Last night my little corner of the world was under tornado and severe thunderstorm threats for most of the night. The wind was howling and the lightening was fantastic. Dogs were drooling and pacing and I was very scared.
I do not like lightening. If I am driving I pull my shoulders to my ears and close my eyes for a second. Not the best thing to do when you are operating a car, but a response I am unable to avoid. When the warnings to take shelter came over the radio, I ran to the closet under the stairs to hide. My husband thought it was the funniest thing he has ever seen. But when I told him the reason for my over the top response, he totally understood.
When I was young, 4 or 5, my family lived in Winter Park, Florida. A magical place to grow up; summer all the time. Storms and hurricanes every season. One evening, with a hurricane bearing down on our town, my parents decided that they needed to go play bridge with their friends in the next neighborhood. They left my oldest sister in charge, telling her that if things got really bad before they came home, we should go into the hall and shut the doors so that we wouldn’t get hurt if the windows exploded. Now my sister watched us all the time. Her mode of getting us to do what she wanted was using fear as a motivation. When we played on the phone, she used the extension and told us she was the police and they were on the way to pick us up. When I wouldn’t go to bed, she pretended to take pills and kill herself. I was only a little girl for goodness sake; she scared the poop out of me.
Anyway, the parents left, and it was time for me to go to bed. I could here the storm outside, but it wasn’t bad enough to get worried, but storming non the less. Well I didn’t want to go to bed. I wanted to stay up with the big girls. My dear sister, the one I looked up to the most, informed me that if I didn’t get to bed, she would not wake me up when it was time to go into the hall. She would leave me sleeping in my room to get cut up by the flying glass. I didn’t sleep that night at all. I remember laying in bed, trying to be still so she would think I was sleeping waiting for someone to come and get me. Thankfully my parents came home before we needed to do anything.
Obviously the incident made an impression on me. I have never forgotten that feeling and every time it storms I have cow! My sister is gone now, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t remember her in some way or another. Not always in the fondest terms but ever present in my life.