It happened again as recently as an hour after the Tornado Watch was released for our area last Friday.
I took dinner at one of my favorite haunts, sitting at the counter as a hostess rolled up table service next to me.
"Some storm, eh," I asked. "Sure was," she agreed, "It rained like cats and dogs around here a little while ago. We had people not wanting to go out in it again."
Another waitress walked up with my Pepsi and said, "Why didn't you warn us about this?"
I looked up startled, from one face to the other. "He just did," corrected the hostess.
I looked the waitress right in the eyes to see if she were kidding or not. "Didn't you watch the news," I asked?
"Naw, I'm always working here," she jibed. "I never watch the news." Now I knew she was trying to 'get my goat.'
"Well, at least meet me half way," I suggested, "Turn the TV on and to our channel!"
This exchange shows a basic attitude that lots of people hold these days. "Why didn't you warn me? How could you let me come to harm?"
In the old days, farmers knew they had to keep a eye on the weather. If something went wrong, it was their farm crop and their own future that was at risk.
But nowadays, we have large stations in major markets crooning, "Watch us and we'll keep you and your family safe." Can't be done. All TV stations can do is provide timely information. They cannot possibly assure that they can save your family from harm. That's YOUR job.
People have to take some responsibility for their own actions and safety.
The point was driven home to me by a man who writes a conservative blog for SE Ohio. He claims he ignores the winter driving restrictions to check on his neighbors during heavy snows, etc. At first, I thought he was crazy, and likely to be arrested. But after a while, I realized what he was preaching was self-sufficiency. And I don't disagree with that.
As the details of the deaths and damage rolled in over the weekend, i realized again how fortunate we are that tornadoes and severe storms don't often impact us here in the MOV. (Not that they couldn't...but they don't often.)
As I was donating a pint of blood today at the Red Cross drive, I overheard a woman say that she didn't see anything severe in her area. She said, there was thunder and lightning and rain, but no wind. No damage like we're seeing on TV. "I don't know," she remarked to all who would listen, "there's something about this area that turns tornadoes away from us."
She's wrong. Tornadoes can and do come through this area. The fact that SHE didn't see the severe damage from the storm is lucky, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't and didn't happen.
Unfortunately, she's going to tell everyone she knows that we can't get hit. She's wrong.
Just remember Sept. 15th 2010. We got a direct hit from a tornado. How short our memories can be.