Fred: It’s for you

Robyn: Hello?

Debbie: Hi! I heard you had a little excitement today!

Robyn: …

Debbie: …

Robyn: I did?

Debbie: (laughs) Yeah! The earthquake…?

Robyn: …

Debbie: In Huntsville?

Robyn: We had an earthquake? Fred! Fred! (gets up to find Fred) Did you know we had an earthquake today?

Fred: No, that was in Limestone County

Robyn (to Debbie): Oh, that was apparently in Limestone County.

Debbie: Is that near you?

Robyn: It’s the next county over.

So we apparently had a 2.8 earthquake today about which I knew nothing. My sister in Maine knew not only all about the earthquake, but also that we are having inclement weather. When I stepped outside this morning and it was cloudy, 68 and muggy as hell, I knew there’d be a tornado watch by tonight.

We’re under a tornado watch, but it appears we’re in no imminent danger, so I’m not even going to skip updating tonight. Because that’s how much I love my readers! Yes, I know that Sara Astruc (I can’t find the link. don’t hate me because i’m too lazy to look for it) updated regularly during a hurricane, and should a hurricane come this way, I’ll risk life and limb to update. Because, yes, I love you all that much.

The only time I’ve ever truly feared for my life was during the first spring after we moved down here. Fred left to pick Spanky up at the vet’s office – Spanky’d just been neutered – and I left to pick the spud up at school – she was attending the after-school program. The school was only about two miles away, so I felt sure I could pick her up and be home before anything happened.


By the time I got to the school, the sky was a frightening dark-blue, almost black, on one side of the school and a luminescent green on the other. The kids had been herded to the innermost part of the school and were huddled sitting on the floor in a classroom. I grabbed the spud and left, despite the after-school director’s suggestion that we stay at the school until the weather blew over. (Can you say "idiot"? I knew that you could.)

We were perhaps a quarter of a mile down the road when the winds picked up, almost pushing the car off the road. Then came torrential rains, and I could barely see the road. I made it to the one and only light we had to go through, and there was no one else around. I stopped at the red light (let me repeat: stopped at the red light) and waited for it to change. Almost casually, I glanced to the left, where there was a large empty field, which was located across the street from an apartment complex. Dangling over the field, was a newly forming funnel cloud.

Never in my entire adult life have I been so terrified. I hit the gas and ran the red light and drove the rest of the way home as fast as I dared, shaking and saying "Oh please, oh please" under my breath. For once in her life, the spud didn’t ask questions when I said "The instant the car stops, run for the front door!" We finally pulled into the parking lot, and the spud and I ran into the apartment and into the master bathroom, which was the innermost room in the apartment. I continued to shake for fifteen minutes before I calmed down. Fred called from the vet’s office, which was a fifteen – or twenty- minute drive away. He’d reached the vet’s office in time to join the mass exodus of pet owners and employees into the inner part of the building.

The bad weather passed within the hour, and I don’t think any funnel clouds hit the ground that day, but it was scary as hell to see one starting to form. I’ve had a lot more respect for the occasional tornado watch since that day, also. Since we’re smack dab in the middle of what they call "Tornado Alley", it very well may not be the last funnel cloud I see.

Then again, I may never see another one in my life. Who knows?

I’ve picked up a nasty cough over the last few days. No doubt I’ll develop bronchitis, since according to Debbie "There’s something nasty going around." Have you ever noticed that no matter when or how you get sick, someone will always tell you "Well, yeah, there’s something going around." Hell, I’ve said it myself without having heard any such thing. It’s funniest when you’re suffering from morning sickness. "Well, there’s something going around." "Yeah, don’t get too close, you’ll get pregnant, too…"

I took the spud to the doctor today for her re-check. We spent forty-five minutes waiting to see the doctor and about a minute and a half in his actual presence. He listened to her breathe for a minute, then said "Yep, sounds like she’s fine! Let me go write up the chart…" She’s feeling better, and we’re feeling worse. Hardly seems fair.

One more day of christmas vacation, and things go back to normal. Oh, joy (and I’m not being sarcastic)!