Last night I slept on the couch.
No, my husband and I weren’t fighting (and if we were, it would be his butt on the couch.) It’s tornado season here in the Midwest. Tornado season usually begins in May and then continues through September. (Although not all tornadoes seem to be aware that they have an official season, and they show up in November or March. They’re rude like that.) So usually once or twice during that time the whole family spends the night downstairs, just to be safe. And last night was such an occasion.
Normally, tornadoes don’t phase me a whole bunch. I’m not sure if that is because I am an idiot, or because I’ve spent one-third of my life in the Midwest and have never been in the path of a tornado and have grown complacent, or if because it’s been too many years since I’ve watched Twister (oh Helen Hunt, how I miss you.)
But yesterday, I managed to work myself up to a pretty nice low-key, semi-controled panic. Normally, there’s one big storm and once it passes, the threat is over. But yesterday, there were so many storms that popped up and they all seemed to be hellbent on flying over my house. It didn’t help that my husband was gone. And it certainly didn’t help that I had 15 helpless tomato plants in my care. And I must say that my children doing their own re-inactment of the Wizard of Oz was slightly disconcerting.
Mostly, I think it was the recent tragedies in Missouri and other Midwest places that made me hyper-sensitive to the bad weather. I’m used to tornadoes wreaking some havoc here and there, but when they can destroy an entire town, killing hundreds of people and traumatizing hundreds more, well then. It’s officially very scary stuff.
It’s the kind of scary stuff that makes you rethink your priorities. It’s the kind of scary stuff that encourages you not to take anything for granted. It’s the kind of scary stuff that makes you re-evaluate what is truly precious to you. It’s the kind of scary stuff that makes you want to gather your family close and sleep downstairs. And it is the kind of scary stuff that enables you, after getting tiny increments of sleep and numerous sore body parts, to wake up in the morning and be extremely grateful that all is calm again.
And I am so very grateful.