Last week was crazy here in Tennessee! Tornado season has come early. No tornadoes actually touched down here in Clarksville, but at one point during the day the warnings were surrounding our county on top and bottom. Someone up there is watching out for us! Whew!
I have always hated storms. Always. The first thunderstorm I remember was when we lived in San Antonio and I must have been three or four. My brother, Rob or "Bubba" (a name I will forever call him- and yes, I know I'm 28 and he's 41) and I were home alone. The power had gone out and we were sitting on the floor in the corner of my parents' big maroon couch. He had lit a few candles, but I remember the lightening seeming so scary because it lit up the whole house and I knew the thunder was coming right after. I don't remember much else, only that Bubs let me sit on his lap and was so comforting. Aside from the storm part, this is one of my favorite memories of Bubba and I. Love you Bubs!
When I was 7 we moved to Oklahoma and I was introduced to a new kind of storm. A tornado. What?! Like in the Wizard of Oz? Now you should know that The Wizard of Oz was (is?) my favorite movie when I was little. I know this movie scared a lot of kids when they were younger, but not me. I loved it! The Wizard of Oz was the only reference point my seven year old brain could think about when I heard the word tornado. And all I could see was my house swirling in the sky. In school, we would have tornado drills and talk about what to do when a storm is coming. Get into the interior room in your house. Crouch down and cover your neck with your hands. Get in the bathtub and cover it with a mattress. Uh, scary!
I was actually in a tornado when I was 13. It hit the amusement park in Oklahoma while I was there with a friend. We had to take cover in one of the restaurants and I remember so clearly the sound of the tornado coming through. It sounded like a freight train! The story of my Mom that day is legendary in my groups of friends and family. My Dad tells it best and paints the picture of my Mom as a MacGyver like hero. As my Dad's story goes:
Of course, as soon as she heard the tornado was headed toward the amusement park she made me jump in the car and chase it. We didn't get to the park until after it hit, but I swear that as I pulled up to the front of the park Mom jumped out of the moving vehicle. Then she proceeded to "pole vault" herself over the parks sign that had fallen and blocked the entrance.
Now I'm not actually sure how tall the sign was, but my Mom was not the pole vaulting type regardless of the height. So you can imagine my Dad's shock.
So, needless to say, I hate tornadoes. It's one of the few things I miss about California. No chance of twisters there! Last week was enough tornado scare to last me throughout the summer, but I fear that this will not be the last time Eli, Maya, and I spend the day in the "Man Cave". I had everything we could possibly need down there. A backpack with our emergency binder, house documents, flashlight, medicine, and changes of clothes in plastic baggies. I had a ton of other stuff shoved in that bathroom. I even brought this little megaphone I gave Brandon as a gag gift for when we need help with Eli's diapers. It's a tiny megaphone, but it's pretty loud. It will work well if we need to call for help. I was watching a combination of the Weather Channel and three local news stations. I had the National Weather Service website up, the local weather, and the map of counties in Tennessee. Also, I have text messages sent to my phone for severe weather watches and warnings. WE WERE READY. And... it rained for five whole minutes. I'm not frustrated that I did all that for nothing. I will do it again if I have to. I hate storms, but I'm ready for them when they come!
Hopefully Eli will not inherit my fear of storms. But for right now, I think he's cool with them…