It was a dark and stormy night…
With a tornado warning. Sirens were blaring. The sky was green.
I don’t live in Tornado Alley, but that didn’t stop the super cell from circling overhead in my neck of the woods. I am familiar with wall clouds and hook echoes. I watched the skies roll and boil overhead. The wind and rain whipped my hair into my face even though I stood in the covered, protected area of my front door. Visibility dropped down to nothing and I said silent prayers for all the family members that were still out and about, away from the house.
Then a small part of me hoped that a tornado would swoop down and suck the house away.
I was safe in the root cellar. Me, my wedding rings, and my great aunt’s earrings. Was there really anything else to save if the worst happened?
With the kids out of the house, I had no other priorities than these items. Digital photos were uploaded to the cloud. I was already wearing my favorite pair of jeans. I’d lose my Mother’s Day Weber grill and I’d miss a few books that have been in my collection for years. Oh, and I’d miss my Christmas decorations most of all.
But in the grand scheme of things the house could get scraped off of the foundation and fly away to land in Oz and I’d be OK.
Would this be such a bad thing? If by some freak of nature a tornado could touch down just on my lot and leave the neighbors unscathed…. How upset would I really be?
As I listen to The Weather Channel this morning, one Rochelle, IL woman sums things up perfectly: I lost my home. I lost my job. But my family is still alive.
The leveling of this house would be a blessing in disguise. I’d finally get the new second story that I’d like to have, perhaps add another bathroom. Insurance money could assist in paying to replace the nostalgic items that Husband #2 and I installed together – things I can’t remove on my own. No more bathroom tile, no more hardwood floors, no more kitchen cabinets, no more custom closets. Knocking the house down to a hole in the ground would enable me to build things up the way I would have wanted them if not confined by brick walls and existing plumbing runs.
Maybe I’d end up with a new pair of ruby slippers. Maybe I’d build a house with a big enough front door so I could get my dream sofa. Maybe the tornado would drop a cast iron clawfoot tub in the front yard as a peace offering. Or maybe I’d simply take the money and run, selling off the lot and finding a place in a new land with a different house.
But it is not to be. Once the weather warning expired and the sirens stopped, I came up from the basement and looked around. There was damage. One of the big trees in the backyard is uprooted and currently leans at a 30 degree angle against another tree. Which brings to mind another memory of Husband #2 and the time we spent clearing the dead and dying pines out of the forest. I know that were he still here, we’d have the chainsaw out and get that tree cleared up in about an hour. Now I’ll have to get the tree guys out to chop it down. It’s too big for me to do alone.
Yes, Dorothy, no trips to Oz this time. I’m stuck in Kansas for a little while longer but that doesn’t stop me from imagining a silver lining.