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A Magnet for Natural Disasters

Heidi Shenk "Baltimore" "weather"

I've been missing the last week. I've been in my classroom getting things ready for school on Monday. After finally finishing up Friday afternoon, we are now faced with the possibility that school may not open on Monday after all. You see, lately, I've been a magnet for natural disasters and I seem to have brought not one, but two of them our way this week.

Some of you may remember the lovely North Carolina tornado, coming right at us as we headed south on I-95 to Florida.

Then there was also the time that we got stuck in this blizzard on Christmas Day in Nebraska as we were driving to have a family Christmas at my sister's house in Colorado.

Yes, that's the view out the windshield on I-80.

Then there was the blizzard in Baltimore.

And there was the time last summer when we were driving back from my parents' house in Indiana on I-80/90 that we got stuck driving in the worst thunderstorm I have experienced in my life. There was a tornado warning at the time and we were sure we were going to run into one.

Oh, also, I almost got struck by lightning this summer after opening my front door during a thunderstorm. The bolt hit a tv dish across the street, a mere 20 feet away, with a blue glow wrapping around the house. You could hear it buzz and the thunder that accompanied it scared me out of my socks.

If that isn't enough, this Tuesday we had an earthquake. While I had been in two before, they were only just a quick bump. This one, however, was a good 30 seconds of intense shaking and rumbling-- enough that you could actually hear it.

And now, here I sit in my house sipping my coffee waiting for Irene. No one really knows how bad it'll be in Baltimore, but they've predicted power outage for days. I certainly can't be the judge of that because we didn't live here when Hurricane Isabel came through.  Most of the teachers at my school think we won't have school Monday due to flooding and power outages. As for me, I just made sure I had a good stock of coffee. We ran out Friday morning and I certainly wasn't going to go without in the case that the worst happens. Clearly, I have my priorities straight.

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