Enough is enough is enough

Well, y'all, we survived the weekend.

For those of you that don't know this, Kansas was hammered with tornadoes on Saturday night. 

Oh. My. Goodness. 

Okay, so I grew up in Illinois, which is still a part of "tornado alley." The only tornado I've ever seen in real life was in Illinois. I've spent time dashing to safety when the sky suddenly turns pea-green. This is nothing new, right? 

Nevertheless, just because it is common place for the warmer temps to bring about terrible storms, it does not mean I am accustomed to it. I think that maybe I have some sort of anxiety problem because I feel as if my fear of tornadoes as heightened. (Part of this, I am sure, stems from the fact that I live in a house with no basement and no "inner room"). It was also not helpful that I spent my entire Saturday at work, listening to every one talk about it and feeling like we were just waiting for our impending doom. The sky looked dark all day, the air was too warm and the wind was too strong.

My least favorite part of this though was the fact that we had been waiting for this even before Saturday arrived. On Friday morning, Bethel (where I work) send out an email to about the upcoming storm. It was all in caps. SO OF COURSE I AM GOING TO FREAK OUT IF MY COMPUTER SCREEN IS YELLING AT ME - TELLING ME ABOUT SCARY TORNADOES DESTINED TO SNEAK ATTACK US IN THE NIGHT. WATCH OUT!


I was definitely not handling it well. You can ask my co-worker, Ricardo. Or, my sister who quoted Mr. Samford's "Workshop of Life" (a class we had in high school) survival unit moto to me via text message (after I asked her what we were planning on doing). "Remain calm, form a plan, and carry it out." 

I am very thankful, however, that we have friends with a basement. Actually, it gets better than this. Their basement has a "safe room!" During that night, when this monster developed right outside of Hesston's city limits, I was so grateful to be huddled there together with family and friends. 

This is one of the reasons why I wish I was returning to Chicago this summer. (Looking at the footage and photos still punches me in the heart. yikes). 

With my untimely death hanging over my head all day on Saturday, I thought a great deal about what I would take in my bag over to the Litwiller's (our safe-room friends). Moreover, the night before, Leah and I watched "Leap Year," this super chick-flick where one of the characters asks the other if her house was on fire and only had 60 seconds to grab something, what would it be? That same mantra was in my head when I got home from work.

What would I grab? 

When I was little and we had tornado warnings, I lugged my entire beanie baby collect downstairs with me. 

Saturday evening, I found myself drawing a blank. Even though I would want to keep everything I have, most of what I have can easily be replaced. 

I am not a laid-back person, but I would like to believe that I am learning the importance of holding things loosely. The longest I've lived in one place in the past 7 years was 10 months, and that was when I was in PMB. Moving around a lot and having to deal with packing and getting stuff into my car, has taught me the importance of traveling light. 

I am on the verge of potentially getting an apartment, so the days of being able to pack up my earthly processions into my car will end. (Sometimes that freaks me out, but that mostly has to do with me not wanting to really admit that I live in Kansas). 

I know I complain a lot about not feeling "legit enough" as a person (whatever that means), because I am almost 25, have two part-time jobs, and live with my family. I don't know why I let underlying societal expectations dictate how I feel about my life. In reality, it is kind of nice to live with no strings attached - not even to large pieces of furniture. 

It's easy to live simply when you don't have the space to put stuff... and when you can share with others. 

I just started reading No Impact Man, (which will undoubtedly lead to very convicted and guilt-ridden blog posts to a computer screen near you. Stay tuned). There is a quote in the beginning of the book from the ancient Chinese Tao Te Ching that says "The man who knows that enough is enough will always have enough." 

Obviously, most of the time I do not live within that mind frame. As an American, it is very hard to shake off material greed. Yes, even a Mennonite like me. But it is something for which I strive.  I want to be able to live a life that holds material things loosely. And honestly, I am fine being like my father, who, when he married my mother, could fit all his earthly processions in his VW beetle. For now, anyway.

After all, all that really mattered on Saturday evening was that my friends and family (and dogs) were safe and sound. Together. If we would've had to, we could've figured out everything else. Praise God we did not have to.


*But if you are curious as to what I actually did decide to "gab," here it is:

1. My Bolivia visa application (which includes a lot of different documents such as my passport). I still haven't sent it off yet. If I would've lost that, my odds of going to Bolivia in June would've been very slim.

2. My external hard drive that contains all of my photos and writings.

3. My wallet

4. My glasses

5. My phone

(I also took my computer and my crochet project, not because I thought I could've live without these things, but rather so I would have something to do as we watched 5 solid hours of weather coverage. Actually, between tornadoes, my fam and I went back to the house to get our things so we could stay the night at the Lits since there was another system due to hit around 2am. By the time we left the next morning, I definitely had way more than just those listed items. Oh well. At least it wasn't a bin of beanie babies).