Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Stormy Weather

Dr. Freud: Zo. Tell me more about zis dream of yourss. Zair is tornado, ja?

Me: Ja. I mean, yes. Always a tornado. And I’m running and yelling for everyone to take cover. What does it mean?

Dr. Freud: Vell, it cood be von of two tingss. Virst, you have urgess to be zuperhero, ja? Und you vant to zave ze vorld.

Me: Really? You think so?

Dr. Freud: Vell, ze udder ting iss alzo pozzibble.

Me: Vat’s dat? … um, go on?

Dr. Freud: Zimple. You vatch var too much of ze TV, ja? Perhapss, ze Vizard of Ozz?

Me: That’s it!

*** *** *** *** ***

The good doctor is actually right on both counts, I think. My recurring tornado dreams in which I must get everyone to safety are surely based on two childhood experiences. One is my love for Mighty Mouse.

My Hero courtesy Deviant Art

My Hero courtesy Deviant Art

The other is the fascination I have for stormy weather which in turn was born of annual televised screenings of The Wizard of Oz.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night in Kansas, Toto

Speaking of Miss Gulch: It was a Dark and Stormy Night in Kansas, Toto

At the risk of sounding like a simplistic old fart: they don’t make thunderstorms like they used to. I don’t know if it is faulty memory (never!) or a function of climate and/or atmospheric changes or what. But the storms that darkened the skies of my girlhood were apocalyptic in scope. Black as death and twice as ominous. Truly. I have yet to see a sky turn as terrifyingly pitch as it did when I was a girl.

As a very small girl I was afraid if a storm woke me at night. Mom calmed me by explaining about the angels bowling. Cute, eh? As I grew older, I got used to storms and looked forward to summer. I loved to watch the clouds roil and hear the thunder rumble. I learned how far away the storm was based on the one-Mississippi’s between the flash and the ka-boom. I’ve always lived in Ontario’s Tornado Alley, so we had plenty of opportunity for at least one or two good performances a season.

My family knows me as a Weather Network junkie. And I suppose the moniker is apt. It’s not really a thunder-storm until I have confirmed it with the radar image. That’s the way it works, right?

Weather Radar June 17th in which a Tornado Touched down in Angus, Ontario courtesy

Weather Radar June 17th in which a tornado touched down in Angus, Ontario courtesy

One summer, when I lived in London a storm rolled in around 8:30 at night. The warnings were dire. Heavy rain and winds, dangerous lightning, hail, the threat of a tornado (ooh!). The sky darkened. The wind picked up a notch. One or two thunderclaps and a smattering of rain.

And it was over.

“That’s it?” I said.

Apparently it was.

There I was, all set for a light show. Well, it was light alright. Thunderstorm Lite.™

But wait! There’s more! A second band on the radar showed the next round would hit our town in about an hour.

By this time, the sun had set, so I didn’t get to enjoy the drama of the advancing storm clouds. But the lightning and thunder compensated for that. It sounded like a good ‘un.

And then it just fizzled out. Passed overhead without a drop of rain.

“That’s all you got?” I mocked the heavens. “You call that a storm?”

Yeah, shouldn’t have done that.

The third and final wave of thunderstorms rolled in around eleven. Non-stop lightning, non-stop roar of pelting rain and hail, dozens of explosive thunderclaps directly overhead. At one point the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I dove to the floor, covered my head, and shrieked like a banshee. The simultaneous flare of lightning and blast of thunder drowned out my wailing.

So much for the superhero theory, I guess.


 ***   ***   ***   ***

Be sure to check out what other’s have to say about

their dream interpretations on today’s Daily Post.



Categories: Weather Related

Tags: , , ,

43 replies

  1. I can relate. I’ll throw a wrench into your theory of storms becoming weaker, though — Ever considered the updates in meteorological technology make us feel less scared? When I was a kid, there wasn’t a Doppler Radar. I love me some Doppler. Still unpredictable, but not entirely.
    You can find me sitting in the bottom of my linen closet during tornadoes 😉


    • I really want to resist your suggestion, but must allow that of course, the shock value is gone now that technology keeps us up to date.

      Yeah, ain’t doppler sumthin? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        • This is a problem. I’m terrified of the things. We are NOT in tornado alley, New England (USA), CT, just has not been included. I get the Wizard of Oz thing, it scared me, too. We had two tornado’s in our small town last year, and we don’t get them! Until we did.

