Girls Write Out
Friday, April 19, 2013

At 2:45 a.m. one morning this week, Mel and I were getting a good night's sleep after a tornado warning the evening before. These days those warnings are barely a blip on the radar for us, since we get them all the time this season of the year (actually, most seasons of the year) and it's been a couple of years since our town was hit by one. It's been almost a decade since a tornado took out the whole downtown, so we've become a little lax about the weather.

Despite the excellent earplugs I always wear to bed, I was awakened by the low-but-annoying squall of  our town's tornado alert system. Too tired to function, I pushed a loose earplug back into place and buried my face in my pillow. The siren grew louder, echoed by another down the road. I tried to block it out and go back to sleep. We live in a brick house. Tornadoes have always missed us before. Besides,  Mel always said he wanted us to go together. Here was our chance--I don't always think clearly when I'm half asleep.

Of course, then my conscience kicked in while Mel snored softly beside me, oblivious. What if we were hit by a tornado and badly injured? Instead of dying and going to heaven, we'd be stuck here in damaged bodies. I hadn't even asked Mel what he wanted to do, so I was making the decision for both of us without consulting him.

With great reluctance, I slid out of bed and pulled the covers off Mel. "Honey, we need a flashlight."

"Mmmfttt-t-t" Or at least, I think that's what he said, because I still had my earplugs in.

"We can sleep with the cats the rest of the night." The basement is the cat's domain at night, because if we don't shut them down there, they'll either wander around outside and get eaten by coyotes, or try to break down the bedroom door and sleep with us. And they are NOT easy to sleep with.

"Is that a tornado siren?" Mel asked. I think. I refused to remove my earplugs because if I did, I'd wake up and never get back to sleep.

"We can sleep on the bed in the tornado room,"I told him. "It'll be fun. Something we've never done." We have a beautifully decorated room with no windows in the basement. It has a mural on one wall of a peaceful lake scene, and there's a very comfortable bed down there about half the size of our king bed. We could do this.

But we got down there and discovered that someone (Mel) had allowed the cats into the back half of the basement at some point, and now there was cat hair all over the bedding. I reached for an ever-ready cat-hair sticky roller and got to work. We live with four cats in our faces, so there's not much difference between that and sleeping in their hair. With the siren still blaring--warning us that we'd better stay down there and not go back upstairs to bed--we finally shut the door on the four wide-awake cats who were in the mood to place. I fell fast asleep.

Thank you, dear Denise, for introducing me to those silicone earplugs. They rock at blocking out caterwauling. At some point during the night, Teddy Bear, who considers herself a rock star, decided to serenade us. She has a voice like a garbage truck without a muffler, and goes around the house in search of the best places for her voice to echo. Poor Mel, who typically sleeps like a lump of lead, doesn't wear earplugs. He didn't get much sleep that night, so it's a good thing he didn't work ER the next day.

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate our small town's desire to protect its citizens with this great alarm system for dicey weather. I even appreciate the company of our four strays on occasion. But sometimes the mix just doesn't work.

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 1:42 PM  
  Comments (8)
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At 9:22 PM, Blogger jel said...

we have had some wild weather!

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yeah, we have. And now it's VERY cold.

At 6:15 AM, Blogger jel said...

yes it is!

going to have to cut some more wood. burrrr

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

That's a hoot! I've only recently heard our neighboring town's tornado siren. We can only hear it from the master bedroom, it seems, and I was in there working (my "office" is a corner of the bedroom).

I grabbed my laptop and called the hubs. He got the dogs and we headed downstairs. Our son rents the downstairs apartment in the walkout basement.

We have a "safe room" in the back but there's no comfy bed yet. After hearing the siren, I'm thinking it's time to put a bed down there. Better to go back to sleep than huddle and yawn. LOL

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Jackie Smith said...

Wow, what a night.....glad you and Mel are ok (the cats, too)!!!

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Ane, just a comfy mattress on the floor is better than huddling. If we have to live in tornado alley, might as well be comfy in it.

Jackie, I'm glad Mel and I are safe, but if Teddy Bear wakes us up in the middle of the night again I'm getting a muzzle.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

Every now and again a tornado siren will go off here. I can just barely hear it where we live. We don't have basements in our area so really there is nothing to do but go about our business and be aware. There has never to my knowledge been a touch down in my small town but there have been a few in nearby towns over the years.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Sandie, We didn't have a basement when I was younger, and when we lived in the country, our old house would have flown away at the least high wind. We just sat those storms out and trusted God would let it pass us by.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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