We are traveling today to see family in Iowa. It’s a beautiful day, even though a bit chilly. We’re using my favorite car diffuser, the Belle Aroma® FlashScent USB Aromatherapy Diffuser, with my favorite essential oil, lavender. Tosh is calmly riding on David’s lap close to the diffuser. Did you know that dogs don’t have any problems with lavender? In fact, it can have a calming effect if they are having an “episode.”

   I wish I’d have thought of grabbing the Belle Aroma® lavender essential oil in the middle of the night…well, I’m exaggerating... it was only about 11:00 pm last Monday night when we had to take shelter from a tornado that was heading in our direction. I was sound asleep; Tosh was beside me and David had fallen asleep in his chair in the living room. I was awakened by Tosh darting out of the bed in a frenzy to tear a hole in the leg of our neighbor who was pounding on our door warning it was time to take shelter! We threw on some clothes and bolted out the door to take shelter with about 20 other people. Some even had the forethought to grab up their “go bags.” Not us. We have them but didn’t think to grab them. I’ll blame it on the grogginess.

   This experience ended well; the tornado passed by us but landed down the road about 15 miles. It reminded us of how many tornadoes we have lived through! It’s just a part of life in the Midwest.

   My first tornado was when I was 11 years old, and I was living in Kentucky. Our house was one of those old southern houses with 3 big bedrooms, rooms on the top floor and 2 on the ground floor, 6 big columns on the front porch, rock fence/wall across the front yard. I remember being home with my brother one evening when it started raining hard and lightning was all around. I was laying on the couch watching TV and it kept fading in and out. This was just an old antenna TV at the time. Anyway, my parents weren’t home, as they were finishing up a long day in their ministry activity. They were out in the country at a family’s house, and they decided they’d better get into the cellar, just in case. They didn’t stay down there long when they headed for home to make sure I was ok. The closer they got to the house, the more destruction they saw. A big tobacco warehouse was completely gone, a gas station roof was missing….

   They pulled in the driveway and threw open the door and yelled, “Where were you during the tornado?” My reply was, “What tornado?” I was so engrossed in trying to keep the TV on that I was oblivious to the fact that a tornado was in the area. Later, I went up and crawled into bed knowing it had passed and I was safe. It wasn’t until the next morning that I woke up to see that during the storm lightning had struck the corner of my bedroom and burnt the wall about 3’ down!

   The next tornado I experienced was when I was 18 and living in Iowa. I was with some friends at the theater getting ready to start a movie. Suddenly, the power went out and the ushers told everyone to leave. When we got outside all the streetlights were out and the sky was an eerie yellow. I drove home and took shelter in the basement. The next day we toured the damage. It hit south of Grinnell out by the interstate and mangled several U-Haul trucks wrapping some around telephone poles. Closer to town a barn was lifted off its foundation and about 3’ of it removed and then it came back down, just slightly askew and shorter.

   Believe it or not, we’ve both lived through a few others. The most memorable one was a few years ago in Joplin, MO. We were 60 miles away, tracking it on the weather channel. Even though we weren’t in it, many of our friends were and suffered great loss. We were able to do “disaster relief” there for 2 1/2 months, cooking with a crew, serving sometimes as many as 500 volunteers. We were very glad our “relief hub” was on the edge of Joplin. It would’ve been hard on the psyche to see the devastation day after day. How I wish I’d have known the relief from stress that you can feel using the aromatherapy I now enjoy from Belle Aroma®. 

Lori Herr for The Gift of Scent

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