Thursday, February 2, 2012

Theme Thursday.....STORM

A SCARY NIGHT

Many years ago, while my hubby and I were in the military, the town we lived in was hit with a tornado.

And so a few years ago when one of our theme's for TT was WIND, it seemed fitting to write about that experience.
But at that time I had been writing a weekly cliffhanger serial for each weeks TT called
O
pa
l Nation
.

This story pretty much explains what we went through on that night. The tornado did strike just a little over a mile from our location at a nursing home. I do not remember how many died but I know there were deaths.
So in this part of the story, I would be Mother and my hubby would be Father. And most of what is in the story is true. But we did keep the baby crib and dresser.

I can only say that a tornado is not something I would like to go through again.

I have seen tornadoes from a distance in Kansas and Missouri as a teenager and my parents knew enough to drive in the opposite direction and get the hell out of there.

I hope you enjoy the story and if you wish to read any more of the Opal Nation stories (there are 23 so far), I posted them on their own website.
Each story had to be about that weeks theme, be a continuation of the previous cliffhanger and end with a new cliffhanger. I can only say it is very hard to do. And if you read them then you will understand.

So here is my tornado story:

Theme Thursday..........WIND

Opal Nation6

Next thing I know I fell off of my bed, luckily I did not get hurt because I had been holding my pillow so tight it broke my fall. As I climbed back into bed I could hear the wind howling outside, it made me think of Mother and the story she would tell us about the tornado that had barely missed them one night.

Oh how I missed Mother and sometimes wondered how different things would have been if she had not been taken away from us. She had been ill for many months and when forced to stay in bed, would spend hours telling me and Ben stories about her and Father. I think she knew that she would never see him again. She would hold the opal pendant that Father had given to her as a wedding present. It was a beautiful opal, with all the colors of the rainbow depending on which angle you were gazing upon it. The diamonds that surrounded it also flashed many colors, and it was staggeringly beautiful. Now it belonged to me, I crawled out of my bed to retrieve it out of my jewelry box.

As I held it in my hands, I remembered the story Mother had told me one afternoon.

Father was in the Service at the time and they had only been married for a few years. She was pregnant with me and I was not to see the light of day for a couple of months. There was a storm that night when they had gone to visit Father's Commander and his family. The Commander's wife had some baby furniture that she wanted to give to them. But before they delivered it to Mother and Father, they wanted Mother to make sure she liked it.

Mother said the crib was just beautiful, on both ends there were carvings of little angel cherubs. Someone had put forth a lot of effort to do this. The Commander and his wife had thought of Mother as their own daughter. The Commander's wife was the sister of my Grandmother, and she only asked that if one of their sons ever had children that my mother would pass down the crib and matching dresser. My mother could not refuse this offer because she loved her Aunt very much.

They had been at the Commander's house for a couple of hours and the wind kept getting stronger and louder. The rain also continued to poor down at a vigorous rate, and so they had determined that it was best to stay there and wait for the storm to pass on by before starting the trek home. They were watching the local news so as to keep abreast of when the storm would abate. But the storm just seemed to increase in it's intensity. The local news started flashing that tornado warnings were to be given in certain areas. Mother said that this news predictably scared her and Father. The Commander and his wife said that they had been through these before and knew what to do.

Then the sirens went off, the sound enormously loud. Father was distressed that Mother would go into labor whilst the tornado warnings blared all around them. But the Commander and his wife told them not to worry, that they would take care of them. They called their sons to come into the hallway with them. Mother said the Commander told them to get inside the bathroom off the hall because it had no windows. She, her Aunt and the boys quickly rushed inside. The Commander asked Father to help him grab a twin sized mattress from one of the boys room, then they brought it into the bathroom with them all. They shut and locked the bathroom door before putting the mattress against it. Then everyone crouched on the floor, while the wind continued to howl louder and louder. Mother said at that moment I started kicking and moving around as if it was invigorating me to emulate the storm outside. Mother said she began rubbing her midsection, which calmed me down to a more auspicious level of movement.

By now the wind was howling so loudly that they had to hold their hands over their ears. They could barely hear the sirens at this point. Then within a few minutes the large howling from the wind became more bearable. A few minutes later the sirens stopped blaring. Mother said they had all been saying a prayer together. They unlocked the bathroom door, then the Commander and Father returned the mattress to the bedroom from whence it had been removed.

The television was still on the local news, so they clambered over each other to get to it. They were announcing that the tornado had struck a nursing home about a mile from their location. Three people had been killed and many others injured. Everyone started hugging each other, then thanking the lord that they were okay. They realized that if the tornado had taken a turn in another direction it could have destroyed the Commanders house and even worse taken them with it.

Mother and Father decided not to accept the gift of the crib and dresser because it would always remind them of the night the tornado almost decimated their world. Mother had at that time not realized that someday her world would be shattered by that which hung around her neck...

For more Storm Theme Thursday posts please go here.

6 comments:

  1. gosh i can not imagine going through a storm as such esp if i was pregnant knowing there was a life within that i was trying to protect as well...yay i am so glad you are going back to Opal Nation...love your voice in it and the stories are fascinating...

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  2. Although terrifying (worse than scary), what a fascinating story!! I am from Hurricane region ... and on subconscious pins and needles from June through October. Thank you for sharing such a mesmerizing account of your mom's story.

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  3. nice story I think storm are especially for these type of histories (lol)

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  4. What a compelling story. I was born in Kansas when my father was stationed there and even though I was a tiny baby I must have picked up the feelings of fear my mother had as she hustled us down to the basement (she recounted the story many times over the years) and I always pictured my dad standing outside on the steps of the house looking for the tornado. Momma said he would only come to the basement at the last possible minute. To this day, when I have a nightmare there is always a tornado in it. So odd...

    I just wanted to visit you and thank you for your sweet comment on my blog this morning and also for entering my giveaway. I wish I had a copy of Baking with Julia for everyone who entered my giveaway. I do hope you can find a copy of this book or one of the other ones and join us. It is a wonderful community of people who enjoy cooking and baking and I am sure you would enjoy it. There is something about food that just brings people together, don't you agree? I am going to put you on my RSS feed and come back and visit again. I have not seen this Theme Thursday on a blog before and I think it is a wonderful vehicle for creative writing. I look forward to reading more of your stories. Take Care!

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  5. Great read!
    In the UK we were always so used to pretty 'mild' weather, compared to many other countries. One night I even happened to say: "I'm not frightened of a bit of wind" Until, early that morning at around 4 am we had our one and only hurricane (that I know of)in 1986. The worst to ever hit much of the south of England. It left hundreds of thousands of homes damaged, trees that had stood for hundreds of years broken, done, and millions of pounds worth of damage. I now have so much more respect for the weather, Mother nature and what she is capable of doing. This must have been a terrifying thing to go through. I cannot imagine how people feel who lose everything including family and friends in these type of devastating storms.
    Your writing is wonderful.

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  6. That's an amazing and scarey story! How frightening to go through that while also being pregnant! Loved the cliffhanger! Will have to check out Opal Nation.

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