Monday, March 7, 2011

Tornado encounters

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The origination of my fishing heritage lies in a place called Fly Tennessee. It is a tiny town 30 minutes outside of Columbia, right off of the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is an 8 acre, spring fed lake which resides on the homestead of my maternal grandfather’s family. This is where I learned to fish. It was the source of joy in my childhood. Now that I am an adult, it has become a place of relaxation where I bring my kids and camp and teach them to fish. However, it is also a terrific place for me and my friends to relax as well. Every once in awhile, we have a man’s weekend of fishing and camping.

Like all things in life, when men are separated from their responsible significant others, common sense can go right out the window. I have two separate stories which exhibit this behavior:
In the spring of 2009, Josh and I decided to go on a weekend trip to the Humphrey Lake. As was typical, we took off early Friday and drove the 1.5 hour trip. The weather was perfect. It had been very warm the last few days, and storms were expected early Saturday morning. This USUALLY makes the fish go to active feeding. It was true in this case. We caught fish left and right.

When it started sprinkling, we took shelter in the pavilion, where the tent was set up. The rain on the tin roof was soothing, and we enjoyed a few good laughs and the weather over a few beers and hot steaks.

In the early hours of the morning, the wind woke me up. It was ripping through the hollow. In fact, the wind was blowing the tent flat. So flat that tickled your nose as you laid flat on the ground. We had moved the tent into the center of the pavilion, but soon found that there was no escaping the windblown rain. Soaked and cold, but neither wanting to admit how miserable we were, we laid there listening to the rain. The thunder started up, lightening crashing, trees falling….but neither of us admitted that we were both terrified. Neither of us wanted to be the guy who said “I think it’s time to call it”. Instead, we marshaled our make believe bravado, laid flat on our back, expecting the worst.
Luckily, the winds subsided and we emerged from the tent as day broke. We were exhausted and freezing. It was then that we noticed just how much danger we truly were in. We had survived the Nashville tornado of March 14th, 2009. We celebrated our continued existence with one of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten.