Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Panic Room

Right off the dressing room is another room that I referred to in the
wee hours of this morning as the ~ "Panic Room".

It's right through this door.  Come along and I will show you.

Last night I woke up at 2:30 am to booming thunder and continuous 
flashes of lightning.  Terrifying for me and I will tell  you why.  Years
ago I was living in Houston and my house was struck by lightning while
I was at home.  I have probably already told you about this story, but it is
important to the events of this morning.  

I am now terrified of thunderstorms.  Up in Idaho we did not have so
many except for dry lightning in the summer.  Also scary up in the 
mountains.  But mostly we were safe.  Down here in south Texas
we can get some huge ones.  So when I was awakened at 2:30, I first
turned to David.  Sound asleep.  No worries for him.  Bentley was
not scared either.  I on the other hand was trembling in fear.

I tried a sleep mask, but I could still see flashes of light around the edges.
I was counting the seconds between the light and the thunder.  Wow ~ too
close for comfort.  I had to get control of myself.  So I said a prayer and
decided to go into the only room in the house without windows ~
the master bath.  

Bentley came with me despite not being the least bit afraid.  I closed 
off the entrance to the bath and lit all of the flameless candles for
ambience.  Y'all know me, ambience reigns supreme :-)  I turned on 
the radio and listened to a program about dreams on Coast to Coast AM.
I could still hear the thunder which was deafening at times, but no
flashes of light.  I sat on the floor until 4:15 am when it seemed like
the storm was moving farther away.  

But the storm hung on or perhaps it was a new one rolling in.  By
this time David was awake.  He asked me if I was okay knowing my
fear of thunder and lightning.  I told him I was getting through the
storm without the usual meltdown.  I told him about my "panic room"
and although he had a good laugh, he was proud of me for dealing
with my fear.  The storms lasted for a couple of more hours, but
I was feeling less terrified and more empowered.

Now the bathroom can be a scary place for a woman.  That's where the
scale is kept and panic can occur when a girl finds out she has gained
a pound or too, or sees a new wrinkle in the mirror or a gray hair.
But the master bath with no windows is now my safe haven and I
will lovingly now refer to it as my Controlling Panic Room.

Bentley was bored while he was with me.  He really wanted to
go out on the back porch and check out the storm.  He is
one brave little soldier, but his momma said no.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


  1. I understand! On the one month anniversary of living in Oklahoma (this was almost 24 years ago) lightning hit our chimney in the middle of the night. It sounded like an absolute explosion. My husband and I were both upright and screaming in a heartbeat because it scared us so much. Over the years living there, I hate to say it but we became a little numb to all the storms because they make the Texas storms look tame. There's always lightning, hail, and frequently tornadoes..but it's never boring there. I'm glad to be in Dallas which is still Tornado Alley but not quite as bad.

    By the way, that is one beautiful panic room!!

    1. I am sorry to hear that your house was hit by lightning too. When lightning hit mine it was the loudest sound I ever heard. My laid back sweet Golden Retriever was terrified of storms after that. Poor baby.

  2. So glad you have a place to go to where you feel safe!

    By the way, Coast to Coast AM is hosted by a guy I did theater with (in my teens) in my hometown of Dearborn Michigan. George Noory. I wrote him a while back and it was nice to touch base after all these years.


    1. I have listened to George Noory for years whenever I could not sleep. He seems like a genuinely nice man. He came to do a show at the historic Egyptian Theater in Boise a couple of months ago. I am sorry that he never came to Boise while I lived there because I would have gone to see him. He always speaks so fondly of his life back in Michigan. How fortunate you are to know him!

  3. Susan - Others can't understand that fear if they've never been there. My Mother and Grandmother (Nana) were in a tornado that destroyed our little town in the 40's before I was born. I grew up petrified of tornados and spent more time in the cellar than in my bed. We had cots down there and food and water and many a night stayed all night long. When I was married and left that little town, my first thought when we were looking for houses was "where is the tornado cellar?" We moved to a town in the panhandle of Texas where they had never had a tornado, so they thought I was crazy. After we moved back to Oklahoma (still no cellar), I gradually got over my fear. Plus, we have so many that you kind of get to where you don't pay attention - which is scary. But, I remember getting teased about how scared I got when it got dark and started the lightning and thunder. So, if they've never been thru something like that - they just don't get it. I get it completely and am glad you found a safe spot where you feel secure!


