Take Shelter and Watch out for Flying Women on Broomsticks!!!!

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Featured, LeTravelista, Portfolio | 0 comments

Take Shelter and Watch out for Flying Women on Broomsticks!!!!


You could probably define my shopping patterns to one of a love-hate relationship. I LOVE to get new things; clothes, gifts, SHOES, and things for my home. However, I HATE the actual act of walking around the mall, searching for the unknown. I do almost all of my shopping online, and if I do go to an actual store it is because I know exactly what I want, and I am going to run into the store, pick it up, and run right back out.

What can I say? It’s just not my thing.

However, on the rare occasion, I am either dragged out shopping with friends, or I am so board it sounds like a good idea. “Sounds Like” is the key phrase here, because it really never is a good idea, as proved to me once again on my last visit to Colorado Springs.

Having traveled out to Colorado with my husband for work, I had grand ideas of laying by the pool, soaking up the sun, and reading. Maybe I would go for a run or hike through The Garden of the Gods. Shopping, however, was not on the list.

But when it came time to relax in the sun, the weather decided to be extremely rude and not cooperate. I left my home and gorgeous 90-degree weather to arrive in Colorado with it being 70 degrees outside and thunderstorms all around.

So I suppose laying by the pool and reading was definitely out and something else was now going to make its way onto my list of things to do.

Now, when I do go shopping, it is only for a short period of time, as an hour is almost more than I can handle. And, I always choose places to go that have the few stores that I like. I am a creature of habit and unlike others who like to go in stores just because, that is not me. I only go in the ones I like and only because there is a possibility I will find something.

So after looking outside and realizing that shopping was quickly climbing the list of things to do that stormy day, I found an outlet mall not too far from where I was staying and decided to make my way there. They had several stores I like, and I figured I could pass a little time.

Even though when I left the hotel it was just cloudy and beginning to get dark as I was driving I could see the thunderstorms moving closer.  I watched the sky become darker and darker as I approached my destination. And just as I pulled into the parking lot it began to rain. No, it began to pour.

But hey, I am from Oregon so a little rain won’t make me melt. In fact, I actually like the rain, and I had to smile knowing the crowds of people would be running for home, leaving me to shop in peace.

I quickly made my way from my car to the covered sidewalks and began walking up and down the rows of stores. Even as the rain came harder the lightening moved closer, and the wind picked up,  I enjoyed the quiet that surrounded me. Apparently everyone else thought they were going to melt.

Or at least that is what I thought.

As I walked down one of the covered paths between stores, this lady steps out of the Dress Barn and says “you have got to come in and take shelter!”

“What?” is what I said, but I am sure my look said something like “Are you serious? Is this the newest tactic to get shoppers when it is raining?”

I could just imagine the Dress Barn newsletter, “New and Exciting Ways to Bring in Customers.”

But this sales lady was serious. She looked at me again as if I didn’t hear her the first time and said “there is a tornado, you have to come inside and take shelter.”

“Take shelter?” Now my youngest yells out “TAKE COVER” every time there is an earthquake and dives under the dining room table, but “take shelter” is a new one for me.

Apparently, there was a tornado warning just issued. A tornado had touched down less than a mile away, and it was the Dress Barn’s policy to pull people in, close and lock the doors and have everyone take shelter in the back room.

And just as I walked through the doors, this popped up on my phone.


See, “take shelter” is used in the emergency warning as well.


Let me just say how incredibly grateful I was when I arrived in the back of the store, and the room we were taking shelter in was not the size of a small box nor was it in the ground.

You see as a young girl, I traveled to my grandparent’s farm in Kansas where they had a storm cellar out back. My grandma being thoughtful, had painted it pink inside, because pink is supposed to be a calming color. However, I could barely go inside long enough to bring a cold soda back to the house. It was so small and so tight inside I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and that was with the door open. I don’t think the pink wall color had a calming effect on me.

As a west coast girl, especially one who has spent her whole life living in the west, earthquakes I am used to and don’t mind. But tornados, what the hell?  Who enjoys going into a small space, closing yourself up inside and sitting there waiting to be buried alive by blowing objects?

So when the sales lady told me “if the tornado gets closer we will have to move into the restroom and lock ourselves inside” I just smiled and said, “no thank you.”

“Honey, you will have to do that, it is the safest place to be.”

Was she crazy? Did she really think I was going to park myself in a tiny box of a room with 10 other women so that I could get stuck there for God knows how long? NO THANK YOU!!! I would rather take my chances and get blown away than suffocate in there.

To make matters worse, I hadn’t told anyone where I was going that day, and even if I had said I was going shopping, The Dress Barn is not where they would come looking for me. Like I said, I am a creature of habit and stick to certain stores. And the Dress Barn is not one of those stores.

I could see it now; my tombstone would read “Here lies Carrie, traveler of the world, who left this world suddenly after being buried alive in Dress Barn clothes.”  Or better yet, the coroner’s report “patient was smothered by tacky dresses.”

Perfect, that exactly how I want to be remembered. I DON’T THINK SO!

I sat frantically texting my husband, and anyone else I knew was with him, letting them all know of my impending death at the Dress Barn. When he finally replies with “Watch out for the flying lady on a broomstick.”

Haha, you’re hilarious, hubby of mine.  Does she look something like this?

witch on broom stick


He did get a chuckle out of me, which again made these other women look at me strangely.

I think that is the point where they said “You aren’t from here are you? Are you from California?”

Why is it everyone always thinks I am from California? Is it the flip flops I am always wearing? Or maybe the food that I choose to eat? Who knows, but it is funny and more so because I think it is meant to be an insult when really it just makes me smile.

Then just as quickly as this tale began, it was over.

The phone rang, and the person on the other end claimed it was all clear, and we were free to go.

Ironically I didn’t just jump up and run out the door, I stood there a minute waiting to see what the other women were going to do. They went on about their business, shopping at the Dress Barn.

Then the sales lady said to me “is there anything I can help you find?” I glanced around, said “no thank you” and headed for the door.

And that is when I knew, shopping is definitely not for me.

Where is the bar again? 😉


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