway, "revelling" on my own. I'm sure that anyone driving by was questioning my sanity. Oh well, won't be the first time.

Z now has another notch in his belt for surviving another storm. I only wish that these statistics would sink into his OCD brain.

Right now, I'm heading outside to tackle some outdoor chores. It's beautiful today. Sunny and not too hot, with a cool breeze blowing. I can't waste a day like this!!

22 Comments:

At 6/25/2005 4:05 PM, Blogger United We Lay said...

Beautiful pictures. I have a friend who is married and storms still make her nervous. Some people never get over it. I think 'll be okay.

 
At 6/25/2005 6:05 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

I love storms, always have. There is something mystical about them. The beauty of watching thunderheads build, the raw energy, the strange color of light as the storm filters out certain wave lengths of color. A great storm is both beautiful and awe inspiring. I can't think of anything I like more than standing on a Lake Michigan dune, watching a strom roll in over the horizon.

 
At 6/25/2005 6:49 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

GWB, you can come revel with me anytime!

 
At 6/25/2005 7:24 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

How gorgeous! I like storms too, mostly when I have the luxury of watching them. Storms at night are the best.

Give Z a big hug for me, K?

Bridg

 
At 6/25/2005 7:36 PM, Anonymous Sagepaper said...

That is a stunning photograph! Did Z appreciate the beauty of the storm's aftermath?

Do you have a storm cellar? If so, maybe he could make that into a haven with blankets, pillows, books, flashlights, non-bug attracting food, etc. A NOAA radio and things he thinks the family might need could be nearby. When I was a kid in Oklahoma, there were two times when threatening weather approached, and my friend and I were sent to her cellar. The first time, it was about half-an hour before her parents and brother came running through hail to join us. The second time, it wasn't used, but things were tense for hours. We amused ourselves well, and wanted to play in the cellar again the next time it was my turn to go to her house. That Idea was vetoed, though. During the previous storms, we played with the garlic, and the adults thought we stank.

Perhaps, though, Z could make a place so cozy and fun that it could come to be a place he would enjoy being for other of life's storms. That at least would be a functional outcome. If, as an adult, he went to a cozied-up shelter-spot for storms, he would be safe. That might take some of the tension out of trying to decide when it is finally time to seek shelter. My friend's parents excluded us from the hand-wringing that was going on in the house and on the porches.

 
At 6/25/2005 8:03 PM, Anonymous Sagepaper said...

I described Z's problem to Dad at dinner. He had an idea. Perhaps it would be best to treat Z's fear as a phobia. Behaviorists are good at dealing with phobias using de-sensitization therapy. With de-sensitization therapy, you start with the most minimal association with the object of fear, perhaps just the word, like, "spider."

The patient will be uneasy with that stimulous, and perhaps experience symptoms like rapid breathing. You make the patient comfortable, and do not proceed until they are comfortable trying it again. Perhaps they work up to where they could tolerate seeing the word written on a card. Then, tolerating hearing/reading a sentence with the word. At some point, you would have them say the word themselves. Always, they should be a tad uncomfortable, but not freaked out. Lots of praise helps them appreciate how well they are doing at tackling something truly difficult for them.

Eventually, you move up to seeing a picture of a spider. Then on to a short video (a few seconds). With time and increasing confidence, there should be a controlled encounter wi th object of fear -- perhaps seen through glass at a Zoo, where the patient controls their distance from the glass. Further, they will be able to be in the presence of a spider with a handler, and then to touch the spider being handled. Finally, they will be able to tolerate the spider being on them.

This doesn't point-for-point correspond to treating Z's fear, but if it is a phobia, he can perhaps go through a progressive series of mental encounters with weather until he is finally comfortable with any kind of weather.

It would be useful to try to define what makes him most anxious. Is he afraid of the hyped-up TV news announcers who want your attention so you will watch the ads? Is it the radar images that are particularly upsetting? Does he have a more acute reaction to the word "warning" than others? Is it statistics about a storm -- rain rate, wind-speed, ground speed, hail-size (if applicable)? Is it the appearance of an approaching storm from outside? Does the "feel" bother him? Does he have any specific phobic fantasies? Does he obsess about what would happen to your house, in detail, or is he simply protective of the house and family generally?

From other things you have said, it seems like the problem might be more in the news dissemination than in the outdoor experience. You said he watches the weather channel. I got hooked on that because they do try to make it sound like the most important thing is coming up soon after this commercial. They could hype me into watching on a clear day. My husband got sick of it and made me mute more and more of their broadcast. That broke the spell.