          Years ago, the sky turned pea green – didn’t “feel” right. Huge tornado’s in the town next to us that wiped out a lot, including the only air museum in the state. Our Doppler didn’t know it. Took them three days to figure out what on earth happened. Why? We don’t “get that stuff” here. They called more of them something they named “micro-bursts”, which went right up into the next state, but we got the tornado’s. Those things we don’t get. 🙂

          We have no storm sirens, nothing. Why? We don’t get tornado’s. Or severe thunderstorms or hail, but we’ve been getting that, too. One of us needs to move 🙂


          • Hi there – great to have you along for the “whirlwind” ride, you should excused the bad humour!

            I’ve heard that the sky turns a shade of green – that I have yet to witness. I think that alone would be unnerving.

            Well, if you move, please leave a forwarding address? 🙂


          • Well that’s horrible! I have friends in Fairfield, but they haven’t mentioned it. What the heck is a microburst?!? I live in Indiana, so tornadoes are par for the course. Yes, sometimes the sky is a weird shade of green, a lot like you described. Much like Mother Nature hit the switch on a fluorescent light. The air certainly feels weird beforehand. I’ve seen three of them. They’re amazing and terrifying. Sound like a freight train. I could definitely do without them, but I’m also kinda used to them.
            Still love that Doppler! lol


  2. Mighty Mouse??!! On the sea or on the land, he has the situation well in hand. I loved him! Just like I love a good storm. Growing up in New Jersey, at the first sign of a storm, I was on the front lawn, arms spread wide, taking in the wind that whipped up before the rain. To this day, I still love a storm. Great post. Ja, good accent, too.


  3. Mighty Mouse! I loved him too. In fact I mentioned my crush on him in a recent blog post (but that post had nothing to do with storms or dreams…)


  4. I love the fun you have in your posts Maggie!


  5. Really enjoyed your post Maggie! Your Freud vas most entertaining! I just love storms and related to yours. Thank you!


  6. Too bizarre! I also have had what I call the tornado dreams for as long as I can remember. I only had them when I was stressed to the max. I’m TERRIFIED of tornados and hope I am never anywhere near one.
    I have had lightning strike nearby me 3 times and it was like a bomb going off starting a fire each time. I have learned a deep respect for storms 🙂


    • I’ve never had the presence of mind to track my outward world to see if the dream world is reflecting it. I wonder if the same is going on for me? The need to take cover or find some order in a tumultuous and stressful world. (Oh Dr. Freudene – go away!)

      I don’t think I could ever take part in a storm chasing expedition. Sure, I understand the adrenaline rush. But as much as I’d like to actually lay eyes on a funnel cloud in real time versus what I see on the internet, it’s really OK if that never happens.

      As I’ve been writing this post and responding to comments, I am also aware of people who may have lost family, friends, or property due to a storm. If I were in their shoes, this post may never had been published.


  7. Sehr gute, Liebchen.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the dialogue with Freud! Very funny 😀


  9. An entertaining post Maggie. 🙂


  10. What a dinner party you could have made with that dream… Mighty Mouse, the characters from Oz, and Freud… 🙂


    • See? I never think of creative twists like this! Brilliant! Move over Lewis Carroll! Meet Teagan!


      • I love thunderstorms!! Most recently saw one in July last year in rural France. Sheets of heavy rain, hailstones, and sheet lightning walking over the grass at the back of the house. A real humdinger. Thanks for this post, and for the reminisce, Maggie. xxxx 😀 (Maggie Mighty Mouse, or MMM or 3M for short).


  11. I love storms too!

    I remember the fire station alarm going off in our small town north of Chicago — this was in the 60’s and 70’s — get in the basement, a tornado is approaching! (But then I was in a tornado in 2001 in Maryland … and that fascination has disappeared.)

    But I do love the wind and approach of a thunder storm. Aside from missing my daughters, I think that’s what I miss the most about living on the Norwegian west coast — with the mountains, we don’t get the sweeping wind and approaching visible storms.

    Thanks for a post that brought up a lot of good memories and emotions for me! 🙂


    • Thank you for your great story, Cindi. I wasn’t 100% sure that mountainous regions were free of thunderstorms – thanks for confirming.

      I can imagine that if I were to actually get up close to a tornado, my fascination would vanish, too.


  12. I ADORE crashing thunderstorms and lightning. You’re right: they just don’t make ’em like they used to! Heheh…


  13. Our youngest daughter was going to college and lived in Norman, Oklahoma when an EF-5 (is that how you say it?) hit Moore, Oklahoma about 10 miles away. Scary. We couldn’t reach her for several days. I’m just glad she moved out of Tornado Alley. Now she lives near Disney – as go we – and our only weather scares are related to hurricanes. Brrrr! I miss the snowstorms of Central New York.

