Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Night of the Twisters

You know, I've kinda had my head in the sand for the past couple weeks. In fact, it was only Monday that I even knew about the worst tornado to hit the US in 65 years hitting Joplin, Missouri last weekend. It's a whole different Joplin than the one we passed by on our way home from Indiana just days before. The death toll has risen to over 100 lives, and they say much of it was just people who have become too accustomed to the sirens and such not taking cover.
So, yesterday, when Gavin's teacher sent out an email that we could pick up the kids after 1:30 due to the impending storm,  I headed up and gathered 4 kids and brought them home. Stillwater is lucky, the tornados almost always go south. In fact, in all the years I've lived here, I think only once did a tornado actually touch down here. I was pretty sure this would be the same, but I still packed our bags and set out our jackets and crocs, and Em grabbed all our helmets, and we were ready for the storm.
Hubs was monitoring it from the bedroom TV, while I readied dinner and listened to the local radio station. About half an hour later, the sstorms weren't turning south like they usually did, and the radio man told us to take cover. Off we went across the street to our neighbors house. They have a storm cellar that they are nice enough to allow us into - fat, smelly pug and all. I had just finished walking the little boys (theirs and ours) down the steps when the power went out, and it was DARK. Soon, Mommy P and I were both cuddling our scared little boys and assuring our girls (one more than the other,week old sleeping beauty) that daddies would be coming down soon.
It was already getting pretty hot, and adding the snorting pug didn't help things (note to self - bring oust air sanitizer next time? Ha!), but we managed to all make it down and wait out the storm. The sirens went off and on for what seemed like forever, and soon enough we were all clear to come out.
Later we found out from another neightbor that one had touched down about a mile or so away from us. Pretty close. We are so lucky.
After being cooped up in the cellar for so long, the kids were more than excited to play in the rapid rushing creek that had formed over our street and talked with many other neighborhood families that were doing the same thing. Nothing like a post-tornado block party, right? ;)

At about 7:30, the kids were changed into dry clothes and Em was sent to bed for a lie she had told about not eating candy when she did, and Ev and I read a bit for his summer reading club, and soon followed sis into bed.
(And this is where it gets rough)
At this point, the power has already been out for a few hours. It was light enough out that Ev didn't really realize that his nightlight wasn't on, but the whole no-music thing was a little bothersome. FORTUNATELY, he ended up falling asleep without it an hour or so later.
UNFORTUNATELY he awoke screaming, oh wait, SCREAMING a couple hours later in fear. He couldn't see me, he couldn't see daddy, it was the end of the world, and he was NOT happy about it. I ran as best i could in the pitch blackness of the silent house.
(slice foot open on Lightning McQueen)
Poor little thing was shaking from fright. I assured him I was there, and we laid there in the dark for hours, him checking every few minutes to make sure I hadn't left, and FORTUNATELY fell asleep, at which point I snuck back to my room.
(bruised shin on the doorway)
UNFORTUNATELY he woke up screaming even louder. I run back to his room (why, oh WHY did we go for a split plan?!?) as fast as I could (...and Ms. Clavel turned on the light...)
(stub toe on ottoman)
There he was again, shaking from head to toe pleading me to not leave him. He couldnt seeeeeee me! He couldn't seeeeeeeeee me! I held him for a long time until the shaking stopped and the breathing wasn't so sharp, and we decided to take our tyke light through the house to get the fashlight. (We have about 5!)
FORTUNATELY his tyke light worked well enough that he was willing to go with me. We found our way to the laundry room cupboard and began bringing out flashights, one by one. Hooray!
UNFORTUNATELY, none of them worked.
(Seriously, Alanis Morisette could SO have used this in her irony song)
FORTUNATELY he was willing to lay down again. UNFORTUANTELY it had to be in my bed, with mommy & daddy.
(sardines, anyone?)
FORTUNATELY he fell asleep again, after resetting tyke light several times, UNFORTUNATELY it was at 4:10am. FORTUNATELY the power came on again! UNFORTUNATELY it was at 5:30ish, which woke me up. So I got up with hubby, and discussed nothing and everything over cereal (the milk was still cold!! Yesssssss!), and decided to write this down before I go to bed in an hour or so and forget. (Yaaaaaaaawn)
I don't take naps. Ever.
But I'm thinking that if I were a gambling man, I'd place my bet on the nap, hands down.

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  1. Ugh, that was a crappy night! Our power was out for only about 4 hrs, thankfully! Did you hear there was a tornado at 52nd and Western? YIKES, that one was a bit too close to home for me (literally).

  2. Poor little guy! When the girls were little we always just put them in bed with us. I never slept well because it would be crowded!

    I'm glad you guys were safe in the shelter. Ours was humid and smelled like wet corgi. ;)


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