Released on 4/22! Don’t forget to check it out!!

This has been a crazy week in Dallas as far as the weather is concerned. We’ve had so many severe storms these last two weeks, it’s been crazy!

I grew up in the Midwest in Springfield, Il which I call tornado alley. I was used to going into the basement plenty of times the minute we heard of an upcoming storm on the transistor radio because we had lost power.

When we lived in Sinking Spring, PA, tornados were not that common and I loved watching the storms advance. We lived on a higher elevation of a mountain and would stand on our deck and watch the storms without any fear of being hit. Once, are a/c unit was struck by lightning but that was about it.

Fast forward to Texas, the land of no basements and fast and furious storms. We have a closet underneath our staircase where we hang out when there is a tornado approaching. That’s it.  The realtor called it a ‘fraidy hole’. (For those of you who have read my first book, When the Runway West South, it is a fairly true story!)

Our first year down here, we witnessed a tornado touch down on the ranch behind our house. The ranch has two resident donkeys; George and Penelope. At first, we couldn’t understand why they were running around like crazy until we saw the tornado touch down briefly not far away from them. We ran into our closet and waited. We felt the house shake like crazy and wondered what was happening outside. We heard the rain pound on our windows and prayed they didn’t shatter. Minutes later, it was over. We came out of the closet (no pun intended) and saw the damage. Our fence was down, our patio furniture and our landscaping was in the pool and felt we had really bad luck.

It was only when we ventured out where we saw the funnel had touched down only yards away from a daycare, uprooting a tree, missing the daycare by mere feet, we then knew we were lucky. This was in 2009.

In 2011, another stormy spring season. This time it was hail. I’d never seen anything like it. It didn’t rain, it hailed. Golf ball sized hail for a good ten minutes. When we ventured out, our roof had been pummeled, our patio furniture shredded, our screens on our windows shredded and out a/c unit demolished. I am now petrified of storms. This is so not me who loves adventure but honest to God, I’ve been scared!

In 2012, my husband’s car was pummeled by hail. He works in another city in the Dallas area and his office is in a one story building, like a warehouse. They have no place to go when bad weather comes along, so they’ve made a deal with a nearby hotel. They still have to park in the open, but the employees can go to an inside meeting room to provide shelter. Everyone’s car was totaled, except ours. (It’s an old car and we wanted it to be declared totaled. They repaired it and it looked brand new.) One of his coworkers, who has three young children rides around in her SUV with bicycle helmets for her three children as well as one for herself in case of hail!

Then, for the last couple of years, we’ve been in a drought. I tell you, not any more! I’ve prepared my ‘fraidy hole for this upcoming season with fresh water, a battery operated radio and a flashlight. I remind you, this is a closet which can barely fit three people comfortably. The last time we used it, we started to drag other things in with us. Laptops, autographed pictures, collections of various items; it became a tight squeeze!

So when you hear about severe weather in the Dallas area, you know where you’ll find me…and then another plot is born based upon a true story!