    By the way, I believe Dr. Freud is right on in his analysis of your dreams. Mighty Mouse was one of my favs as well. 😉


  14. Wow, Maggie! Like a tornado or a great thunderstorm—or even Mighty Mouse’s superior strength—this post packed a lot of punch! If hangin’ with Herr Doktor Freud were half as exciting as you made it sound, we’d all try to dream dreams like yours for the privilege. Though Mighty Mouse’s animation was far superior, I think I was more inclined toward admiration for Underdog, myself; I suspect that was based more on a sense of hopeful commonality than anything else, of course.

    As for tornadoes, I am also a huge fan (and longtime annual watcher) of Oz, but I have just enough tiny experience with the real thing to be quite content to avoid that experience avidly. I’ve seen the green sky (the barometric pressure plus that eerie color made me think almost of being underwater in a slightly murky lake), and once my family was in an ugly storm while on a summer road trip that only later we learned meant that we were in the eye of a tornado, following the same path, for the time the storm lasted. Weird, but good luck in a big way on our part.

    You may well be right about thunderstorm patterns having changed. There’s no question in my mind that, call the causes of it what you will, the climate in every place I spend time is dramatically different than it was thirty and forty years since. What I’m mostly seeing is that the extremes are more extreme: higher frequency of various kinds of intense weather, and the temperatures seem to get a couple of degrees higher/lower and stay that way longer than in years past. In Washington state, it meant that by the time we moved away from our longtime home there in the temperate zone, the day we packed the moving truck it was 106 degrees Fahrenheit, something utterly unheard-of in previous decades.

    Here in north Texas, we’re entering what will probably be a multi-year extended drought; so far manageable, but still, there are plenty of lakes in the region where you can pretty much drive out to where your boat used to be bobbing around waiting for you. I was excited about getting to enjoy TX-sized thunderstorms, and we’ve seen a couple of them in our 5 years here, but generally the drought means they’re far fewer and weaker than I expected. When I was young and my family lived (possibly not far from where Cindi once lived; we were in Mt. Prospect) in Illinois, that was both where we had our tornado adventures and the best thunderstorms. Here, the devil is in the hailstorms, and there are auto repair shops and roofing companies that specialize in and can practically survive solely on hailstorm repairs. Baseball-sized ice bombs hurled out of the sky at my noggin? No thanks!!!!

    No matter what the weather, it looks to me like you live a plenty vivid inner life, and that is an adventure worth any number of exciting movies, cartoons and storm-chasings. Cheers to you!



  15. I remember Underdog! And I seem to recall asking about the meaning of the term. I understood him, too!

    Based on your description of the green sky, I know I haven’t experienced it. Nor do I want to! What a surreal event, traveling with the tornado!

    Hailstones as big as baseballs? They’d be lethal, literally, wouldn’t they? OUCH!

    Now, about the vivid inner life. I welcome that comment with glee, because sometimes I despair that I haven’t got an imagination. Because I cannot write fiction. Surely THAT’s the epitome of an imaginative being, yes?

    Thank you, Kathryn for your kindness!


  16. I guess all of us who love thunderstorms should feel guilty because of all the damage they cause. I very much love the green skies, as well–so beautiful!

    I got to see a tornado in the distance when I was young. Exciting! Years later, after we’d moved away, the house I first lived in, in Illinois, was sucked up and away by a tornado. When I went back to look, only the hole for the well was left. The houses on either side were untouched. While living in Ohio, a tornado whipped through downtown. We workers all huddled in the stairwell of our office building. That same season, the weather service declined to label one storm a tornado even though our secretary’s mom’s house was lifted up off its foundation and set back down neatly again facing 90 degrees from where it began.

    But everywhere you live, there’s something, yes? My first week in Ohio, an earthquake. My first week in L.A., another. My first week in Hawaii, a hurricane. My first day back in L.A., a different hurricane. My second time to Hawaii, an earthquake. My first trip to Florida, a hurricane.

    Possibly, it’s me. It’s nice to know I can call on you to save me, Mighty Maggie Mouse.


    • There is something spooky about that string of meteorological events that seem to follow you, OB! Eerie! Your first home, wiped out!

      I remember when I was 12 our school teacher told us that we live in a very safe location, natural disaster wise. He might have been using a recent earthquake or hurricane in the US as a teaching moment. I live in “tornado alley”. However, relative to the regions in the US, it’s a baby-sized alley.

      So, if you decide to move to Southern Ontario, let me know OK? I’ll need to wash my cape!



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