The scariest thing that has ever happened to me in my life happened two weekends ago. In Georgia. While I was supposed to be on vacation.
See that picture up there? Me in a dunce hat? Now that's scary! But that is NOT what happened.
What about my mom here, WRASTLING a big snake down the street? Scary you may say? Not so, compared to what I'm about to tell you.
David driving Mama P down the stairs on his dirt bike? She may think that's scary, but not compared to this. Now look closely at the next picture. Study those front windows on the house. Notice how open they are to the blackness of a Southern night. And remember that.
(Why oh why do I write scary stories when I am all alone in a strange new city? Am I crazy??)
Luckily this happened the first night that Dallas made it to Georgia. Or was it the second? The girls and I had been there for a few days before he got there. Let's just say it was a "rude awakening." Oh my gosh, I am scaring myself already.
It was Saturday or Sunday night, and Dallas and I had gotten the girls to fall asleep finally. They were sleeping in our bedroom on the floor of the upstairs bedroom next to the kitchen. We were under a Tornado Watch, and the tin roof outside our room overhanging the patio indicated the severity of the storm. The rain was coming in torrents; we could hear every shift of the wind, and the howling outside was so noisy that I could not sleep.
A Tornado Watch just means that tornadoes are possible. A Tornado Warning means that one has been spotted or has touched down in the area. In that case sirens go off, and you run to the basement and take cover. After living in Georgia long enough, I've become a little numb to the storms. But now with little kidlets, it's a little harder to sleep well when you know you've got to listen for a siren - just in case. So I was a little sleepless.
Dallas was across the room on another twin-size bed, and I wanted to crawl in and use him for a security blanket. But Kensington was crying downstairs, and I didn't want her to wake up everyone in the house. I felt like she was having some sixth sense about the storm pelting outside. Poor kid. So I crept down to her "room."
We put her in the storage room in her Pack 'n Play to sleep at night. She's such a good little sleeper; she was fine with it. I, personally, would never sleep there. It's such a huge, creepy room. And it's at the end of the cavernous hall. By my dad's office. And the shop. You just don't sleep in there. And did I mention that it gets really really dark at night where I grew up? And my parents live on three acres. So it feels slightly secluded.
Well, I went down there to help the little Choobs, and I got her to lay back down quietly. But I couldn't sleep in the bedroom. Not with all that noisy wind and rain on the tin roof. So I grabbed a blanket and went to the living room to sleep. I was getting a little creeped out (which doesn't often happen to me), and it started to thunder outside, to make things worse. I was the only one awake in this large house, worried that I would be the only one to hear the sirens, and the huge black windows in the living room made me feel like the storm was watching me.
As I lay there, I was almost asleep on the couch when I heard a crash from outside. It sounded like maybe the garbage cans tipped over. The wind must've been really bad, I thought. Then Choobs started crying again. It was like the part on Secret Garden when Mary finds the crying boy in the endless halls of the mansion. That's how I felt every time I had to go downstairs to help Kensington.
I went down and helped her get back to sleep. Then I headed back down the hall to go upstairs, adjusting my eyes to be able to see through the darkness. I was passing through the landing at the front entry and actually standing on the front rug when BANG BANG BANG someone was frantically knocking on the door. Two feet away from me, some unknown stranger/monster was pounding on our secluded country door. And they could probably SEE ME. See me crap a brick.
I ran hysterically up the half-flight of stairs into my parents bedroom, threw on the light, and practically hyperventilated, "There is SOMEONE KNOCKING AT THE DOOR!" as the pounding came again and again. I was literally shaking and cowering in the corner. (I never knew this about myself. That this is how I would act in a time of significant stress.)
My parents jumped up and began dancing around in their underoos, too! My dad was trying to throw on some clothes, find glasses, etc., and why he did not bring a gun with him to the door, I have yet to find out. 3:33 am. Luckily, Big Man Dave was right behind him when he opened the door.
"I'm sorry to bother you, Sir. I'm not a killer. I've been in an accident . . . ."
WOULD YOU JUST DIE???
Now I know I could never live on three acres in the country just because of the anxiety it would cause. Anxiety, indeed. Believe me, I crawled into that twin bed with Dallas afterwards and my raw nerves shook me to sleep two hours later. And he was my buddy every time we had any middle-of-the-night issues thereafter. I'm still not the same.
I had a similar experience last year at our home in Utah. Dallas was out of town, and I lay in bed and saw the silhouette of a man's full body coming straight to my window. (Which was in the basement.) I pulled the same hysterical reaction and pounded on my upstair neighbor's door. Luckily, it was only about 10:30 pm, and Rebecca's husband Peter heroicly went outside to ensure my safety. He figured out that the shadow of the neighbor next-door (who was on his own property) was casting itself onto my window. Fa-REAKY. But the scariness of that one doesn't even come close the the TERROR I felt in Georgia, by George.