Sad to say, I’m kind of dreading the summer. Oh, I look forward to blue skies, green grass, and not having to warm up the car before I go anywhere. I’m excited about not having to bundle Kitten up in 80 layers to go out, and I am really looking forward to getting some more use out of our wading pool and playing with the neighbourhood kids. I’m ecstatic about having the windows open, about long days, about trips to the park or to the local wading pools. I am thrilled about the thought of taking walks, using the air conditioning and enjoying Jumbo Freezies again.
But I am petrified of what this summer is going to bring. Last summer we had a lot of “severe weather”, basically bad thunderstorms with the possibility of tornadoes. What you need to understand is that we haven’t had a tornado in this town in 20 years. I vividly remember the last one. My sister slept through it, and I thought that we were all going to die, without a doubt. We hid in our basement, and rode it out. I’m sure it was only for an hour or two, but I don’t really have any concept of time. As you may have guessed – we survived. We were lucky – our house survived with little wind damage and our car just had hail damage. Our neighbourhood was mostly undamaged, but the next one over had some damaged, and different parts of the city were flattened. It was very scary for me, and I honestly remember that day so vividly.
During my teen years and even in my early 20’s, I didn’t worry too much about severe weather. The biggest storm that worried me before last year, was when there was a flash flood, and I was certain that my ground level apartment would be under a few inches of water (it wasn’t). Last summer was horrible. We had wind storms. We had thunderstorms. I was constantly on my laptop, checking the weather network for updates, again and again. I would sweat thinking about it (although – how could you tell? I was 9 months pregnant and in a heat wave). I felt nauseated and out of control. I cried.
I’d like to blame a lot of my reactions on hormones. I’m hoping that this year I’m not nearly so weather-phobic, that I can go back to going about my day, with the weather raging on outside, and me and my family being safe inside. Even now, I feel like I want to throw up just thinking about it, and I honestly had a little cry about it last night. Why am I wrestling with this now? We’re still under 3′ + of snow, and warm weather isn’t anywhere in our future.
I’m hoping that as summer nears, that I will be able to get this better under control. I know that there are a few things that will help me.
- If we can get our basement finished (or at least usable) I will feel better. Last summer we weren’t able to just go hang out downstairs because the insulation in the walls was partially ripped out, and there is basic framing up – the cats would have destroyed the place. So, by having the basement done, we can just go down there and watch TV. I’ll at least feel somewhat safe then.
- I’m hoping that the warm weather and being busy with a moving baby will help me stay distracted.
- The houses behind us where under construction last year, which meant that there was debris flying around in the wind last year, not to mention that the houses were tarped and prepared for siding, but the tarping would flap around and make a lot of scary noises.
- I am planning on getting an emergency kit together, with a battery operated radio, flashlight, water, etc. so in case we do have to make a run for it to the basement, I won’t have to run around the house trying to get stuff together.
- I am really really hoping and praying that a lot of my freaking out last year was somewhat triggered by hormones. I think that part of me was so stressed about going into labour during a storm (which is apparently pretty common, as barometric pressure changes can cause your water to break) and having to go to the hospital and abandoning the house and the cats.
I am so grateful that I don’t live in a tornado zone. I’m not sure how I would function with that. I know that most people have proper under ground tornado shelters, and in some way I think I would feel better with that (I’ve been joking with Rob about putting one in our back yard before we do our landscaping, and he thinks I’m batpoo insane). You have a specific place to go that is outfitted for such an event. There’s no guess work – you just grab what you need to and run. Here, we just hope and pray that our floor doesn’t collapse in on us and hurt us.
Again, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get over this soon. I don’t want to live this summer with high anxiety. And even though I’ve been praying for a cool, wet summer (sorry Mom!), I think that this is something that I might actually need to deal with. There may come a time when I really need to have my wits about me, and if I’m freaking out, who will protect Kitten?