TORNADO SEASON–What Would You Grab?

Tornado season is upon us, earlier than usual and already causing destruction in the Midwest.  Are we prepared for the inevitable bleeping of the weather radio?  Severe weather warnings are as predictable as daffodils in Spring.  If enough advance warning is given, what will I grab in my flight to the basement? 

CLUTTER OR TREASURE?

These cluttered units don’t look like treasure chests, but they hold years of painstaking labor and irreplaceable family history–scrapbooks, picture albums, newspaper clippings, and documents of genealogical history.  I wouldn’t be able to save it all, but there are a few albums identified as “can’t part with.” 

Because my cluttered work area holds so many priceless articles, I actually keep a large basket here, ready for transport.  This is the third floor.  Although our barn home has already weathered over one hundred springs, the top floor under the roof is susceptible in a direct hit.  So, the basket is ready to load with precious cargo bound for the basement–three Bibles that chronicle my spiritual walk with personal study notes, irreplaceable reference books, and out-of-print Christian literature that has changed my life.   

Also bound for the basket is an accordion file perched on another desk.  This file contains the hard-copy record of the Christian fiction novels I have written with records of publishing and printing and one paperback copy of each book in print. Some of this information is on a hard drive, but precious response letters and personal feedback are not.  Besides, I’m not completely sure I have gotten all the important information on flash drives that have made it to my “secure” location. I was raised hard copy and its a difficult habit to break and an even more difficult thing to keep up with.  Writing is a work in progress; daily revisions do not always make it to a tornado-safe location.  There will be loss, if the computer takes off in a F4.  It is some comfort that a few flash drives and original legal papers are stored below ground level already. 

Late last year, I completed a project long on my TO DO list–a pictorial inventory of our home and contents.  I haven’t yet gotten the files onto a flash drive, but I’ve been known to take the external hard drive temporarily to our poured concrete basement…if the threat looks severe. 

If all this preparation seems excessive and even lacking in faith for a Christian woman, I suppose one could look at it that way.  Rather, I look at it as a healthy respect for God’s creation and weather patterns in Illinois.  But if destruction does come to our little corner of the world, I will testify to a truth all survivors identify.  If my loved ones are spared, it is enough.

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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