By Sheila Squillante

June 27, 2016


When I was a little girl, younger than you are now, I shared a bedroom with Aunt Catherine, who was still a baby. Grandpa was gone on business and Grandma took us to the Gardner's house. They had a little boy who was my age, so we played in the driveway next to their garage. It started to rain and we heard on the radio there could be tornadoes, so we went home. It was raining very hard and our lights went out. I don’t like that. I know you don’t. I stood in front of my bedroom window watching the sky turn a pretty dark purple. I couldn’t hear birds anymore, but I could hear, far away but coming closer, the sound of a train. Was that the tornado? Yes. And then Grandma yelled at me to get away from the window. She scooped Aunt Catherine out of her crib. We didn’t have a basement, so we had to stay in the hallway until the storm passed. It was the safest place. Did Grandpa know? Yes, Grandma talked to him on the phone, stretching the long white cord from the kitchen wall all the way down to the hallway. What did she say? I don’t remember. Was he worried? Yes. I’m sure he was, yes. Did the tornado come? No, it missed us, but hit the towns all around. Did the tornado come? Yes, and Grandma laid her body on top of us as the house shook and shook.


Photo "Angry Sky" by Chris Butterworth, via Flickr's Creative Commons license.

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