Every third night it seems, now, finds me and Dr. Skull, the kid and the two dogs and the cat huddled in our hallway, listening to hail pelt the roof while tornado sirens wail in the distance.
Last night's storm was especially scary. We considered going to the tornado shelter, which is almost a mile away at the elementary school. We used to do this back when tornado warnings happened once a summer, at the most. Now that they're happening every other day, we've given up. Driving through the hail and rain and wind, climbing from the car, and staggering (or in my case crutching) into the shelter to wait, sodden and over-heated, with two hundred other people who live in shacks without basements -- well, it has lost its appeal. Also, the shelter is actually a gymnasium, more or less -- so horrible lighting, nowhere to sit, and kids running yelling and playing kickball, in and out of the crowds.
Although if these scary, scary storms keep happening we may need to rethink our policy. Last night, the wind and rain were fierce. The power went out (again) and stayed out until about seven this morning. Hail and thunder were continuous. When the wind blew especially hard, the frame of the house would creak in a disturbing manner. The cat ran away and hid under the white chair. We were out of candles -- used them all up the last time the power went out -- and I don't like burning candles during such a bad storm anyway. So we were using my iPad as our sole light source. It works very well for that, btw.
Eventually the storm left, and the power stayed off. Everyone went to sleep but me (I'm having bad insomnia these days) and I stayed up reading the iPad until four a.m., when the power came on briefly. No sooner had I shut up windows and shut off lights and reset the alarm clock (I had a medical appointment at 9.00) than the power went off again.
But we didn't get blown away, unlike many people. As I drove to the clinic this morning, trees were down all over town, the roof was blown off the local lumber yard, traffic signs were blown over, and the local sign on the Harp's store had been totally blown out.
Another storm coming tonight, too.