    1. I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago near Lake Michigan. We had violent tornados through there when I was a child too. I remember one summer when my Mom and I were in the basement nearly every day and night. My Daddy was always traveling overseas on business so it was just the two of us and my little Scottie named Bonnie. I used to pretend that Bonnie and I were like Toto and Dorothy and we would get whisked away to Oz. Silly girl. Storms did not scare me then. What did I know? Please be careful and safe! We all love you!!

  4. You handled that fear well. I have ZERO fear of storms, my mother loved them, so they bring me happy memories, weird but true.

    I am glad you have a "safe haven." And you did right by praying - God always has our backs.

    1. Wow ~ I am impressed! I am trying to have less fear but I don't know if I will ever approach zero fear. I always turn to God's comfort. I lean on Him quite a bit.

  5. We had storms here, night before last. Big hail! The winds were fierce, too :( I do love your bathroom. My downstairs bedroom has a color very close to yours, on the walls!
    Bentley, stick close to Momma when the storms come!

    1. I saw the pics of your hail. We didn't have any, just lots and lots of lightning and thunder and the rain came down in torrents. I have never seen it rain anywhere as hard as it does down here. I love that green. It's funny because I was never all that fond of green years ago and now I love it! I think it's a cozy and friendly color. I hope you are feeling better today!

  6. So glad you have a place to go that makes you feel safe...a very pretty space!

  7. I shake and shiver anytime there's thunder & lightning. When I lived in Nevada the house across the street under construction got hit by lightning. It actually struck & bent the non-traditional steel frame. It sounded like a bomb/explosion. I've always been a scaredy cat when it comes to storms but that sealed the deal! Luckily those kind of storms are few & far between here in Seattle. Lots of rain, but not lots of the scary stuff. I love the rain, especially when I'm trying to go to sleep. It's like a lullaby! Glad you have a place to go to feel more secure.

    1. You are lucky to live in Seattle. Love it there.

  8. So sorry that it scares you so much. I would have been that way as well if I had been through that or a tornado. I think it is amazing that you found a way to calm yourself. Yeah, Bentley for hanging out with mom.

    1. Bentley never lets me leave his sight. He's a real mama's boy!

  9. Hi there, I was born and lived almost my whole life in Ca., so you'd think I'd be used to earthquakes. I was never bothered by them until I had toddlers. Then we went through Loma Prieta and I had post traumatic stress; we also had a thunder storm the night of the earthquake so my youngest daughter always associated thunder with earthquakes. Of course she has kids now, so can't react. However, if I'm in a mall and the floor starts shaking, so do I. Glad you have a safe place!
    Thanks for sharing; love your hiding place.

    1. I have fortunately never been in an earthquake. We lived in Idaho for 20 years. Idaho is the 4th most likely state to have an earthquake and had the largest one ever in the lower 48 years ago near Challis but it is so remote that there was no property damage. We regularly had earthquake preparedness spots on TV. I suppose every spot has it's issues.

  10. So sorry about your prior house being struck...no wonder storms affect you this way now! I am amazed at Bentley, though! It's the opposite here...my dogs, especially Lily, get terribly stressed out when we have a storm and follow me / stay by me until it passes.

    Anyway it is nice that you have that bath area to turn to and ride it out :)

    1. Bentley amazes me too. But he is afraid of the groomer yet he loves her too. Nothing we have tried has ever calmed him down before a grooming session. Don't know why either because I introduced him to the process as a young pup.

  11. Enjoyed looking at the movie kitchens. Sorry about the storm.

  12. Aragon is unconcerned by thunder, but Chocolat is utterly terrified - there are MONSTERS dancing on the roof. If I'd ever been in a house that was struck by lightning I too would be justly terrified.


Oliver and I LOVE and read every comment.


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