deja vu.

We had just gotten to the craft store when I heard a weird noise. I thought it was some kind of store alarm and wished they'd turned it off. It was the kind of sound that is meant to be annoying, and the fact that it was quiet enough that I couldn't quite tell where it was coming from somehow irritated me more.

It was coming from my purse. It was also coming from Josh's pocket. It might've been coming from other pockets and purses all around us, as the National Weather Service sent out a tornado warning in our area. Huh. That's a little scary. A warning means a tornado has already been spotted, right? Just how big is our area? Why didn't we check the weather before we left home to get craft supplies? Well, we were already there, so I went ahead and picked out what I needed.

In line at the register a few minutes later, the power flickered and the crowd of people murmured in apprehension. Out the front store window, the parking lot was getting drenched. A lady in line next to me started muttering, "Not now, I don't need this, I don't have time for this," like she was experiencing a crafting emergency. Lady, no one has time for a tornado. I looked around at the other people who had not checked the weather before going to the craft store on a Saturday afternoon and wondered whether these were the people I was going to die with. They were not the ones I would've picked.

The power flickered a few more times as customers ahead of us continued to check out. I guess the registers had a backup power source. I looked around the store, trying to figure out the safest place to be in a tornado. The building did not inspire confidence, but I figured there had to be a bathroom where we could all cower somewhere in the back. Finally, it was my turn to check out. The cashier rung up two of my items before the register lost power. The register behind me stayed on a couple minutes more, just long enough to allow the lady who did not have time for this to finish up and scurry out.

With nothing else to do, I looked out the windows on the parking lot. The rain was coming down harder and at an ever-increasing angle. It was harder to see anything. It was almost like a fog that rolled in, except that as it thickened, it turned whiter and whiter. People gathered in the front of the store and watched the outdoor displays blow across the lot. I looked for the tornado and wondered whether it would come from behind us.

Within five minutes, we were back to just a regular rainy day. The wind was a breeze, and the air was clear. Josh got a phone call. I looked at the craft books while the registers rebooted. I started to think maybe I would not die with Josh and forty strangers in the bathroom of a craft store.

Josh rejoined me and said, "A tree just crushed my car."

What? Seriously? I felt like the lady who did not have time for a tornado.

A year and a half ago, a tree fell over and crushed Josh's car, which had brand new tires on it. Yesterday, the air turned white and the wind broke a pine tree off, where it landed on Josh's car, which he'd had for about six weeks. the weather outside had cleared, but I was downright stormy. Josh tried to cheer me up, but I had a ball of anger in my stomach and a yoke of dread on my shoulders. The cashier told me there was nothing she could do about the power going out. I managed a weak smile as I told her that I knew, and I did not tell her that I had other things going on in my life besides this extended transaction.

You know what? There is a unused and barely driveable band van in my driveway. The tree was perfectly welcome to hit that, if it was so intent on crushing a vehicle. The first time a tree lands on your car it is a bummer, but the second time just feels personal.

But then we got home, and I saw that if we hadn't gone to the craft store, the tree would've taken out both cars. I also saw that if the wind had sent it in a different direction, it could've hit the house. And unlike last time, we have comprehensive insurance on this car.

I sighed. I got out the phone to call the insurance company. Josh got out the axe.

The second piece in my series of photographs entitled "Trees on Toyotas"

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