Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back in Tornado Country

I was surprised by the familiar jump of my heart-rate when I heard the sirens warning of a possible tornado.  I instantly packed up my things and headed to the safe spot as instructed.  

Only someone who has lived in tornado alley can understand the feeling of: sitting in a basement stairwell staring at unfamiliar faces at the public library and waiting for the blaring to pass, all the while hoping, hoping that you don't hear anything that sounds like it is tearing the ground apart and ripping the world to shreds as it barrels toward wherever you have to sit and wait.  That is a kind of close listening that I wish I didn't know.

I was watching people venture out the door of the underground parking lot and a lady turns to me and says, "it's just a warning," like that is supposed to calm my nerves. I don't think she understands what that really means, or she might stay put instead of marching her husband and 3 kids out into danger. A man came in through the underground parking lot and actually got angry at the police officer for not letting him upstairs to return his books. I'm thankful he came to get me out of my transcripting-headphoned-haze of a Saturday afternoon. I suppose this is the price we pay for 60 degree days in January in Southern Indiana. I only wished my phone got service in this underground safe haven so I could check on my babes, and that I hadn't worn a skirt so I could sit on the floor.

I squeezed my laptop bag between my feet and listened to the others debate whether or not we were safe because of the glass doors. I watched it raining sideways through the opening of the garage, and I wished I could see the sky to know if it was green. A librarian told us we had to wait about 15 more minutes, we're close to the center of the eye now. Another 15 minutes of waiting and hoping and wondering. More people walked out, and we all wondered out loud if they have any sense.

With 10 minutes left, they moved us to a different stairwell. A librarian explained why this is safer...glass. At least I had cell service.

Andy and I exchanged texts.  He didn't even know there was a tornado warning, and he was at home with the girls.  He felt sorry for the 50 minutes I had spent with a group of 50 silent strangers.  I was just happy to still never have heard the sound of a funnel-train of wind coming to get me.

There's no place like home.
There's no place like home.
There's no place like home.

Photographic evidence of the warmth of January 2013, as provided by my MIL.  Here are our girls pretending to be deer with their cousin.



6 comments:

  1. My mom was TERRIFIED of tornados (she was involved in 2 near-misses as a kid). So even if there was a warning 100 miles away, we'd be in the basement. Kids would be knocking on our door in beautiful sunny weather wondering where the hell we were.

    On an entirely different note, LOVE the deer pic. It's frigid here...can you send some warmth (but no tornados) our way??

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    1. I've seen them in the distance, but never had one come close enough to really worry. Don't get excited, it's cold here again now.

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  2. I can't imagine living through a tornado. Such destruction in an instant. I live in hurricane alley, but we have plenty of time to prepare for one and usually we can ride out the storm.

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    Replies
    1. My dad in Florida makes the same comparison. I'm sure my fear of and fascination with tornadoes started after the first time I saw The Wizard of Oz.

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  3. We had a tornado rip through our city a few years ago. Scary because while warnings are not unusual, actual tornadoes are and we have no basements here. Our safe room is the bathroom.

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    Replies
    1. We can use either our bathroom or hall closet for a safe room, but I never feel really safe unless I'm underground too.

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