Try as I might, I cannot even vaguely conceive of what it must be like to encounter sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. I know my car when it’s hitting 70, and I for sure don’t want to be standing in front of it when it does, so the thought of that wind strength hitting the house where I am supposedly sheltered and safe rather fills me with horror.

And yet the citizenry of the Bahamas have done just that, and folks here in the U.S. are about to feel the aftermath, thankfully weakening, but scary nonetheless.

And yet we have people who quite happily volunteer to fly into the eye of a hurricane, or go chase tornadoes, and all done with a cheery sense of anticipation. Me? You would have to drag me out of the bathroom, my arms clamped firmly around the base of the toot, kicking, screaming and threatening to tell my mother.

A gal in Florida has literally wrapped her house in plastic and weighted it all down with sandbags to stop the storm surge from doing what it does best. Surge. Into her living room. I suppose at least she has some warning, unlike most victims of tornadoes, but still. Would I be willing to do that? Heavens no. I can’t even get on the second step of a ladder without shrieking, so to be clambering up on the roof to Saran Wrap my humble abode would not be on my agenda.

I feel terribly sorry for the weather commentators who bravely stand on a beach while palm trees bend horizontally, their microphoned voices ebbing and flowing with the strength of the wind. Who did they peeve to get that assignment?

It all brings to mind a great comedy bit by the Texan Ron White.

If you want to go and tie yourself to a tree in order to fully experience a hurricane, it’s best to remember “it’s not THAT the wind is blowin’, it’s WHAT the wind is blowin.’” It really doesn’t matter how brave and safe you think you are, but being impaled by a stop sign will certainly dampen any enthusiasm you might have had.

I’ve only experienced the tail end of a cyclone – the Aussie equivalent of a hurricane. The only difference, I’m told, is that the winds go the other direction. Left or right, clockwise or not – it’s still a mighty blow.

We’d picked that particular weekend to go camping. Well, truth be told, that wasn’t my first – or indeed last – choice, but with my “peace at any price” mentality, I went along with the plot.

We were awakened in the middle of the night being somewhat damper than we’d hoped, and while boyfriend ran around battening down whatever hatches he could find, my bladder told me I had business to attend to.

Have you ever tried to relieve yourself outdoors in a cyclone?

I’ll tell you something for nothing – I had sustained pee circling around me at about 93 miles an hour.

Can’t say I recommend it, really.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at