Thursday, September 22, 2005

Safe from the Storm

Last night we had a huge thunderstorm come through the Twin Cities and even a few tornadoes and some hail the size of a tennis ball. Most of the time the biggies peter out by the time they hit the metro area and all we get is a lot of rain, lightning and thunder. The TV weather people around here live for this kind of thing and all the local stations had interrupted regular broadcasting to pant with excitement about their spiffy radar images. I can understand why people begin to not take severe weather seriously--the news hypes it, nothing happens over and over again so why should we believe them this time? The storm was still outside the metro area and we expected the usual to happen, so we popped in the tape we made from Tuesday night of Dancing with the Stars that we had to miss because of book group. We got about 15 minutes into it and heard the sirens go off. We never hear the sirens at our house given that we live close enough to the Minneapolis/St Paul airport that my husband sometimes picks up radio chatter from the planes on his Apple G5. So when we heard the sirens we turned on the television and decided that it would be good to spend some time in the basement. On with the long pants and the shoes, the lights start to flicker, grab the flashlights, where is the cat? And in all of this I am also thinking, must get my reading glasses and what book should I take with me? I paused to look at the books on my bedside table and then realized that our library is in the basement so I'd have plenty to read. I don't know why I thought I would need something to read since we had the radio on listening to storm reports. If the power was going to go I certainly wouldn't be reading by flashlight. And if our maple tree crashed through our roof or a tornado landed on top of us I'd certainly have other things to worry about. So down I went without a book, but was comforted by the presence of the library. We made it through the storm just fine. The worst of it stayed north of downtown. We got lucky. But I've been thinking about why I needed a book with me. I've decided that a book is a talisman; as long as I have a book with me everything will be okay. And because I believe that, I can then relax and focus on the situation instead of let the stress get the better of me. My rational mind knows that a book will not save me from a disaster. But to the rest of my mind, a book is the best security blanket there is.