Dream of: 17 March 2000 "Hold On!"

My wife Carolina and I were sitting in the living room of the Summerdale Drive House, watching the news on television. Apparently tornadoes had been spotted in the area. On the screen was an animated representation of about a dozen funnel clouds zigzagging through a residential area, hitting some houses and missing others. From the sound of the report, it looked as if the tornadoes might be headed in our direction.

I was alarmed because we had no basement in our house, and no safe place to hide. If a tornado hit the house, we would probably be killed. I was also concerned about my pet Dalmatian Picasso and my pet Dalmatian Chaucer, and I began to imagine what I would do in the aftermath of a tornado, if the house had been destroyed, but I were still alive. I would be most concerned with finding the dogs, much more so than any possessions which might have been lost in the house. I could just see myself walking through the devastated ruins of our street, trying to find Picasso and Chaucer.

I made a snap decision: I told Carolina we would all be safer if we were in the car instead of the house. She agreed, and together with the dogs, we hustled outside and boarded our Chevrolet Lumina, sitting in front of the house. We sat in the car a few minutes, as I again began visualizing what would happen if we were hit by a tornado. I envisioned the car being jostled about, while both of us desperately tried to hold onto the dog leashes, Carolina holding Chaucer, and me holding Picasso. I could see the danger of this: Carolina might try to hold onto Chaucer even if he were being carried away by the tornado, and she might also be pulled away with him. In such a case, I might have to cut Chaucer's leash, and let him go.

I was unsure what to do, but I finally decided we would be safer if we were moving, instead of just sitting in front of the house. Besides, I was concerned that the neighbors might wonder what we were doing just sitting out here like this.

Carolina, sitting in the driver's seat, started up the car and we headed off. I was sitting in the front passenger seat, more and more alarmed by the darkening skies. Finally, Carolina pulled onto the highway, with trucks and cars all around us. I kept an eye on the sky in front of us, and suddenly I hollered out to Carolina that I thought I could see the thin line of a funnel cloud straight ahead. Before she could respond, we were deluged by thick rain, so dense we couldn't see.

Carolina obviously couldn't continue. Sensing that I must act quickly, I squeezed in behind her into the driver's seat, grabbed the steering wheel, as she slipped over to the passenger side. As soon as I had control of the car, I saw we were in a desperate situation. I couldn't see anything outside the car. I knew trucks and cars were all around us, and I finally managed to see a few lights of the other vehicles. Suddenly I realized Carolina hadn't turned on the lights of our car, and with an exasperated voice, I cried out to her that the lights weren't even on.

Suddenly it didn't make much difference. We were struck by a gale of water, and somehow the water flooded through the windows into the car. I knew that this was it, that we had been hit by the tornado. All I could do was holler out, "Hold on!"

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