Thunderstorms were predicted for yesterday, and the sky was turning dark as my husband and I finished our shopping and left the store.

“Something nasty is coming,” I said, “and it’s more than just a thunderstorm.”

When you grow up in the Midwest, as we both did, you get to know the smell and feel of what we call “tornado weather.” It doesn’t mean a tornado is definitely coming, but it means the conditions are right for one to develop.

The sky continued to darken and it started to drizzle, but we got home before the heavy rains hit. Late in the afternoon, a tornado watch was declared for our county and many others in the surrounding area.

Over the years, we’ve seen a few tornadoes up close and personal, including one that demolished the neighborhood we were living in at the time. So we know what to do, how to prepare, and where to go – the basement – if a tornado watch turns into a tornado warning. The biggest problem for us was that our new house doesn’t have a basement.

We determined where the safest place would be, then we gathered up blankets, flashlights, our cell phones – with emergency alerts programmed in – and a few bottles of water. After depositing them in our “safe room,” we went back to our normal activities, keeping a close eye on weather reports for the rest of the evening.

The tornado watch ended at 10:00, and we went to bed shortly after that. No storms awakened us during the night, and we woke up to a gray but quiet morning.

That’s how it is in life, isn’t it? Storms – or the threat of a storm – come up regularly. We prepare for them as best we can, and shield ourselves against them when they occur. Some are mild and short-lived. Some are severe and devastating. Some that we prepare for never even develop, or they shift directions and bypass us completely. And then we wake up to a new day. Sometimes it’s warm and bright, often it’s still gray and gloomy. But eventually, the sun comes out.

Whenever circumstances in our lives change, as they did for us when my husband retired and we moved to a different part of the country, we have to develop new plans and precautions in order to prepare for different storms that may hit us – in any area of our lives. We can’t predict what or when they may come, but the more we learn and look ahead, the better able we are to deal with them. And the more ready we will be to weather any storm.

April 28, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017