It was one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't moments that I found myself confronted with a couple of Thursday nights ago.

As I prepared myself to go to bed I was periodically looking out the kitchen window of the Henley hacienda for flashes of lightning that I anticipated would be accompanying the severe storms that weather warnings had indicated were moving into Northeast Missouri at a fairly fast clip.

Scans of the southwestern sky at approximately 11:10 p.m. and 11:20 p.m. revealed not so much as a flicker of lightning. However, somewhere between 11:30 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. flashes of lightning were evident.

It was at about this time that the unmistakable wail of sirens which are part of Hannibal's outdoor warning system could be heard starting up.

At that moment I was faced with a sizable decision on whether or not to sound the alarm that a tornado might be approaching with my hard-working and bone-tired wife, Nancy, who had gone to bed just a short time before the first weather warning was broadcast.

Not that I was fearful of being smacked for waking Nancy, I have learned from past experience that her demeanor is not always the sunniest when my weary wife is awakened from a sound sleep.

I decided the best course of action was to let something wake my slumbering sweetie. I chose to turn the hall light on which fills our bedroom with enough brightness that one can probably read a book. But on this night the light did not have any effect.

While our home is not located at the foot of one of the warning sirens, I thought that surely the three that I was hearing while inside the hacienda would surely be enough to rouse my sleeping beauty. Of course I was wrong.

I toyed with the idea of just letting Nancy sleep and sharing the experience with her in the morning when she was bright eyed and bushy tailed. But I dismissed that notion after pondering how bright eyed and bushy tailed she might actually be if she woke up in Oz surrounded by munchkins.

It also occurred to me that considering how hard Nancy works to keep me functioning because of my Parkinson's that Oz might actually look pretty appealing to her and she might decide to stay. I could not bear only receiving an occasional postcard from her.

I briefly considered going to the basement myself, but because of the problems I have any more on steps due to the Parkinson's, I probably assessed correctly that I stood a better chance against a possible tornado upstairs, than I would trying to explain to Nancy why I decided to take on the steps to the basement solo.

I can almost hear her saying, "That was not a very good decision." Ultimately I did manage to wake Nancy. Standing in the doorway of our bedroom I called her name softly enough so as not to startle her, yet loud enough to have the desired effect. After a half dozen to dozen attempts my bride's blue eyes fluttered open.

"Huh?" she said.

I proceeded to give Nancy a Reader's Digest recap of what was transpiring weather-wise. Without any coaxing Nancy climbed out of bed and made her way into the kitchen where she looked out the window at the angry sky that was now filled with lightning flashes.

As the sirens continued to sing their warning melody Nancy announced, "I am going back to bed."

It certainly sounded like a good idea to me.

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