My nephew Anson is a real spitfire. He is a kindergartner and has the wackiest sense of humor and a vocabulary to knock your socks off. My mom tells the greatest story about him that is something like this: A few years ago, as a 3 year old, he was riding in the car with grandma and grandpa on the way home from an event. He was looking out the window and providing commentary for the ride home when all of a sudden he got very quiet. A small gasp escaped his lips and grandma turned to ask what was the matter. He answered in a slow, urgent tone, "Grandma, that cloud is ominous!" Grandma turned to look at the cloud in question and saw that it indeed was ominous: big, billowy and gruesomely gray. Such a big word for a little boy and used so precisely!
Ominous is such an interesting word; I've always enjoyed using it. Ominous means portending evil or harm; foreboding; threatening. It is related to Omen. Some great synonyms would be portentous, menacing, and fateful. Ominous is a perfect Halloween word.
Ominous is an excellent word for the feelings I have been having lately. I know that is a really odd statement so let me explain. Have you ever had the feeling that something bad was going to happen? Like there was something right around the corner, literally or figuratively, that you needed to be prepared for? A feeling that sits in the back of your mind and bottom of your stomach urging you to do something? That is the ominous feeling I've been getting lately.
Go ahead, call me crazy if you will BUT . . . I must warn you about the last time I had this impression so clearly--it happened! Something terrible did really happen. So it goes something like this:
Back in early 2000 I was pregnant with #3 and living in University Place. Dave was working at a decent job in Seattle and things were going well: we were paying down debt, we had 2 cars and we were working towards saving for a home. Things looked good but I kept getting this ominous feeling that something was going to happen and I needed to get my food storage in order. Being a good Mormon girl and always following the advice of the Prophet, food storage was already pretty high on my priority list. My parents had trained me well on the importance of food storage in case of emergencies and disasters. I didn't know what kind of disaster might come my way but that ominous feeling told me that something was coming. I told my husband and my mom about it and I built up my food storage and other emergency supplies.
For a few months nothing happened. The feeling went away and I carried on with life caring for my 4 year old and 2 year old and soon delivering my baby girl on the 5th of July. Life was good until July 23rd struck. Eighteen days after the birth of our daughter Dave was laid off. One month later the severance check ran out. Three months later we still didn't have a job. It was a full 6 months, the end of January, before Dave finally found a position. Even then the pay and benefits were not going to be anywhere near the meager salary he had earned before. It would be a short-term fix but we had to continue looking for something better. That something better didn't come along until August of 2001; thirteen months after the lay-off and 19 months after the "ominous" feelings.
That ominous feeling, 6 months of preparation and 13 months of eating food storage and garden vegetables taught me a very valuable lesson that I will never forget: don't ignore your feelings! Don't be afraid of your impressions! Follow the directions you know to be true and DO IT NOW!
So, now we get back to the ominous I feel closing in around me this time. It's pretty much the same thing except this time it's the emergency supplies specifically that I've been concerned about. I've been re-supplying my 72 hour kits and my car emergency kits, making sure we have plenty of warm coats, boots and blankets. There are other things too: I'll top off some of the food storage, make sure I've got plenty of wood and a new woodstove insert and stuff like that. All normal things I should do before winter hits anyways, but usually forget.
The ominous clouds won't let me forget it this year. (I wonder what will happen round about April?)
Tune in next week for a series on how to prepare your emergency supplies