Are you afraid of the dark?
April 30, 2018

When I was in college, majoring in civil engineering, I spent one summer on a construction crew that was repairing a stretch of the interstate near Grand Island, Nebraska. I was staying at a little motel in nearby Alda, a town so small I don’t remember a single stoplight -- and there weren’t any streetlights illuminating the motel, either. It was dark. Trust me.

It was the first time I’d lived alone, this was back when cell phones were science fiction, and my room didn’t have a landline. So I did what any skittish young woman would do. After a twelve-hour day shoveling concrete or flagging traffic, I’d cruise a grocery store for dinner and whatever I planned to have for breakfast and lunch the next day. Maybe I’d talk to my boyfriend from a pay phone, do a little reading, whatever.

Then I went to bed early. Every night. I kept my pepper spray close, and crawled way under the covers. I didn’t want to be awake when it got dark.

One evening there were tornado warnings for Alda, so I drove to Grand Island to wait out the storm in the lobby of a Holiday Inn. I didn’t realize a tornado would be the least of my worries. I’ll tell you more tomorrow -- and later this week, what I learned from feeling sure there wouldn’t be a tomorrow.