At 2:22 AM, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for our immediate area, siting funnel clouds in a nearby town, heading our direction at 45 miles per hour. Shortly thereafter, tornado sirens began wailing throughout our little city. My first thought, as I fought through the sleepy fog, was that some horrible accident must have occurred and the hospital near our house was experiencing a higher than normal volume of ambulance traffic. A couple of moments later, I realized it was the severe weather warning, but I thought it must be a mistake because it wasn't even raining. At almost the same instant that thought entered my mind, the rain started, and I sat bolt upright and grabbed my phone to check the weather. Jeff asked me what was wrong, and, as we both realized we already knew the answer, we jumped out of bed and hit the lights. One flickering of the electricity was all it took for us to start collecting sleepy children from the other bedrooms.
This house lacks a true safe room, so we made the split-second decision to put everyone in the master closet, following the tornado rules we've memorized as long-time Texas residents. I began literally throwing shoes and other clutter out of the relatively small space, in order to make room for my people. It was then that I realized I just have too much stuff.
I have been trying to live a minimalistic lifestyle ever since we got rid of everything and headed off on our RTW trip. But, suddenly, my stuff was getting in the way of my people, and it just seemed like too much. I was wondering how it even all got there and how I hadn't noticed it piling up before. But I hadn't noticed it before because it hadn't interfered with the safety of my family, and I had just been lazily letting it accumulate.
This morning, I woke up bound and determined to make room in my closet--and my life--for what's truly important. I'm not saying I'm happy we all had to gather in the closet in the middle of the night or that I want a repeat performance, though I'm ready for it if it's forced upon me. What I can tell you is that everything that's important to me was in my closet last night, and it darn sure wasn't my shoes!