Well, not really.  But it was our first experience with the Big Weather.  We had just spent an hour or so, sitting outside by the pond with a glass of wine (or so) enjoying the warmth and sun of the early evening.  But just before dark, as if the Great God Thor awoke in a cranky mood, the wind began to blow in all four directions at once, and the skies became serious shades of grey, black, and charcoal and the thunder and lightning was fierce, and at the same time  -SIRENS!

UH Oh.  As a California girl, I haven’t heard sirens like that since I was five and the air raid warnings signaled us to turn off the lights and hide because the enemy bombers were coming.  I know my mid-western cousins would say – “Get used to it”.  And I’m sure we will.  But for our first-time tornado warning, I have to admit it was a bit of a panic.  For one thing, we don’t really know the drill yet.  For instance, if the sirens stop, does that mean the danger has passed?  And if they start again – is that the “all clear”?   Or does that just mean that another twister is on the way?

Fortunately I talked to cousin Debbie’s husband Rick, who kept me informed of the approaching “line-up” (severe weather coming up from South Dakota straight at Fergus Falls) and said, “No, we don’t need to go to the basement yet, but watch for flying things or the sound of a freight train.” So we pulled our futons downstairs and set them up CLOSE TO  the door to the basement and gathered up my purse and flashlights and the cell phone and Cosmo, and also got dressed just in case we had to be rescued.

I know tomorrow we will go to purchase a new TV so that we, too, can be hooked into every nuance of the gathering gloom. Mary Lou tells me that the “National Weather Service makes just about any weather condition look like Armageddon, but it rarely is that terrible.”  I hope she’s right.

We all have our areas of expertise and home base comforts.  In Big Sur, for instance, I reveled at my knowledge of every twist and turn of the coastal highway while uninitiates often blanched at driving along that famous and spectacular coastline.  Yes there were rocks in the road, especially in winter, and as we know, massive slides at times, but I would rather drive that familiar roadway any day than traverse the freeways of L.A.  So it’s all about familiarity and home base.  We’re looking and hoping  to eventually ease into that here too.

We’re definitely not in California anymore Toto.

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