North Texas had an unusually mild spring this year so far. Mother Nature noticed the oversight and decided to make up for lost time last night.
6 of us went out to a fawncy restaurant to celebrate my Mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. During the meal I could see a reflection of trees whipping around in a mirror across the room. The trees were not just blowing in one direction; they were whipping around like they were in a washing machine. That is never a good sign.
I started to get antsy but kept telling myself that it was just because I was with the in-laws. I even ordered a second gin & tonic which is unusual for me when dining with them. A little after 8:00 pm we stood outside saying our goodbyes. The wind came up and we were all standing there with our hair peaking up on top of our head like we were in a wind tunnel.
For the ride home we watched an impressive light show to the south, all kinds of spectacular but unusual strikes. Some that branched out horizontally across the sky. Others hit the ground and the rays were so wide it looked fake. Someone was photo shopping Mother Nature.
At home I was in a semi undressed state and Mr. Husband was without apparel when he came running out of the bedroom yelling “the sirens are going off.” I was in a sort of stupor and asked “what sirens?” He answered “the tornado sirens,” for once not rolling his eyes and giving me that “Well duh” look he excels in. I don’t know how he always hears them and I don’t. Must have been that 20 years of working in bars with music loud enough to rattle the fillings out of your teeth.
Of course a sort controlled pandemonium ensued. Where are the pets? Are they inside? Mr. Husband put some clothes on. He tends to respond to panic by dressing. I don’t blame him. If a tornado hits I don’t want to end up getting fished out of the rubble in my birthday suit. I grabbed my 2 most valuable possessions – my purse and laptop and put them in a handy place in case I had to grab them and take shelter.
Fortunately for us, but not so fortunate for those in the path of the tornado, it touched down south of Dallas in the Granbury area. Storm spotters said the tornado became huge with a mile wide funnel on the ground at one point, a real wrath of God type scenario. Some people reported hail the size of grapefruits. A chunk of ice that big could come crashing right through your roof and land on your coffee table.
This morning the news is reporting 12 dead and hundreds injured. The response of people rushing to help those who have lost everything but the clothes on their back is heartwarming.
This kind of disaster always reminds me that life is short. Grab it where you can and don’t waste time sitting around bemoaning your lot in life because it could get a hell of a lot worse in the blink of an eye.
Our love story starts out in 2003 with a man and his dog in Dallas, Texas and woman snowed in, in Kansas City, Missouri. I’m originally from Texas so the Kansas City winters were killing me. I hardly even went out to the store let alone dated. Mostly stayed at home and played online computer games. I wasn’t interested in romance at the time.
Meanwhile my husband to be was in Dallas taking his mini schnauzer for a walk. The dog, Willum, slipped his leash and ran off. Hubby to be took off after him tearing though yards and alleys. He stepped in a hole and blew out his Achilles tendon. A neighbor found the dog and brought him home. Hubby went to the hospital the next day for surgery to repair his ankle. He ended up in a wheelchair with a cast on his leg.
Months later still in a cast and going crazy from boredom, he decided to try online gaming for something to do. He found an obscure online multiplayer game and decided to try it. I was already playing that game. We met the very first night he was in the game. Somehow we hit it off and started talking. We discovered that we were both from Dallas and that he was male and I was female. An important fact to establish in a fantasy world.
It is a miracle that we met at all. Considering the fact that neither one of us was looking for a mate and neither of us left the house much. The cosmos decided to bring us together despite our every effort to remain single.
As the months went by we met and talked in the games for hours. Sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning. We graduated to talking on the telephone. About a year later we decided to meet in person. I flew from Kansas City to Dallas thinking I was crazy to do this but what the heck. He met me at the airport with a dozen yellow roses, my favorite. I can’t say it was love at first sight because we already loved each other’s brains and hearts. The seeing part was the last thing to happen in our chain of events.
We went out to a lovely seafood restaurant, Vincent’s, and had a nice dinner and then home to his house. No sooner did we walk in the door the phone rang. It was his father on the phone. Father was hysterical because mother had eaten some bad chicken and was violently ill. So our date ended abruptly with him leaving to take his mother to the emergency room. I watched TV on the sofa a dozed on and off until he came home at 3:00 am.
I had to get back to Kansas City for work on Monday. So that was our first date in a nutshell. His parents felt so bad about the disruption that they bought me a plane ticket to come back the next month. The next visit was in March. We talked about me moving home to Texas. I wanted to come home anyway. So we did some apartment shopping and I went home to Kansas City to think it over.
He told me much later that his parents and he decided that I was a keeper after I didn’t get upset because he left our date to tend to his mother. My feeling was that you have to respect a man who cares enough for his parents to end a first date to help them.
A month later the decision I made my decision. On April 15th ,2004, he hopped in his truck and drove to Kansas City to fetch me. In the meantime I packed up and sold everything that I wasn’t taking with me. With everything I owned crammed in the back of his truck and my little Mazda we drove back to Dallas the next day.
The trip back had a few minor glitches. By the time we got to the Dallas area it as dark and I ended up following the wrong truck and exited onto another freeway. He noticed that I wasn’t behind me and called me on my cell phone. We met up in the parking lot of a restaurant that we ate in on my previous visit because I knew where it was. We made it home without further incident.
I stayed at his house for a few weeks while we apartment shopped for me. Finally one day he said “I don’t want you to go, why don’t you just stay here.” That settled it. We’ve been together for 8 years now. We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary last week. We’ve had our ups and downs because real life is not the same as a fantasy game. But we still love each other more than ever. And that’s what counts.
PS: Forgot to credit the lady at http://wwwsohowdidyoumeet.blogspot.com for the idea for this post