Right. The lightening started off by sparking jaggedly across the sky. Thunder rumbled through the hot air making the loft and the entire condo shake. Having been trained by my husband to unplug the cord to the internet and turn off computers, televisions, air purifiers, fans, lights and a few other things, I watched the effects of more threatening lightening mark its path above me through the skylights.
I deftly gathered my cell phone, camera and headed down the winding staircase. I remained outwardly calm but I moved with purpose. I peeked out the balcony doors just as a huge lightening strike touched down in the schoolyard. I quickly allowed the blinds to fall back into place, an act which made me feel more secure. Hearing my Fathers words in my mind, “Close the windows, blinds, shades, drapes and keep away from the windows. Glass shatters.”
A minute later I had turned off the security in order to open the glass door. the cloud I had seen was a weird yellow and brownish hue, to the left of the condo. I waited with baited breath until I felt the lightening would hold off for a minute. I fumbled a bit unlocking the doors and sliding open the screen door. I bravely stepped out onto the wooden planking of the deck and aimed my camera. It had to be right now because the rain came out of the clouds as if the faucet had been turned on.
These clouds, big, horizontal and low overhead were beginning to rotate. The wind immediately whipped up and visibility was about fifteen feet. The trees were being bent into whirling circles and some of the branches were made to dance a freestyle to which they were not at all accustomed. Locking the doors and turning on the alarm I turned to the television set.
The lightening seemed to be inside the condo but I turned the set on anyway. Thank God for Doug Hill’s Live Doppler Satellite station! To my chagrin tornado warnings were issued, and the little whirling circles were definitely in my neck of the woods. “Great,” I thought “I’m way up in the sky and there really is no basement on the top floor.” Fortunately, the loft covers the ceilings of the dining room and kitchen downstairs so they are somewhat of a shelter. I recall pacing back and forth muttering prayers for protection and giving thanks that I was safe. Being human led me to continue reacting to the alarming tornado warnings, now posted on all major network channels. I mentally willed that huge cloud to go far away. Far, far away. The condo continued to echo the rumbles and the flashes of light.
My kitties surrounded me and followed my journey from room to room. The doppler station doesn’t have any sound, so when I switched channels, the volume was a startling sound which blended with the buzzing going on inside my head. The announcer was breaking in to tell us to immediately seek shelter and listing all of the precautions to help ensure public safety. To make it even more intense, the map was zoomed in via TV station, to display a huge circle with two inner circles turning in a frightening manner. I phoned immediate family to make certain they knew to stay out of the line of this storm and that if I went flying off into Kansas they would know I hadn’t left of my own accord.
In conclusion, the storm was quickly moving into other counties to my east and my area started looking much better. Whew! This scary stuff is for the birds. Long story short. Everything worked out alright and I purposely refused to watch the news because I did not want to know if there were any funnel clouds touching down. For goodness sakes … this is the nation’s capitol, not the midwest. Dorothy, even though I am wearing athletic shoes because I had to postpone my exercises, I am still clicking my heels together and saying the magic words, “There’s no place like home.”