So begins the 1830 novel 'Paul Clifford' by Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and so began the night at The Mace Place.

I stayed late at work on Friday evening helping Shotgun Steve Kelly finish up production for the weekend and keeping an eye on the storms that were blowing through southwest Oklahoma. My phone started beeping and vibrating and almost fell off the counter.  I started reading text messages from friends "Are you guys safe?"  "Is the tornado anywhere near you?"  "Are you in your storm shelter?"  HUH?  There was a tornado spotted near Saddle Mountain which is about 4 miles south west of our place.  Of course total panic hits me and I call David to find out what's going on.

"Are you in the closet?" I asked him.  "No, should I be?" he replied.  "Have you been watching the weather?"  "No, the satellite is out."  I told him to get in the closet (which is our storm shelter) and to call me when he can.  I was going to stay put at the nice safe studio where my car was parked in the underground garage out of the weather.

That storm passed without any damage so he called me and said if I left the studio now I should make it home before the next round hit.  I began to drive home and noticed the lightening was almost continuous, which was a good thing because you could see some of the clouds and I kept scanning the horizon for that awful dark cone.  There were storm chaser vehicles parked everywhere on the route home.  Not a good sign in Oklahoma!

I got through the Gap and was headed down the road when I received a text message from my husband that read "You're not going to make it before it hits!  Where are you?"  I have NEVER been so scared in my life!  I pushed the pedal to the floor (the rain hadn't started yet) and drove as fast as I could so I might beat the storm home.  (I wasn't worried about a speeding ticket at this point.)  I got about 3 miles from our turn off and the rain started!  It was blinding and I couldn't see where I was going so I had to slow down.  I knew my turn was coming up but I couldn't see the road.  Finally I saw the reflection of the street sign and slammed on the brakes and turned as quick as I could down our road.

I flew into the driveway blaring the horn and David ran out to his pickup and drove it to the barn.  We pulled the car into the barn and I jumped into the pickup and we went back to the house.  As soon as I walked through the back door I totally lost it.  I started shaking uncontrollably and crying. We were both soaked to the bone from the rain.  David hugged me and said "you're safe now!"

I think the drought is over don't you?  Have you ever been that scared in your entire life?