We dropped off the kiddos and drove with our windows open and hair blowing in the wind toward the vintage hotel we love. We made it, by God's grace, to nineteen years of marriage and we were going to celebrate in style. Lunch on the patio, a swim in the salt water pool, a dip in the outdoor spa with cascading ivy over rockery and we were relaxed. Love was in the air.
I crashed onto the king-sized bed and Terry flipped on the weather channel. We'd heard of an impending storm and we wanted to check its status. Low and behold, the entire Golden Horseshoe was under tornado warning--not watch--but warning. We called my mom to make sure they were battening down the hatches and when all seemed well, we went to town for ice cream.
The sky was glorious!
With rolling thunder and low, heavy clouds with finger-like striations, it was obvious we were about to be in the thick of it. We finished our ice creams and headed back to the hotel where we stood outside marveling even more.
At 9 p.m., a deafening clap of thunder sounded and the hotel fire alarm went off--a shrilling siren. We felt that it was due to the storm only, and waited a few minutes. When the staff began to call up and down the hallways for guests to gather in the front lobby, we obeyed. Underneath the huge, glass roof we stood while clouds swirled above us and firefighters dashed through the crowds, completing their checklist before the alarm could be turned off. Guests smiled and talked loudly over the noise of how funny the whole experience was until...
the alarm went off again at 1 a.m.! Slow-moving, pyjama and robe-clad people filled the lobby once again. This time, hardly anyone spoke. We wondered if this would go on all night.
We awoke the next morning to beautiful sunshine and an anniversary story for the kids. They had their own stories of power-outages, flashlights, a cancelled bus-trip for Meg to a place that ended up being terribly damaged, and a tree falling on Mama and Papa's trailer. There had been some destruction to several homes and businesses but we were thankful our home and nurseries suffered little.
My husband turned toward me and pulled me in close. We kissed and conferred about celebrating twenty years of marriage. Let the adventure begin!