Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why do I live here?

I. Hate. Storms.

When I was a kid, I used to love thunderstorms. Once, my friends and I were on the front porch when a neighbor's house got struck by lightning. It was freaky, but didn't deter me from sitting perched at the end of my bed, watching the rain and flashes out my window. Storms were comforting, in a way, and I loved going to sleep when God was bowling upstairs.

Now, a stray gray cloud has me running for radar, local news, weather radio, or all of the above.

Let's just say my first few years in the country's little-known second Tornado Alley have not been pleasant.

A former coworker used to laugh at me when I would start freaking out once I heard a severe weather alert over the scanner.

"You know you won't see it coming," he told me. "It's probably just going to drop from the sky onto your house."

Really Roger, was that necessary?!

The hubby had me mostly calmed down until this funny little F3 tornado wiped out half of Nappanee and lifted A MILE FROM MY HOUSE. Yes. I said A MILE FROM MY HOUSE. That was my first experience waking a child to retreat to our basement, which now can be known as the Marquette bunker. I could not let go of Nathaniel. Luckily he was a drowsy baby and didn't notice his mother was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Fast forward to this June. Oy. 'nuff said. Two Friday nights in a row, there we were, pretending to be camping and having fun with the kids, while all I really wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position. I finally broke down the night of the tornadoes, after we had put the kids to bed in the dark and the hubby was out on a quick drive to survey the damage. It's the ultimate sense of helplessness, sitting in your basement, not knowing what is coming or when it will be done, but knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

I slept with the weather radio on alert next to my bed for a month.

A friend told me the odds of a tornado actually hitting our house are astronomical. OK, we've lived here six years and tornadoes have come within a mile of our house TWICE. I'm thinking he needs to check his math.

So this afternoon, I knew to expect pop-ups. It was 100 degrees with 1,000 percent humidity. Of course.

What I didn't expect was to be standing on my back patio, watching clouds swirling, high and low going in opposite directions. I knew enough to know that was NOT good. From inside, I watched our glass patio table and umbrella lifted at a 45 degree angle TOWARD the house. That was it. I grabbed a sleeping baby girl from her crib and ushered all my two- and four-legged critters to the bunker.

Today all I had to worry about was scattered chairs and a cushion that made it to a driveway across the street. It's only July so I have no doubt I will have more restless days and sleepless nights, but for now I am convinced Mother Nature has a bulls-eye painted on our house and her aim is not what it used to be.

Here's hoping she doesn't want more practice this summer.

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