“You never really notice them until you need them.”
That’s what my mother used to say to me about storm shelters. Although, growing up in Western Oklahoma, it was almost mandatory that every house had one on the property. I know we never lived in a house without one. Sometimes they would be shelters, more often than not they would be labeled as storage or playrooms during all of the times we didn’t need them.
Then, when the storms would come, we would find ourselves huddled down in the dank confines of the underground rescue with overflowing boxes of old paperwork, panting dogs, and hissing cats. All of us bound together waiting for the tornado to pass by as we listened to the sound of the air moving by so fast that it was temporarily a pressurized being.
Sometimes we would play cards, and once Uncle Jim even brought down a set of dominos. But most of the time we sat in the darkness, our eyes all turned upward at the cement ceiling. If someone had peeked into the shelter they would have thought us some weird faction of an underground cult. Our eyes all pointed upwards at the terrifying deity that could form a hand out of the air and crush us at any moment.