The storm was proving itself to be one of the worst that Dena had ever seen.
Dena Jorgensen stood on her back deck and surveyed the black clouds hanging heavily over the Atlantic Ocean.
Within the last six hours, the wind speed had risen to an alarming force causing her to watch carefully for the approaching signs of a hurricane.
A thirty-one year old native to St. Petersburg, Dena was no stranger to storms and they rarely frightened her. In fact, during a typical summer storm, she delighted in running down the beach with the rain pelting down, soaking her through to the skin.
There was nothing more invigorating than a run in the pouring rain.
Dena's cell phone rang again.
Yet another family member checking on me.
Dena was grateful for her loving family. She turned down the volume on her weather radio and answered the phone.
"Hey Sis, how are things?" Dena's older brother Mike sounded concerned.
"Hey Mike," said Dena. Actually, I'm getting a little nervous about this one. The barometer is continuing to fall and the wind is picking up speed."
"What's your plan?" asked Mike, knowing by the tone of Dena's voice that she may have little time to decide if she would ride out the storm or evacuate.
"You know my thoughts Mike. The beach house is built to take a beating. Everything that I own is here. I'm prepared to bunker down for the storm."
"I just don't like the thought of you being there alone Dena. How can I know that you are okay?"
"Let's stick to our normal plan Mike. I've retained my land line just for this purpose. I'll call if it gets to the point that I have to take cover. I plan to stay in my office right above the storm shelter. If it truly gets bad enough that I have to go down into the shelter, I have a land line phone there as well. I also have two battery boosters for my cell. Hopefully the phone connections will see us through."
Mike reluctantly hung up the phone.
Dear God, I ask you to watch over my little sister. Keep her safe through this storm and please let us be able to stay in touch.
Dena walked back to the double doors leading out to her deck. The rain was coming down with frightening force and some of the smaller palm trees were bending under the wind gusts until Dena thought that they would break.
Dena paced back through the living area and down the hall to her home office. Her office was the one room in the beach house that was equipped with everything that she would need during a bad storm.
She had barely made it into the office when she heard a loud crash against the side of the house.
Dena ran back into the living area and looked out the window. The sky had turned even darker. The object which caused the crash; a neighbor's trampoline, was turned on its side, flying down the sand toward the water. The wind had also picked up other objects; chairs, trashcans, a child's riding toy, all kinds of objects taking on a life of their own under the violent direction of the wind.
The weather reporter on the radio frantically advised that everyone remaining in the St. Petersburg area take cover immediately when suddenly, everything became quiet.
Dena grabbed the radio and flew to the office.
The calm before the storm.
She leaned against her desk, her heart pounding wildly in her chest and dialed Mike's phone number.
"Mike, hey, I just want to let you know that I think it is getting ready to hit. I love you. I'm preparing to head down to the…
The phone went dead.
The hurricane came in swiftly shattering windows, splintering wood and ripping away anything in its path.
"Dena! Dena!" screamed Mike.
Mike quickly dialed Dena's land line phone number. Ring…ring…ring.
God, I take so much for granted. I've taken my sister for granted for so many years God. I've even taken the ability to talk to Dena on the phone for granted. I didn't even tell her that I love her. Don't let this be the end. I know that at times like this I have to put my faith in You. God watch over my little sister. "PLEASE," Mike sobbed. Watch over my little sister.
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