The moon is growing. Weather is chilling. Combines are droning. Fall is here. I love this season. I guess I better get into the tornado shelter that exists under our front porch and find a few autumn accessories although I am not much into decorating these days. The door in my office opens into the shelter. Unfortunately when we moved in almost 13 years ago, the house was not quite done yet, and so we used the shelter to store stuff. It has been a storage spot ever since, but hopefully if we ever needed it in case of a tornado, there would be room for anyone in the house.
We probably have a tornado shelter because of Gerald’s close friend Bobby Sanders. Bobby had been in a tornado or two. Those winds can topple the big semis that Bobby drove back in those days, so he was quite conscious of tornado danger. When he and Kathryn moved to Crab Orchard, they built a tornado shelter in their back yard and tolerated some laughter from locals. But when the tornado destroyed a large part of
in 1982 and headed straight towards Crab Orchard, Bobby and Kathryn had a lot
of visitors crowding into that shelter with them. Marion
I can still see Mary Ellen coming down the stairs from her bedroom at Pondside Farm in 1982 telling us what the radio had just announced. My first thought was to call Gerry and Vickie to get them and baby
out of their mobile home lying in the tornado’s potential path. When they
joined us at Pondside Farm, a road or two away, we all stood in the side yard
and watched the tornado from a distance.
It was a sad and scary time with many deaths, and the tornado’s path
looking like a war zone. I could not get
over how shredded the left-behind debris was.
So when we built this house and Bobby reminded Gerald to be sure to put
in a tornado shelter, we were not hard to persuade.
Even though the more recent tornado came through just a very few miles south of us, we have never had to use the space for refuge. But I am glad it is there and grateful for the storage area. At first, water began to drip from the cold concrete porch floor that was the ceiling, so Gerald quickly covered it with insulation and solved that problem. I try to remember to frequently run the dehydrator a couple of hours and empty out the water container when it fills up, so mold is never a problem.
Where else would I put the old trunk from my childhood that holds the mane of my horse Ginger when it was trimmed once? Or my first grown-up pair of hose for eight grade graduation? And letters from old boyfriends? And lots of letters tied with ribbon from Gerald during our engagement? I would like to re-read those someday, but the old trunk is topped with boxes, so I may never get around to that. Elsewhere in the midst of empty boxes and saved stuff are plastic Easter eggs bought on sale for a potential egg hunt, sweet little pumpkins made of brown metal wire, and a little straw man that Kimberly brought once that her dad George Wright sent to me, and scads of stuff I need to go through and throw away.
Now I best resist the temptation to go in there and start reminiscing and get something seasonal to put on the front door and welcome fall to Woodsong.