Until I was in the third grade, my family and I lived in a single wide mobile home out in the country. We also lived in Alabama, in an area notorious for tornadoes. I remember several times getting up at night to go to the “storm cellar,” as we called it then.

We lived next to my grandparents, and I remember the phone ringing and the late night knocks on the door from my Granny, who’d inform us that everyone was “going to the cellar.” The storm cellar was at my great-grandmother’s house, who lived on the other side of use and down the road. It was an outdoor, underground shelter in the backyard. Someone would always bring a radio, and before we knew it, there’d be seven or eight people in there. Me, Momma and Daddy, Granny and Grandpa, MimMaw, and my great aunt and uncle. We’d be there down for an thirty minutes to an hour until the storm passed over. Then it was back to sleep safely and soundly in my own bed.

In about the middle of the third grade, we moved into a house – with a full basement, so storms weren’t that much of a concern anymore. Not that we didn’t have to use the basement occasionally.

Now that I am married, Daniel and I have resorted to getting in a closet when it gets really bad. I suppose it’s better than nothing, but it’s definitely not a basement or a storm cellar.


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