Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's coming right at us...

For about the fifth day in a row we've been under the gun in relation to severe weather. Tornados.  We had the town of Reading taken out by a tornado and the next day Joplin was wiped off the map.  Last night Sedalia was hit.

We're on edge.


We had a another round of severe weather last night and today the sirens went off again.  At first I thought they were testing things but then realized it wasn't the first of the month.  I looked out the front windows and it was bright as day.  Then I went to the back of the house.

Oh My God.  Oh My God.  Oh My God.

Grey, almost black, clouds hanging low.  Swirling.  Churning. Mesmerizing.  So close I could reach out and touch them.  How they were even suspended in the sky I don't know.

I went outside, on the back porch.

Sirens blaring.  Thunder grumbling.  Winds lashing.

I ran back inside, grabbed the girls and took them to the lower level.  Put them in the back closet and let them play.  Turned on the TV and listened.  A tornado.  It was going up State Line, past such and such street.  Jumped over to Napier.  Going north.  I stood still.  That was us.

It was aiming for us.

I didn't believe it.  It wasn't computing.

I went back outside.

And looked up.

The clouds, so close.  So black.  Nebulous wisps.  Shifting.  Angry.  Moving.  Rotating. The sky rumbling, churning, full of life.  I could feel static in my toes, traveling through the ground and up my body.  Trees blowing and bending with such grace.  Such force. Groups of leaves being plucked off and sent flying.

It was rotating above me.  Sirens blaring, screaming this time, yelling at me to get inside.  The trees still bending only this time rotating with the blackness.  It was stunning.  Beautiful.  Dangerous. The wind was howling, taunting me, "Run.  Run now little girl or I'll get you. I don't discriminate."

I fled.  Scared.  Knowing that even the basement was no real protection.

And just like that it churned by.  As quickly as it came, it was gone.

The birds started chirping.  The sky went back to blue.

We were safe.

Like a ton of bricks it hit me: Alex. Oh My God, Alex.

He was at school.

I could do nothing.  Phone lines were down.  Internet was out.  I could do nothing but wait.

I was shaking.  For thirty five eternal minutes I waited.  Pacing,  Still shaking.

I received an e-mail notification.  The kids were safe.  They were evacuated downstairs and stayed under the lunch tables in the cafeteria for over an hour.  He did what he was told to do.

I brought him home and I had all my children with me.


That's all I ever needed.

Then, and only then, did I stop shaking.

Note: At dinner that night when we were talking, I asked Alex how things went at school to see if I could elicit what exactly happened and if he was OK with things.  This is what he told me: "Mom, it was great!  I finally got under the tables to see how they work!"  


  1. OMG! I hate that kind of weather! That's so scary and beautifully told at the same time. I'm glad you are all okay. I love the last line! Alex! Just give them all lots of hugs and kisses and I send you lots of xoxo too!

  2. I'm shaking just reading this. I am so thankful you are all OK.

    I've been a nervous wreck all day because they are predicting severe storms with high winds and hail for us today. We're a 3 on the TOR:CON Index right now. I'm at work, my son is at school, and he's terrified of thunderstorms. I cannot imagine how horrible it was for you not knowing if Alex was OK for 35 minutes.

    And I don't blame you one bit for scoffing at my anxiety and thinking I should just STFU. But where I live, we have no idea what the eff to do when we go under a tornado watch. This shit is not supposed to happen here.

  3. How absolutely terrifying. I'm glad you are all ok. His response was so sweet.

  4. Kids are the best. Glad to hear he wasn't worried or upset. But yeah, last week I left a bit early to get my girl home before the storms because I was terrified. This is a very descriptive post and brought me back to that day.

  5. I'm always telling the kids how lucky they are to live in Ireland. I don't know how you cope with weather threats like this x

  6. I'm in Arkansas. We've had our share of the storms, also. I guess it's because my dad was such a nut that storms don't phase me. He used to stand with us kids on our huge porch during the worst thunderstorms and explain scientifically what was going on while my mom screamed from the screen door to get us back inside before we were all blown away. I feel so bad for the scared kids, though. Glad your Alex saw it as an adventure!

