Last Thursday, I was up at about quarter after six, nursing Emmy in her bedroom. It was still dark, and Ed had just left for work. I was looking out Emmy’s window; there was a blanket of snow on the ground, and it was still snowing. No one had shoveled yet, and the snowplows had yet to drive by. All of a sudden, there was a flash that lit up the whole room. I heard a clap of thunder. It was the strangest thing! This made me think about the some of the storms I’ve been in.
- I believe it was 1977, and we lived in central Illinois. I would have been about eight. Our small town didn’t have a big grocery store, so my family drove 40 miles to Urbana to do our shopping. On this day, my dad took my sister and me grocery shopping, while my mom stayed at home with my little brother and my baby sister. A snowstorm blew in while we were shopping, and my dad couldn’t see the road as we started home. We pulled off the highway at Rantoul, and got one of the last rooms available at a Holiday Inn. What was my biggest complaint? That we didn’t have our swimming suits! I remember watching another little girl swim, and I was extremely jealous. My mom, meanwhile, had a sick baby at home. She called the town nurse, who then recruited the National Guard to bring her medicine on snowmobile. I know you’re dying to know what happened to the groceries…they all froze in the trunk of the car!
- It was my birthday when I was a sophomore in college, and my best friend wanted to take me out to eat at a fancy restaurant. After dinner, we were going to see Chicago in concert. Of course, her boyfriend was going to come, too. I didn’t have a boyfriend, and in college I was expected to be best friends with all my friends’ boyfriends. There was no such thing as a “girls’ night out.” All couples were attached at the hip, so they could rub it in, like “Oh, it’s soooo WONderful to be in a couple.” I digress. At The Olive Garden (fancy restaurant) my best friend gave me the silent treatment. She had this down to an art. She spoke not one word to me. Her boyfriend tried to, but she had him under an iron fist, and he soon stopped trying. I had no idea why she was so mad at me. The concert was much better; no need to talk when you’re dancing to “Saturday in the Park.” After the concert, she drove us home in a snowstorm. It was snowing quite hard, and it took FOREVER to get back to the dorm. I thought I would DIE if I had to spend one more minute with her. I later found out that she was mad at me because earlier in the week she had been sick. And I hadn’t called her for (gasp!) three days! I should have called, so then I could have done something for her during her (sob) sickness. Well, our brief college friendship was over (sigh). And so I braved not only one storm, but two.
- Emmy was a newborn, and I had to get both girls up from their naps and into the basement fast when the tornado siren went off one Friday afternoon. (This storm already made a list this month!) The power was off for 26 hours, and I had to host Emmy’s baptism luncheon on Sunday. We decided to have it catered.
- Lily was a baby during this storm. It was August, and in the middle of the night a thunderstorm rolled through. Ed and I literally jumped out of bed when we heard a HUGE CRASH instantaneously with a FLASH. Our willow tree in the back had been hit by lightning, along with the transformer next to the tree. Unbelievably, Lily never woke up. The next day we found a six-foot long piece of wood in our front yard. Our neighbor three doors down found a huge splinter of wood in his yard, too. From then on, Ed has not been allowed to go out onto the porch to watch thunderstorms.
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