Friday, May 27, 2011

Shelter from the Storm

While I'm not one to normally stress a great deal about storms, Wednesday seemed to be a different story.  I'm always concerned about the safety of my family and like a mother hen I tend to gather and protect, but normally, once I know I've done all I can do, I give it to God.  With the excessive news coverage and intense warnings for what seemed like impending tornadoes and significant damage though, I was more than on edge throughout the day.

Typically we ride the storms out in our home, and while it may not be the safest, you just feel at ease in your own house.  For this particular day's storm event however, I decided to seek shelter at my cousin's house which has a basement.  I'm sure she didn't plan on having a sleepover at her house when she left Wednesday morning but that's what happened. 

Feeling guilty for dumping half my house into her basement (for just one night), I brought loads of snacks and what I'd planned for us to have for dinner.  I figured she certainly wouldn't be prepared to feed a crowd.  We brought bbq pork, she made tacos, and it was a mini buffet by the time we laid out the spread. 

By dinner time, we had a house full and then some, blending four to five families for a total of a dozen or so hungry and nervous people.  Aside from our own families, we had her brother, his wife, their grown sonb and his family (including itty bitty cutie - Harmony) and Jen's mom, my Aunt Faye.  Why, it was a regular family reunion!

Although the air was filled with apprehension, I think everyone still managed to have a good time and enjoy each other's company.  The kids certainly knew no difference and were running up and down the stairs playing, while half of the adults hovered around the tv to watch the weather.  Even when we decided to seek shelter in the basement later that evening, to the kids it was like a giant slumber party.  Two rooms were transformed with sleeping bags, pillows, snacks, and arms and legs everywhere.  But, we were safe and we rode out the storm together.

Thankfully our area was spared from the massive damage that so many others have faced the past few weeks.  As I drove home to get a few hours sleep in my own bed, it wasn't until after I bowed my head in gratitude.  I felt blessed to have a home to come back to and to be surrounded by family who were all unharmed.  But I know there are thousands of others surrounded by chaos and heartache right now. 

While I don't pretend to understand to know the why to the pain we feel in this life, I do know it's only temporary.  Whatever you're facing, you can and will get through it.  To quote one of my newly favorite songs, "The pain reminds us that this is not our HOME."


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