Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Last night, I finally decided to be a good girl and go to bed at a somewhat decent hour. I seem to always stay up past 1:00a.m. the night before my mon and wed 8a.m. class, and feel so terribly tired the next morning. I actually completed my homework in time too! But low and behold, if my own procrastination doesn't hold me back from getting enough sleep, then surely a natural disaster has to get me out of bed. I had officially fallen asleep sometime around 11:30p.m. when the storm outside started to get pretty violent. We had heavy rain and strong wind. It was thundering and lightening. Next thing I know, I hear sirens in my sleep. Something is telling me, "Wake up! Something's wrong!" Then, a pound on my apartment door brings me jumping straight out of bed. I run out of the bedroom, and Ross is talking to the neighbor asking where we should go. I realize the tornado sirens are going off in our town and we have to take cover! I'm half asleep and as I reach for a pair of tennis shoes, I decide it would be a much quicker and better decision to simply slip on my rain boots.

Ross is running around still doing, who knows what, and I'm like, "Ross it could be here now! We have to get out of here you idiot!" (hey I've been woken straight out of my sleep and I'm groggy and trying to get it together in an emergency!) I shut off the heater, look around and yell at him to get his butt out the door! The girls across the hall emerge in their sweats and jammies, and we all run down the back stairway outside. The girls who live upstairs with us, run into a side entrance to the bottom level apartments. As I running against the wind, it's so strong that I feel like I'm fighting to move forward. Everything is dark and gray. The rain is pouring, and my heart is pounding. I've never felt fear like that before.

The girls upstairs had apparently banned on the door of someone who lives below, and he just so happened to be up doing homework, and he let us all in. He was a college student. How nice of him to let seven complete strangers into his apartment. We all sat on the floor in the kitchen against the wall. We listened to the rain and wind pound against our building. The sound of a train echoed in the background. "They say tornado's sound like a train," I say shaking, holding my tennis shoe in my hand that I apparently forgot to set down in my rush to get out the door. I hold it up and we all laugh, nervously. Everyone is on their cell phones, texting people trying to find out what's going on. Ross brought his i-pod touch so he could see where the tornado was. It was heading our way.

The sweet girl who lives across the hall from me was shaking too. I could tell she was a scared as I was. We all start talking about our apartment building. How we can't open the windows unless they are propped up by cans of soup, how the ceilings and walls are so thin they can hear someone sneeze in another apartment, how the hallways and stairs have been swept once this year, and spiders are building homes in the corners of the stairs.

"Who's living here next year," the single guys asks who lives upstairs with us.
Only the girl who likes to party tells us all that she is staying. One girl is graduating, the rest of us are moving somewhere quieter.
"I want a cat," I say looking at Ross who knows that's not the reason we are moving, but a plus nonetheless. Our apartment isn't pet friendly. But I also can't wait to not live on main st. where the trucks are so loud going over the train track, people drunkenly yell to one another outside walking to and from the bars, the bar music is loud and we can hear it in our apartment, the train is super loud when it goes by, we share washers and dryers and can't do our laundry whenever we want to, we have no counter space in the kitchen, we have to run our space heater because the gas heater sets off the fire alarm if we use it, the carpet is old and ugly, our screens suck and bugs get it. but...

In the light of devastating events that happen all over, tornados elsewhere that did real damage, natural disasters around the world, I know that at the end of the day, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes on my back and family and friends who are there for me. I know I do have a lot to be grateful for. But it doesn't hurt to be excited to live somewhere that I can study in a peaceful environment, and be able to sleep at night. When it's too loud to do those things, it does bring stress to ones life.

But most of all, I am grateful the storm passed us and we were alright. Others weren't so lucky in other states this month. So we have to count our blessings.

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