You’ve seen it in the movies.

Dorothy and Toto running for shelter as a twister spins their way.

Yesterday evening was a whirlwind of plans and places to be. My husband dropped me off at home before his final stop. I did the usual- took the pup out to pee, played fetch, played tugs, and we listened to a storm roll in.

I finally got her settled in my lap when my phone went off: tornado warning. Then Jimmy’s phone went off. Huh, he must have left it on the microwave like he thought. A tornado siren starts drowning out the sounds of people and carnival rides at the fair up the street. The bustling seems to come to a halt.

Then beep beep beep beep! The minitor goes off. I hop over the makeshift doggy gate and head upstairs to find out what the fire call is.

Funnel cloud headed this way.

I bound back down the steps straight to the living room window. Yikes, no kidding. There it is! Spinning and swirling in what looks like my direction. Panic sets in. What do I do?

Living in Kent, Ohio, we always had tornado warnings. That was nothing new to me. But seeing a funnel cloud headed my way at what looked like a rather quick speed? I wasn’t prepared for that. I jumped into my rain boots, grabbed some dog toys, and told the pup to follow me.

We headed to the basement. I hit the switch at the top of the stairs. Oh yeah, we’re remodeling. There’s no electric down there. Thank goodness for cell phones with flashlights.

Breathless, I start to get choked up and call my mother-in-law. She assures me everything is fine, the funnel moved upward, and it headed in another direction.

I let out a sigh of relief. Phew, what an exhausting and exhilarating five minutes. Ember and I trudge back upstairs and plop down on the couch. I need a few minutes to get my heart, head and feet back in sync.

Life is sometimes like a tornado. It can spin out of control, picking up speed and causing destruction to anything in its path. It can cause panic, stir up fear, knock us off our feet and move in a different direction than we were expecting.

It can also be powerful, beautiful, thrilling. And the best part? The choice is ours as to whether we let life overwhelm us or learn how to dance in the rain.

Follow the links below to see pictures and videos submitted to TribLIVE and Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Tornado Westmoreland County

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