Friday, July 11, 2008

An Iowa brand of fear (and other oddities)

If you know anything about the mert, it's that I grew up with hurricanes on the east coast in Maryland (off of the Chesapeake Bay), and experienced my first earthquake a week after being transfered to Oakland , California while in the Navy. Yeah, I'm talking about the big one that collapsed the Bay Bridge, the very bridge that we had been on only 10 minutes before it collapsed?

But I digress... What I mean to say is that though living through a hurricane is no fun, though surviving it surely is pleasant and wanted, as is learning to not have a nervous break down from each little tremor while living in the Bay Area for 12 years. But this tornado business is a fresh new hell for me.

I've been living in Iowa for almost 7 years now, and I can truly say that I am blessed to live in an area that is not commonly the birth place or destruction zone for them. Usually they tend to wander all around us in different towns, usually different counties.

Three nights ago, I had a horrible dream in which I saw a tornado coming and screamed for John to help me get the kids inside to the basement, and in the dream a tornado struck our house and pulled me up through the dining room floor as my family watched in horror. Even in the midst of a nightmare my corny humor escapes, because the tornado left , and left me stuck in the dining room floor, with my feet hanging over my family while I hung there wedged in the floor.

At least I made it, right? I have had dreams where I have died and let me tell you, it puts a damper on the rest of your week. SNORT!

The oddities start here. Emma had a nightmare the next night (2 nights ago) about a tornado and slept restlessly all night, waking up almost every hour crying. Now it is very possible that she had nightmares because she heard me telling John about my dream (later in the dream I was chased by the Headless Horseman LOL!). But I have had dreams that have come true before : my brother getting into a car accident, my mother thinking about killing herself, and weird tidbits that later turn into de ja vu moments. I once told my brother -when we were kids- that I had a dream the night before about the very mall we were sitting in, that a lady with a certain colored shirt and color of hair in heels was going to trip on the escalator and fall. Just as I was telling him, he looked over to the escalator and it happened just as I described. They don't happen a lot and I only have them every couple of years, but I do take extras precautions when I have dreams like that, to the best of my human ability. I have had "feelings" in the past that have come true as well (winning money in Vegas and Tahoe, the airline losing my luggage, about my mother thinking about killing herself etc.). If only I had a "feeling" about winning the lottery... but no such luck.

Recently, before we even bought our pool, I had a dream that Emma drowned in a pool. I seriously considered not buying a pool, but resolved to be as anal retentive and careful as ever with Emma being outside near the pool. These dreams unfortunately add another layer of neurosis to my character, but what can I do?

The biggest problem I have with admitting stuff like this is the fact I realize how nutty and fruit cake-y this makes me sound, especially considering the fact that my very own mother is a legally documented and certified Coo coo for Cocopuffs nut case.

Anyway, yesterday was not the case (as far as tornadoes missing us), and we had a tornado headed right for us. Naturally, I was terrified, and a little spooked that Emma and I had both dreamed about tornadoes. We went to the basement after the first siren, meanwhile Anna was close to tears as I set up a corner of the basement with sleeping bags to huddle on in case we needed it. The second horn sounded and I announced that we all needed to go to that corner, as I watched the doppler read out of the storm over top of us on my laptop... and PRAYED. I kept the girls occupied with games on their Nintendo DS's, while I paced and prayed for our safety (and John's at work), and prayed that not only the tornado pass over us completely but that it dissipate into nothing but beautiful fluffy clouds so that no one be harmed.

All I can say is that those dreams made pray even harder, and if I am getting those dreams for a reason, then I'll take it. I'm going to say that it wasn't my neurotic behavior taking over, but feeling the gravity and seriousness of the situation combined with our dreams that made me face it with subdued terror and fervent prayer. ;)

I know a lot of people in my town were praying because the tornado did dissipate and the tornado warning was called off early just shortly after the tornado was supposed to hit our town... the greenish-gray clouds giving way to partly cloudy but sunny skies.

I've never seen the sky look so blue, and I had a new appreciation for the power of God and the power of prayer.

Oh, and I'm really glad the Headless Horseman never showed up. ;)


Holly Schwendiman said...

Oh my goodness I'd be a wreck! I'm glad you're all okay. Disasters of any kind really take their toll. And I too am glad the headless horseman didn't make an appearance!


Factor 10 said...

Well, I have to say, the headless horseman would have been the coolest way to end that day, but yikes!
Do the ones that come true in one form or another feel any different when you wake up?

I've always missed the big earthquakes out here-always in the other part of the state. The first one I went through with kids of my own had me completely freaked, because suddenly there was a lot more at stake.

Glad you guys are okay!

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

I completely freak out when those tornado sirens sound here too!! I don't blame you for feeling how you do about the storms. I also have had a few de ja vu moments in my life but never anything quite like some of your dreams-come-true you described, WOW!! I'm so glad the tornado disappeared and you guys are all ok! We are in the same type of city that seems to have tornadoes always hit in areas all around us but not right in our city...hopefully that will always be the case!

Pamela said...

clipppity clippity clippity clippity clop clop clop......fades into distance.

hee hee

Pamela said...

I would never discount dreams -- I woke up one night many years ago because I was sure my very best friend was screaming my name.

I called her the next morning - and her husband had been struck by lightning during the night. (he survived!)