Frightening photograph right? Well it certainly wasn't as extreme as in the photo above but last night was still a little exciting. We woke up around 12:30 am to both cell phones and the house phone going crazy! It was more than a little disorienting to go from sound asleep to wide awake so quickly.
I answered the house phone which is silly because without my hearing aids on I really have trouble understand what is being said. Especially with all the racket of both cell phones ringing like mad at the same time. So I hung up the house phone and read the text message coming in instead. Tim and I had both cell phone call messages and text messages indicating that we were under a tornado warning and it was strongly suggested that we seek immediate shelter. The alert system in our county is extremely thorough.
Since we were already in the house, we felt about as sheltered as we were going to get, so Tim turned on the TV for more information and I, like an idiot, opened the front door to check for rampaging tornadoes. Calm down. I'm not a complete fool. If I had heard any tornado noises or felt the creaking, rocking and rolling feel of being in the midst a tornado or if I had even seen out the window anything that appeared to be evidence of a strong wind, I would not have opened that door. But I didn't hear it, feel it or see it. And so I did it. Opened the door I mean.
I unlocked the door and tentatively peeked out. All appeared to be calm. Then, I opened the screen door and listened hard. Still peaceful. I stepped out into the courtyard and there was just the merest drizzle of rain. Nothin'. I locked everything back up and went to Tim and asked him, "Are they sure?
He indicated that television that was, just at that moment showing a map of our town, streets and all, and a large red area that indicated exactly where the tornado currently was sighted. Interesting. It seemed to be on the other side of the Venice Avenue bridge! Ok. AND heading away from us. Also Ok. I mean, I'm sorry for anyone else affected but happy for us.
And just as quick as a wink, it was over. Stand down soldiers. This was just a drill.
Thank goodness! Nothing to worry about. Just a random bunch of cranky wind skittering around from the Tropical Storm in the gulf that has brought us a lot of rain lately. Nothing to worry about.
And yet...and yet! Less than a week ago, there was a surprise microburst-type tornado that tore up a parking lot and part of a sports field in the same general vicinity that this new one was spotted. And that one a few days ago actually touched ground! Whoa!
So naturally, I was a little jazzed. The late night ringing of the phone definitely got my adrenaline going. Even though it was really late, there was no way I would be able to fall asleep anytime soon.
So Tim turned on the TV in the bedroom for a bit and I lay there trying to calm my breathing and my pulse and relax. Just relax. Go back to sleep. Zzzzzz Sssslllleeeppp. You are getting sleepy, I crooned to myself. No you are not, I said back to myself. As Tim turned off the television, put the clicker on the bedside table and immediately conked back out. I starred at him in the dark. How can he sleep at a time like this? And then I remembered that a few years ago, during Hurricane Irma, while I paced the floors and snuck peeks out the window during the worst storm I've ever been in, he had fallen right to sleep. Dang.
Well, if he can do it, I can do it, right? I tried harder to fall back to sleep. After all, before the phones all went crazy I was asleep, right? This was just an intermission. I should be able to conjure that sleepy feeling back and fall right back to dreamland. Nope. No sleep happening anytime soon.
Eventually I gave up, got out of bed and wandered out to the family room to watch TV and play games on my phone. Apparently my body felt that it had already had quite enough sleep for the night and perhaps I should stay alert just in case the tornado circled back around. Oddly the one thing I kept wondering about was where it was exactly that we were supposed to "hide" in the house if a tornado actually touched down in our immediate vicinity. I kept wavering back and forth between the utility room and the bathroom. Occasionally I would consider and then reject other rooms, 'round and 'round and 'round. Well it occupied my time anyway.
So it was a long night of re-runs, Hallmark channel movies, wondering about tornado related things and endless channel flipping, always hoping to accidentally come across something wonderful. It doesn't happen often, but it has happened before. I guess I was hoping it would happen again. Last night was not one of those times.
Yesterday on the other hand, although I was tired, the sun came out (for the first time in days) and it was a perfectly lovely day. I know that elsewhere the tropical storm made landfall and is therefore making someone else's life miserable. I would feel guilty about being relieved that it wasn't us this time, except that Hurricane season has only just begun and who knows what other storms are on their way, where they plan to make landfall, and what sort of havoc they are going to wreak.
And in the plus column, tonight, I ought to sleep really well.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.