Sorry, this is practically Blogging on your Blog!

 
At 6/26/2005 8:13 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Don't apologize Sage, your experiences have been invaluable in giving me insight into TS!
Yes, Z did appreciate the after storm beauty. He thinks it's beautiful when he sees a strip of blue sky behind a storm!
Tornadoes are what Z is terrified of. I keep asking him what scares him the most about tornadoes, but he doesn't seem to have a grasp of that. It's so hard for kids this age to voice their feelings.
Your Dad's suggestion is exactly the way we've been handling Z's OCD behaviors. It's a LONG process, and we're not expecting overnight miracles. He is starting to get over his spider phobia, which is encouraging.

 
At 6/26/2005 6:00 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

That is one fabulous photo!

I love storms, too. We had several go through here on Friday and I was able to watch the weather as it came in and went across the lake. The shades of grey the rain makes against the distant mountains is beautiful.

I have noticed since I've been here how much I like seeing the weather. In Ottawa, I never really had a sense of where the weather was coming from, it was just suddenly there. Here I can see it coming over the mountains to the west, and I can watch a storm hit the other side of the lake, and the mountains in the other direction. I can see it all, and I love it. I never really noticed that I missed this when I was in Ottawa. When I lived in Rossland, you could also see the weather coming at you, and now that I'm back in small town, mountainous BC, I realize that that's something I liked about living in the boonies of BC and another thing I didn't like about the big city.

 
At 6/26/2005 8:35 PM, Blogger zydeco fish said...

I agree: that is a nice photo. I think everyone should get outside during a storm every now and again, even if you are on a sheltered porch. It's fabulous.

 
At 6/27/2005 3:37 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I think I'll have Z read all these comments, so he can see that his Mom and Grandpa aren't the only two "nutcases" out there who enjoy the beauty of a storm.

 
At 6/27/2005 3:46 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Wow, that's a nice picture. It's ironic that some of the coolest pictures are taken in the worst weather.

I hated the Texas storms. Don't miss them one bit. Here in Northern California, it just rains hard but nobody dies and nobody's house gets destroyed.

 
At 6/27/2005 5:16 PM, Blogger SME said...

One extreme to the other - Z's nervous about extreme weather and Richard wants to walk around in it! I'll trade ya.

 
At 6/27/2005 5:18 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I've heard that Texas frequently gets softball size hail, no thanks.
Hail that size would make it tough to revel.

 
At 6/27/2005 9:44 PM, Blogger Ben said...

yea, storms, gotta love em. How did you guys fair with the latest round tonight?

 
At 6/28/2005 2:50 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Better than the Cities, I'm sure. It looked like you guys got the worst of it, Ben.

 
At 6/28/2005 8:15 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Send one my way... Our weather report has said "scattered T-Storms" for the past week and still nuthin.

 
At 6/28/2005 10:19 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Laura, Ben's storm last night probably would've hit you, but it hooked north instead. We'd be more than happy to share!

 
At 6/29/2005 5:47 PM, Blogger Ben said...

no kidding, look at the line heading our way now, argh!!

 
At 6/30/2005 8:57 PM, Anonymous ann said...

that's a gorgeous picture! i love storms, too--particularly at the beach.

 
At 6/30/2005 9:37 PM, Blogger Rhodent said...

Beautiful picture!!!

 
At 7/02/2005 6:43 PM, Anonymous Sagepaper said...

Our Skywarn group is in a slump right now. We haven't had an activation for some time. Early to mid spring is our busiest season. We lead the nation in March tornados. We might get an occasional something in the summer, but usually not much action -- until the hurricanes start. We often get hit by outer bands of hurricanes, and those are full of weather for activations. We got a pretty hard direct hit by Opal, it was just barely under hurricane strength when it got to Atlanta -- it had been a hurricane almost to the airport on the southeastern edge of town. Atlanta isn't really oriented to hurricanes. It was as if we had a tornado everywhere.

ZS -- I don't think I could take earthquakes. Going to the basement won't help you. They haven't built earthquake shelters, and it wouldn't matter if they did. There's no radar tracking, spotting, or any other real warning. Seismologists still haven't gotten anywhere near 30 seconds warning time. They can't issue a warning in the very few seconds they have when they know what's happening. People do die, and houses do get destroyed. I would hate a disaster where there was nowhere to run.

 
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