Apr 30, 2011

An Unexpected "Adventure" Part 1

The last few days have been quite an unexpected "adventure".  Adventure is the word I use to descibe it to my children.  It started in our playhouse ( the downstairs closet), continued as a pseudo camping trip (living in our house for 2 days without power), and now continues as a mini vacation with my in-laws safe in Tennessee. 

I supose the adventure began much earlier than the playhouse expedition.  For the kids and I it started on the ride to school.  School had been delayed for 2 hrs. so the morning storms could pass.  However, as I came within sight of the school, the tornado sirens let out their unsetteling moan.  Looking back, I can find a glimmer of humor as this must have been the only time I remember teachers actually telling children to run.  When my husband brought the kids home 3 hrs later because of an early dismissal, I learned they had spent the hour after I dropped them off in their "safety zones".  Afterwards, they managed to have class for a little while before being sent back to their "safety zones" to wait out another warning for nearly 2 hours. 

I also waited out this second warning, with my youngest and a visitor.  The Cook's Pest control guy had stopped in to deal with the ants that annually pleague our home.  The sky turned dark and ugly so quickly I encouraged him to stay.  I'm thankful he did as it was nice to have someone to share the tension with.  We watched the news coverage as reports were called in of a tornado on the ground nearby, and numerous reports of circulations passing overhead.  He called his wife often to check on her and their son who is about the same age as my youngest.  Eventually the skies cleared, he went home to his family, and my own family came home to me.

For the next hour or so, the weather was nice.  The sun even came out, which is the worst possible scenario on a tornado day.  It seems that by 3:00, the sirens were blairing again.  by 4:00 the kids were in their playhouse, (the closet under the stairs) and by 4:30, we'd lost cable and were relying on the weather radio. 

It was sometime around then that I remember looking out the back windows.  I knew there was a tornado on the ground nearby.  The weather reporter had told me that much.  The sky had an eerie green cast, the clouds dark.  I watched the horizon through the leaves of the sycamore, whose branches overhang our patio.  The little guy didn't want to be in the closet anymore and I knew if I let him down I'd never catch him if the need arose.  So I held him, rocking and bouncing him so he wouldn't fuss while I strained to hear the latest from the meteorologist. 

I remember thinking how odd the sky looked, how the clouds were one solid blanket except very close to the horizon where there was a band of light on either side of a central dark area.  I didn't worry because the winds seemed calm.  I noticed the fuzzy dark area shifting to the north.  Just clouds moving.  The wind picked up, the rain beat down with a new ferocity and the sycamore branches danced violently.  Then came the unique noise from our back door which always startles me.

For some reason, anytime a very strong wind at just the right angle blows past our back door, it's like a mixture of a whalesong and someone blowing a very low sour note on a bassoon.  Needless to say, I scurried myself and the little guy into the closet, closed the door and crouched down with the older kids. 

Today, I saw pictures on the TV (at the inlaws) of the tornado that was on the ground in our area at that time.  Although I imagine it was 5+ miles away, I feel certain that the dark area on the horizon that I saw was that tornado.  Seeing the destruction caused by that tornado as we left town today I can only say we are very blessed to have not been in its path.   

Soon after that, my husband made it home for the day.  We ate peanut butter and jelly for dinner and were soon back in the closet waiting out another round.  By the time power went out, the worst was over.  We made camp in the living room floor.  I read a chapter of Rascal to the kids, called our parents with our cell phone to let them know we made it but had very little juice in the phone, then settled in with the radio and my earbuds to find out when the lights might be back on.  I think I drifted off shortly after that, Maggie the cat snuggled at my feet.  Family safe and sound. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen I am so glad that you guys are safe! And I am glad that you guys were able to escape to TN where they had power!


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