The summer I was 10, I began to have nightmares about them. Chaotic funnels emerging vindictively from black skies while I watched and worried, Am I safe? What about my family? What about my blue blanket? Sure, I was 10 years old, so OF COURSE I was worried about my security blanket. (Still am, to this day, in all fairness.) But I was 10 years old and worried about my family and having dreams of something that basically represents uncontrolled chaos. If that's not a telling indication of my neuroses to come...
The summer I was 16, I watched Twister. Who didn't?
I still love that movie. Who doesn't?
February of 1998, I was in my first (and so far, only) tornado. It was an EF2, and it came at us very quickly. There wasn't time to be terrified--there was barely enough time to charge to my grandparents' bedroom and wake them up and take shelter in the closet. Down in Florida, we didn't have the benefit of basements or tornado sirens. Ugh.
When I came to Indiana (Round One) I knew there would be weather--accompanied by the weird warbling wail of tornado sirens, piercing the heavy, humid spring and fall air. And there was, and I grew used to it. And then, when I came back to Indiana (Round Two) I was stupidly eager for the wild weather.
Last night, I got my wish. The weather was stormy all evening, but at one point, I heard the faint sound of the tornado sirens, and so I started to hustle. I grabbed Indiana, threw him in the downstairs bathroom, and hunted down Austen. I threw Austen in the downstairs bathroom, but as I did, out popped Indiana, who led me on a merry chase while I not-so-silently cursed him. No sooner did I catch him and throw him back in the bathroom, did Austen dart out.
So, five minutes later (plenty of time for a death storm of doom to bring an abrupt end to my Indiana fairytale), the three of us were finally all stowed away in the downstairs bathroom,
And Austen, not so much.
20 minutes later, after a lot of rain and not much else, we emerged and carried on with our evening. Turned out a tornado had touched down about 25 miles to the west of us...no damage reported. But honestly, after the tornado of chaos my life was for the last several years...this is pretty darned preferable.
Just so long as the tornado doesn't pick up my house and deposit it in California.