Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tornado Alley is getting to me

I used to want to be a storm chaser. I dreamed of living the life of Jo in the movie Twister. That was before kids. Where I used to look outside and marvel at the lightning and 'green sky' I now keep away from windows and worry about keeping my kids safe. I wonder if other moms are as paranoid as I am.

About a week and a half ago we lost a very beloved, beautiful tree in our front yard from a micro burst or something like it.  Whatever it was, it was so windy that it felt like what I imagine a hurricane would be without the rain.  This is our poor tree that is now just a stump in our yard.



Last night we had another round of good old Kansas storms. While I love the weather alarm, it makes me even more worried as it goes off all the time. We were under a severe thunderstorm watch when I went to bed. The alarm went off 5 times as the weather continued to get worse. John was working so I began texting. We text a lot at night - well I do and he answers when he can. Here's how it went last night:

Me: I'm such a weather wuss now. Severe storm in Baldwin and headed to Gardner in the next 10 min. I'm so tired but I doubt I'll sleep until its over. The kids have ruined me! 12:01am

John: Me too.crazy busy right now so keep me posted and ill respond when I can. Lylm be safe. 12:04am

Me: I will. We're fine. No tornado threat but damaging winds again in excess of 65 mph. Hope our other BP tree holds up! Its erie- lighting is so bright and frequent but no thunder. Its not quite here yet. 12:07am

Me: Looks like you'll probably get it too.  Quite a light show from the ICU. 12:11am

<Still checking weather on my phone but not too concerned yet.>


Me: Can't stay awake another second... it's here now but seems fine.  Going to sleep. Love you.  12:33am

<Fall asleep for about a half hour. Extremely loud clap of thunder shakes the house but the boys sleep through it.>

Me: K that was loud... 1:08am


Getting a little nervous at this point but still no tornado threat and the kids are sound alseep.  The house seems to be shifting a lot in the wind though.  So tired I drift off again.  I can't get Joplin out of my head.  I've been having tornado nightmares.  It's been on my mind every time we get another storm lately.  I keep thinking of that poor family who huddled in their hallway with their toddler.  I picture the mother as the tornado throws them all in the air, destroying their house and ripping their son from her arms.  I picture them discovering that child 3 miles away obviously not alive.  I pray that God took that little boy before he knew what was happening.  And I pray that it NEVER happens to me.  I lay there in bed deciding what the quickest way to get my kids to the basement is and what I might have time to grab... shoes, a flashlight, a bottle of water maybe, blankets...  Suddenly the alarm goes off again and I see TORNADO WARNING scrolling across the front of the weather alarm.  Without hesitation I throw the covers off, snatch up Ethan, and make a bee line for the basement.  I lay him on the floor and sprint back upstairs to get Aaron.  On the way back down I grab a handful of blankets and make a pallet on the basement floor among the spiders. (I've seen so many spiders down there lately and I'm scared to walk down there without shoes let alone lay on the ground!) But spiders are better than tornadoes.


Me: In the basement. 1:19am

My hysteria increases as I cannot seem to get service on my phone and my computer will not turn on for some reason.  (Probably because I was pushing too many buttons and freaking out.) The wind outside was crazy and I realized that we were far too close to a window because I could see the branches outside bending to the ground.  The kids are still asleep at this point.  Aaron woke up for a brief moment and then went right back to sleep.  I ripped the storage boxes out of the their place, prepared to take cover in the cabinet they are stored in if need be.  I ran to the garage and grabbed a flashlight then, heart pounding, I ran to the living room and turned on the TV.  I fumbled for the remote and started flipping channels.


Nothing.  Not a single station was covering the weather.  And come to think of it, I didn't hear the sirens. There was simply a little map in the corner of the screen with colors indicating various warnings and watches.  There was also a little weather service banner scrolling across the bottom that said there was a tornado warning in MIAMI county!  Not Johnson county! I was a little relieved but still uncertain.  My phone started to work again and I was able to pull up the radar.  Nope. No tornado threat to Johnson county.  In fact, the worst of the storm had already passed.  Wow.  I totally freaked for NOTHING!!! 

Me: Think we'll hang out here for a while to ease my nerves. 1:29am

Me: I was positive we were going to get it.  Phone lost sevirce, couldn't get the ocmputer to turn on... you think my dreams were wierd before. Now we're hanging out in spider town, in the dark, for no reason. 1:30am

Me: Brown recluse spider town I might add. 1:31am

Me: But no worries... Ellie is right here beside me.  She's such a good dog.  Maybe she'll eat them for me. 1:32am

Me: Might have to blog about my craziness in the morning.  Really.  I'm still shaking. 1:39am

Me: No wind at all right now.  I think it's over here. Just lighting and rolling thunder. 1:40am


Since it was so bright from all the lightening flashes I figured it would be OK to snap a picture. It's a good thing my kids sleep so well!!!!  It makes me jealous - oh to be young and ignorant again. It was about 2am before I fell back asleep.

If only I could stop having horrible tornado dreams now!  The sad thing is, we are again under a severe thunderstorm watch. Happy sleeping...

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