A Mortal Threat

We have little storms around here where lightening hits houses, windows break, thunder sounds like close range gun shots and trees get blown down. I used to wonder why anyone was afraid of thunderstorms but that was before I knew they could be a mortal threat. Fortunately, when we first moved here, the reality of tornados terrified me so I created a refuge in a big closet under our stairwell. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m used to theatrical weather. I’ll take an outrageously dramatic dust storm called a haboob like we had in Phoenix any day; it’s the devil I know. I just don’t know tornados or these kinds of thunderstorms at all.



Here are the contents of my shelter under the stairs:

  • water for humans and water/water bowl for dogs
  • snacks for humans and treats/chew sticks for dogs
  • a battery powered American Red Cross emergency weather radio
  • a battery powered, super mini flashlight
  • a battery powered lantern
  • two battery powered personal spray bottle/fan contraptions in case it gets really hot
  • back up batteries for all that battery operated crap
  • two heavy duty moving pads to cover the carpet in case we are in there for hours and the dogs need to go potty.
  • a blanket
  • a little nightgown for me in case it gets really hot
  • reading glasses in case I have to run in there without mine
  • 2 bottles of wine, a wine opener and doggie Xanax
  • a deck of cards for gin rummy in case Steve or Tim are in there with me and paper/pencil to keep score since we’ll be drinking all that wine and would no way remember the score

I’m not kidding. All that junk is beautifully organized in the closet under my stairs. In fact, when I showed it all to Tim, my adored retired corporate executive/dog walker/house sitter, he said, “Wow, you are really organized!” I’m pretty sure he meant, wow, you are really anal! Yeah, well, the next time the tornado sirens blare, I wouldn’t be surprised if he uses his house key and joins us in there!

Anyway, the last time we had this kind of storm with 90 mph winds, thunder following lightening after one second, debris flying dangerously near the windows and the loss of electrical power, the dogs and I took shelter in our closet. While Mother Nature raged, I ate a 200-calorie power bar while I would have preferred 1200 calories of Texas fried chicken, the dogs got decadent treats reserved for closet time so the psychological canine association with the closet is positive, and the three of us snuggled.

IMG_1073 IMG_1067 IMG_1053

After 45 minutes the storm blew over. Thirty-two hours later we got our power back and I threw away all the food in the refrigerator and freezer. Great opportunity to clean the fridge.

20 thoughts on “A Mortal Threat

  1. I love that you say it’s strangely beautiful because they are. I’ve been in two including the one in the photo. The sand can carry spores that cause Valley Fever so you definitely want to get indoors. Then you hope your house is insulated and sealed very well. I thought I should go into an interior room but houses in Scottsdale don’t really have interior rooms and besides, I wanted to watch. It’s like fog, you can watch it roll in but once you are enveloped, you can’t see a foot in front of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My granfather had a thing for thunder and lightning storms and loved to go out walking during a storm. I’m the same way. I’ve come really close to being struck by lightning twice so I have curtailed most of my storm walking (and my wife forbids it). We keep talking about getting an emergency kit for our place but so far it’s just talk.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s like having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You might never need to use it but if you do, you are SO happy it’s there.
      Ah, yes, the strange things our grandparents and parents teach us. My grandmother thought smoking cigarettes while playing Gin Rummy was required. YEARS after quitting she gave me shit every time we played about not wanting to smoke!
      Glad those two strikes missed you John, and I don’t blame your wife a bit!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. laura m

    Yikes! The sand storm, the lightening at your doorstep and the part about being married…..or not.

    Great pictures. The greatest picture of all was when i visualized you and your two dogs all snuggled together in that closet, eating treats.

    Liked by 2 people

Talk to me, ya'll!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s