Tuesday, August 4, 2015

This Storm Rattled All Of Us

I lived in Ohio for a few years. The storms there were unlike anything I had ever witnessed. The lightening storms were fierce. I experienced my first tornado. Baseball & softball sized hail. Tornado sirens. Funnel clouds. Micro-bursts. I left all of that behind me when I moved back to the New England area in 2011. Two months later, Hurricane Irene hit. Two months after that, a freakish blizzard hit the end of October. It made history. Despite all, the mild New England weather has been a relief.

Until this morning. 

Shortly before Lisa's alarm went off at 3:45 a.m., I checked the Doppler Radar map for our area. They were predicting storms throughout the morning and afternoon. I spotted a few areas. Dark green, yellow and orange. Nothing to worry about. Heavy rain. Maybe a rumble or two of thunder.

I fell asleep shortly after Lisa left for work. An hour and a half later (give or take a few minutes), flashes of light woke me up. The room was dark. I grabbed my phone and checked the time. It was much too dark for this time of morning. Was I dreaming?

Flash. Boom. Flash. Boom. Flash. Boom. Flash. Boom.

Incoming storm. Shit. Although it was still in the distance, I knew it was going to be bad. Sophie was already clinging to me for dear life. Coco had peeked his head out from underneath the blankets. Lobo was getting nervous. From my experience with Ohio storms, I knew this was going to be a severe lightening storm.

I am terrified of lightening.

I got out of bed and scooped Sophie up in my arms. I wasn't letting her go. Her body was shaking from fear. Had I not taken her with me, she would have scampered away to find a tiny nook to hide in. Probably underneath the sofa or bed.

With Sophie in my arms, I hurried around the house to shut down laptops, unplug the TV, shut off the two air conditioners and turn off the lights. Within five minutes we were back in bed. The storm had worsened. The lightening was constant. One flash after another.

The storm hit in full force minutes later. The four of us were huddled in bed. This was the first time I had seen Coco afraid of a storm. He hid underneath the blankets mashed up against my belly. Lobo flinched at the thunder. Sophie was wrapped in a blanket with only her face peeking through. I held all 3 kids.

This storm rattled my nerves. I hadn't been through a lightening storm this severe since living in Ohio. Worst case scenarios ran through my brain. What if the house was struck? What if I had to escape quickly with the kids? What if. What if. What if.

I had flashbacks of the lightening storms in Ohio. I used to unplug everything and sit at the bottom of the staircase waiting for the storm to pass. It was the only area in the house that wasn't near windows. We had old windows. They rattled loud with the deafening thunder. The house was old too. One strike and it would have gone up in flames within seconds.

It's all I could think about as the four of us huddled together in bed earlier this morning. The fear of Mother Nature's fury taking our home. All it would take is one strike. This house is old too.

What if. What if. What if. 

The worst of the storm didn't last too long. Maybe 10-15 minutes. It felt like hours. Once things simmered down, emergency vehicle sirens revved up. I'm sure buildings and trees had been struck by lightening. Some were without power.

Lisa called shortly after to make sure the kids and I were okay. Yes. A little shaken, but okay. She exhaled a sigh of relief.

So. Did. I. 

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