I was midway through Yoga X -- I think I was on tree pose standing on one leg with the other leg bent and my foot placed against my inner thigh as my hands reached up toward the ceiling -- when I noticed that the light outside had faded. That's when the trees began to rustle and the leaves pulled as if trying to escape their fastening to branches. The limbs bent with the wind then whipped back.
I stepped onto the front porch and looked up at the patch of sky I could see. Gray clouds raced past but I couldn't see the horizon and the storm clouds piling up. I returned to yoga.
As I attempted a cat stretch, I heard gusts of wind whip through the trees and my phone rang.
"What's it doing there?" asked my husband who was a few miles away downtown.
"Blowing," I said. "Is there a tornado warning?"
Last week we had a surprise tornado warning and the weather service reported eight tornadoes in the state.
Just as Earl was giving me the weather report, Spencer slammed in the back door cursing the car.
"The door won't close," he said. "I had to drive home holding onto the door and I almost died."
"You have to fix it," he bellowed at me.
"Look at me. I'm 5-foot, 4. How can I fix it if you can't?" I asked.
He continued to rant and I told him to come with me. The sky was grayish purple as I knelt down to look at the car door. The latch that usually opened to release the door was stuck closed. I poked at the metal latch while Spencer talked on the phone to Earl and the thunder began to rumble.
Spencer handed me the phone and Earl went into a long explanation while lightning speared from the sky. Spencer and I winced and I ran into the garage to get a tool --something sharp and metal to pry the latch with. I always look for something metal to hold while I'm standing outside in a thunderstorm.
The latch wouldn't budge. I held the phone in one hand and pried at the metal latch with the other. Then the tornado sirens began to whine.
I handed the phone to Spencer. The car was parked behind the garage which slants down toward the alley. The driver's side was on the downhill so the unlatched door was hanging open blocking the way of other cars that might come down the alley.
"I'm going to turn the car around so the door isn't in the alley," I told Spencer. Make sure the door doesn't hit the garage."
He stood next to the garage as I began maneuvering the car.
A tan canvas umbrella that usually shades our neighbor's outdoor table came soaring over her wrought iron fence and landed in the alley.
"Grab the umbrella," I called to Spencer through the open door; the tornado sirens continued to screech.
I saw Spencer struggle with the umbrella and the neighbor joined him while I turned the car into a partial driveway and backed out then pulled forward and backed out, holding onto the car door the whole time.
I pulled the car in behind the garage and the slant kept the driver-side door closed.
"Go to the basement," I told Spencer while I exchanged dire storm warnings with the neighbor.
After huddling in the basement for half an hour and watching on TV as the pink, red, yellow and orange colored radar passed the city, we came back upstairs to a little rain and a few sticks in the yard.
September is not supposed to be tornado season. Tornado season stretches through the spring and June. Two tornado warnings in a week as we enter autumn must mean that something is up with the weather.
If it weren't so beautiful and thrilling, I'd be tired of it.
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