  7. whoa...scary. Glad to hear everyone is alright. We get nasty lighnening storms down here in Florida, but I would totally poo myself if we had the tornado issue that the midwest does.

  8. This is fabulous! Your story writing, I mean. Terrifying for you and your family but Lizbeth, your story telling is amazing! I was on the edge of my seat with tears swelling and then to know you are all fine with no scrapes, I realized this is the start of your novel.... or memoir. Just do it.

  9. @Karen V.--Thanks Karen, right back at ya! xxoo

    @Grace--I hope you're OK. Totally not scoffing at you. If you ever saw the damage you'd know...hugs sweeite.

    @Amanda--thank you.

    @Rebecca--He totally went with it, I think I was more traumatized than he was!

    @Looking for Blue Sky--I'd like to come visit for a week or two, mkay?!?

    @Handflapper--yeah, I'm a total freak and chase them...I have a healthy respect and a hell of a lot of knowledge to be out there though. They still scare the pants off me that close.

    @Danielle--LOL at the poo reference!

    @pam--thanks lady! I'll do it for a Junonia. :)

  10. How scary! So glad everyone's OK. BTW...LOVED your son's comment.

  11. Okay, this was scary. Your adjectives are too vivid for me. Next time do a lighthearted post with lots of swearing.

  12. Very vivid imagery--I felt like I was there with you!

    I am glad you all are safe, and that Alex got to see under the tables!

  13. I'm glad he was okay! Sounds like a comment Tommy would make....

  14. omg how frightening, the storm and not knowing if Alwx was ok. I had a big lump in my throat reading . Glad you are all ok.
    Boys are funny!!!

  15. my heart was in my mouth reading this! Glad you son was ok and he made me laugh with his comment. Kids, you gotta love them.

  16. Thank goodness you're ok. Terrifying.

  17. Very scary! I'm glad you're all okay.

  18. @Accidental Expert--yeah, it wasn't what I expected!

    @Brain--Monday? I think I'm going to go with the IEP one tomorrow, special request. ;)

    @Not Just Another Mother Blogger!--thanks, I think he's been wanting to get under there all year!

    @Amber--I think our kids are too much alike!

    @IWASNTBLOGGEDYESTERDAY--thanks, we're all OK.

    @lyndylou--Thanks. Yeah, he did make me laugh!

    @bbsmum--we're ok, I'm glad we're almost done with tornado season.

    @Broot--thanks, we're all right.

  19. That 35 minutes must have seemed like the longest of your life. The most terrifying thing to me is how quickly they can wreak horrible destruction, then just as quickly disappear without a trace.

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that and so relieved you are all alright.

  20. "Mom, it was great! I finally got under the tables to see how they work!"
    I just LOVE Alex....Kids, you can't predict them at all can ya?!
    I'm SO glad you are all safe.
    Love you loads.
    Lisa. xx :)

  21. How scary! So glad you're all okay. I have to say that I love Alex's comment on the whole event. Perfect!

  22. This post was so scary. Amazing job of describing it. I'm so glad all of you are safe. Also, I'm glad that Alex got to see how the tables work. Hilarious.

  23. oh glad you're all safe now! And I giggled at Alex's comment :)

  24. @Lisa--I know I had a giggle when he said it!!! xxoo muah :)

    @Spectrummy Mummy--I think his comment was the best part!

    @ Stimey--thanks!

    @Fi--I know, his comment was the stress release I was looking for I think.

  25. Holy crap! THAT is scary. I remeber the sirens from when I lived in Wisconsin-the sound alone could sometimes freak you out. We were actually under a tornado watch here in Maine the other day-weird. I totally get how you felt with your boy at school..the powerlessness..oh parenthood is sometimes brutal in it's intensity...stronger than any freakin tornado!! I loved your boys take on the whole thing-and I'm betting you hugged them a little longer that night. I am glad you were safe. :)


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