Friday, February 5, 2016


It was a dark and stormy night.

No, really, it was.

My SAFE-T-Net app began sending weather alerts on Saturday before the storm broke Tuesday evening. My daughter suggested I leave earlier than usual to avoid the wind, rain and lightning. I was hesitant to leave at all, because I worry about my animals when tornadoes are a possibility. One of my dogs is afraid of thunder and always makes her way to my side when she hears it. But by this time, I was packed and dressed, So off I went.

The wind started howling and the rains started pouring before I reached Amanda's house, which is an hour from mine. But the worst part came after bedtime.

Batman could have protected us!
Amanda has a two-story home with a basement. Bedrooms are on the uppermost floor, and Gabriel wanted to sleep in the basement playroom. It has a futon and a daybed at one end. We should have heeded his pleas. Around 1:30 A.m. the winds really picked up and the lightening made his bedroom look like a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. We heard Amanda and Daniel moving around, and all met in the hallway. We decided to head on down.

Gabriel and I grabbed blankets and pillows, I picked up my purse and iPad, and Daniel carried the still-asleep three-year-old. Amanda grabbed a sleeping bag, or maybe it was already downstairs. Recalling college fire drills, I kept saying, "We need hard-soled shoes," and spent precious minutes looking for mine.

Just as we were drifting off to sleep, my cell phone rang. It was 2:10 A.M. A phone call at that time is always scary, more so with a storm raging. I almost swallowed my tongue when I realized it Tamburello Protection, my security company. The night dispatcher said the company had received a break signal from my front door. (Yes, they can pinpoint the spot.) Was anyone home or supposed to be going in? No, I replied. So they said they would dispatch the sheriff's office. If there was a problem, such as a break-in, I would hear back in 45-minutes to an hour. If there was no problem, I would hear nothing. "Surely a burglar wouldn't try a home invasion on a night like this," I kept repeating to myself.

I warned the dispatscher to tell the sheriff's department about my aggressive dog, who had tried to bite the last deputy who checked on a false alarm when I wasn't home. I  tossed and turned as I waited for the dreaded call. Had someone actually broken in, or had the winds pushed the door open? Were my animals okay? My house? Would I have to drive home to check on the situation in the middle of this storm? Needless to say, none of us slept much that night.

The next night, when I returned home, I drove to the barn to make sure my critters hadn't been felled by a tree or struck by lighting. The were okay, so I fed them and drove to the house. When I pulled up, my dogs came out to meet me, indicating they were fine. Whew! Once inside, I heard my alarm panel beeping. It was flashing an FD reading, meaning, "front door."  When I checked, I was relieved to find it wasn't wide open. I remembered having locked it, but apparently hadn't bothered to actually push it completely closed. I wouldn't say it was ajar, but it was what you might call, "loose." I remedied that. 

I slept much better that night.

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