Fear brings storms of emotion

 I am scared of many things but for some reason storms aren’t one of those things. Storms actually do the opposite for me. They make me calm and I usually sleep really well during a storm. There are others in my family who are the complete opposite. First when my grandmother, Mimi, was alive she was terrified of storms. She wouldn’t go near the windows, get on the phone or get in the bathtub. In fact she got so upset that she inflicted her fear on the cat. I really didn’t know this great nugget of information until after she passed and I inherited her animals. Her cat was a great big macho orange tabby. He was king of the house and everyone knew it. I bet he weighed almost twenty pounds. The first storm that blew in after we had all settled into my grandmother’s house was an afternoon spring or summer storm. I was going along with my day and really wasn’t paying much attention to the rain then I realized that “Bo” the cat was pacing in the hallway. At first I thought he was being silly or had found something in there to play with. He just kept passing the hallway door, right to left and then left to right, over and over again. After a little bit I went to investigate. I couldn’t find anything he might be playing with, so I walked over to him and rubbed his head. As I turned to walk back into the den, he meowed at me. Not his normal meow but one from deep within his soul. So I looked at him and said, “Hey, it’s ok,” and tried to turn back around again but then he just meowed more. Back and forth, meowing over here and over there. His pace got faster as the storm began to really heat up. At the first loud clap of thunder, I was surprised he didn’t jump up in the air and land in my arms. This cat was really wigging out. I picked him up and laid him on my couch where we sat under a blanket until all was calm outside. It is so strange to me that out of all the things my grandmother could have given to another living being it was her fear of storms to her cat. Go figure that! The other person who is truly afraid of storms is my sister, Tara. She always has been. When she was little she would get in bed with me when storms began at night. I don’t know if the thunder or her constant moving around keep me up all night. I vote her moving around cause she was a terrible wiggle worm. But the funniest storm story that I remember from her was after she had children and was all grown up. Tara was at home one night with my nephews Tanner and Jon-Albert. Her husband worked at night so he was gone. Cleveland was having some rain but the worst of the storm was north in DeSoto County where she lives. Sometime during the early night, Tara calls me on the phone and whispers to me to put the TV on something that showed their weather. I did and they were under a tornado watch. After I changed the television, I thought how is this helping her. So I asked, why do you need me to do this? Her response was that she and her kids were in the closet and couldn’t see the TV so she wanted me to keep her informed. Ok, so the second thought went through my mind was by the time I hear what is going on there, wouldn’t it already have started to happen and be too late to warn her? Me being the good older sister, I kept that thought to myself. So she gets off the phone and I go on with whatever it was I was doing but she called again. This time she told me which closet she was in, just in case the emergency people needed to know. Then she proceeded to tell me that she had written my name and Mama’s on both her kids back with a Sharpe along with an address and contact number. I tried to reassure her that everything was going to be fine. After I hung up with her, it all seemed kind of funny. It was funny because everyone was safe but I suppose that really would have been smart if the house had gotten blown to smithereens by a tornado. To this day though it gives me a chuckle, I guess mostly because I have never felt that kind of fear from storms. I just have this image of these two boys in a field with no shirts and people reading their backs. I have felt fear though and it is a powerful emotion. It certainly will make you upset and crazy, trust me there are many frogs, spiders and other critters that have seen me wig out about them visiting. Caroline Laster is an employee of The Bolivar Commercial. She may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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