There I am sitting in the closet last night with Teen Angel and the dog and cat, wondering if this tornado season will ever end, and the dog looks up at me as if to say, “Seriously, are we going to hide in here AGAIN?” And I said to him, “Dude, you gotta do something about your anal glands.” Poor fellow, he’s terrified of thunder and lightning, AND he’s a bit out of sorts anyway since he was recently diagnosed as diabetic, and he now gets two insulin shots a day. He’s not a fan of the needle, and his new low calorie food gives him gas. Between his nervousness and the cat’s bad attitude, it was a little uncomfortable in that closet.
This tornado season has been so active I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve taken cover during tornado warnings. This is tornado country, so we’re somewhat used to them, but the twisters have been particularly deadly this spring, and we’re more cautious than usual. We’ve actually dodged a bullet more than once. The tornados that roared through Alabama and Mississippi recently were part of a system that hit here first. Fortunately for us (unfortunately for them), the storms built up steam after they came through here. Last night’s system was the one that killed people in Oklahoma and tried to take a second swing at poor Joplin, Missouri. God bless the people of Joplin. It just breaks my heart to read the stories about that town. We had some minor damage around these parts last night but nothing compared to what’s taken place in other parts of the Midwest in recent days.
This region has had its share of damage in the past. In 2003, a twister killed one person and destroyed several homes in the area near where I grew up. My aunt and uncle were camping at the time and rode out the storm in a concrete bath house. They went home to find that home was still standing but Mother Nature had rearranged all of their rooms. Others lost everything. I was working at the television station at the time, and it was a scary night because the tornado went right over the station.
Last night wasn’t too scary, but there was a time when the roaring wind stopped, it suddenly got eerily quiet and the dog and cat got fidgety. My head was saying, “Stay calm.” My heart was screaming, “I’m comin’ to join ya’ Elizabeth!” The wind started howling again, and I figured if it was going to blow the roof off that would be the moment. It wasn’t. It passed on pretty quickly after that, but on the whole we spent about 45 minutes in the closet. Hubby spent about ten minutes in there. He’s one of those crazy folks who likes to stand at the back door and watch it coming. That drives me INSANE. The man will NOT take cover. One time when he was mowing the yard, I tried to wave him into the house during a tornado warning, and he kept mowing. I finally shouted, “Fine! Let your arse get blown away,” stomped into the house and hid in the bathtub with Teen Angel. And proceeded to worry about his hind end for the next fifteen minutes. Last night she and I were sitting in the floor of the closet listening to the warning sirens wail, when all of a sudden he popped into the closet with big eyes and said, “Funnel cloud in Farley,” which is close to our neighborhood. Five minutes later, he was back to his post by the back door. And I was wishing for my hard hat from work.
Time in the closet is like a forced time-out. It makes you stop and sit. And think about things. While I was in there, I made a partial grocery list in my head, composed a graduation note to Teen Angel, made a to-do list for work and mulled over my stalled half marathon training program. And wondered why we can’t seem to keep a working flashlight in our house. We are flashlight challenged. I don’t know why. We have a dozen flashlights and none of them works entirely right. We need a battery operated TV, too. Since we have satellite TV we get weather warnings right up until the storms smacks our neighborhood, and then it goes out right when we need it most. We keep the weather radio going, but it isn’t as detailed as the TV meteorologists who are doing their best to whip us into a frenzy over bulging fronts and cloud rotation and the like. I will update our little hiding place a little since we still have a few weeks in the storm season, and if the trend continues we will likely be sitting in there a few more times. We’re not nearly as prepared as we need to be. I’m thinking we need some reading material in there, a few cushions and some Febreeze. Seriously, dog, you gotta do something about those glands.
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10 months ago