When destiny, choice, opportunity or circumstance finds you living in an area of the United States known as “tornado alley”, particularly at this time of the year, inclement weather including severe thunderstorms, damaging hail and tornadoes become things that you expect to experience. The day can start with deep blue, cloudless skies and transform into overcast, cold, windy, rainy evenings as signals of even worst things to come. Yesterday was such a day and early on, the local tv stations were spreading the news of impending “doom” and gloom as radars followed a severe storm that was moving into and across the state. Like a long, wide blade of yellow, orange, red sprinkled with swirls to indicate where tornadoes might be forming, the images filled the screen, no matter which station you switched to. Scenes, somewhat obscured as they were recorded through the windshields of the stormchasers showed flashes of lightning, trees leaning away, as if in retreat ,from the force of the wind, debris flying to destinations unknown, and occasionally a telephone pole, snapped in half and flying like a kite, held only by the wires it used to support before tasting the wrath of Mother Nature. As we followed the news, switching from time to time to a different channel, our little Shih-Tzu’s debated on whether going outside was feasible or not. Sophie sat at the front door, scratching the storm door with one paw, and then the other until I finally stood up and let her out. But I think Ishi (the male) had already decided that if he just had to “go”, it wasn’t going to be out there in the wind and rain. How funny to watch her go out, take a peak through the dog door on the covered front porch, come back and peer in to see if Ishi was coming and then scratch to come back in when she was convinced that he choose “warm and dry” over “cold and wet”. Through the evening, the front moved in, the wind picked up, the nasty clouds rolled over dumping rain on ground still saturated from the previous storm. Tornadoes touched down in different part of the state but fortunately for us, not here in our area and as the morning sun revealed blue skies and roses still blooming along the street in front of our house, the worse thing that happened was that one of the dogs did “go” on the living room carpet. Neither one’s confessing responsibility but I’m pretty sure that one of them did it. You can’t really tell though, because dogs have a “poker face” that looks the same most of the time. Oh well,…..all’s well…..that ends well. The storm passed and we’re still here. Did I mention that this region of the country is also part of the so-called “Bible Belt”?