Today marks my 600th post on Sky Diaries.

For an occasion as full of personal significance and celebration as this one is, I’m a little late off the starting block. For good reason.

At three ayem this morning, I was wakened by the tornado siren over the hill.

The weather reports said that tornadoes were a possibility in the fast, late-passing storm. And such warning sirens in the night aren’t unknown here. But they are always unsettling.

I have the routines down: Cats corralled in the innermost bathroom of the house, a feat accomplished through a combination of strategically closed doors, a non-startling manner and a fist full of catnip. Cat carriers in place. Cushions. Local radio and regional turned TV on and up. And a sharp ear turned to the outside.

Nothing happened, fortunately—not here, anyway. Other folks, north of the state line were not so lucky. The storm passed, more a grumble than a fury. But the night was broken by adrenalin-rush. And here I am.

Destructive weather gives me as much reason to remember my gratitude about this house as an afternoon spent staring at the river does. I have had both reasons in recent days. And once again, I was made to understand that this house is Me.

A thing created in love. Creaking, slightly, and a little worn at the edges. Capable of moments of beauty and serenity and the gifts of surprising flight. A place of peace that can still manage to turn wicked and dangerous. Constant motion that rolls past the still eye. A place a little wild in the darkness, a lot cosmic under its infinite sky; a place that does not long to be anything other that what it is.

The house, as I said, as Me.

That my folks worked so hard to have this place, that they loved it so much, that they had the awe-inspiring wisdom to make sure that I would be its next steward…this tidy little house is who I am. It breathes as I do. It is the quiet music I write to, the view from the office window of my soul.

Storm and flood and ice notwithstanding, this is the deep-dug well from which the next 600 posts will come. And the next books. And if being here, being it, being me for the rest of my life is the absolute best I have to look forward to, I’m a pretty damned lucky woman indeed.

Thank you for coming to stay in this writerly house, for as many of the past posts as you have seen, for as many of the next ones as you’ll want. I hope to make you comfortable and welcome; to feed you well and keep your wine glass filled and give you a warm place to curl up with your thoughts. A friend and writer should do no less in the House of Me.