Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Insert witch music from the Wizard of Oz.

Living in the Midwest I am no stranger to tornadoes. We've had strong winds and small tornadoes damage things near my parent's house before. I've seen the destruction a tornado can cause, and it is impressive.

I remember as a kid practicing tornado drills at home. We would lay down in the hallway, lightest person on the bottom, with my mom covering us. There was only one time that I can remember ever thinking that we would need this drill. We were outside riding our bikes when the sky changed. The clouds became unfamiliar and angry and my mom yelled for us to get inside. As I ran in the door the swirling clouds made a rushing, rumbling noise and the winds lifted our patio awning perpendicular to the roof. As quickly as it had come, the storm blew over leaving a short downpour and pounding hearts.

Last night they predicted strong storms after midnight. I prayed that if anything happened, I would wake up before I got sucked out of my house. Sometimes after 1 am I woke up 2 min before the tornado sirens went off. I woke Ben and we got dressed grabbed our cell phones, a blanket and headed to the bathroom. Tornado warnings are so much more intense with sirens. You can't ignore the possible threat with the loud alarm. It gets the adrenaline pumping. We sat in the bathroom listening to the TV and I called my brother to make sure he knew about the storm.

Sidenote: We had some friends who had never lived where there were tornadoes, and freaked out over a tornado watch (watch means they are watching for a tornado, warning means that there is one). They had crammed a full-sized mattress into their bathroom convinced that they were seconds away from being picked up by a twister. They called my mom in a panic and she pointed out the sunny day and lack of clouds. They had quite a time getting that mattress out of the bathroom.

Last night the storm passed over us with only heavy rain. We were fortunate. One of my coworkers had his house blown apart around him and his wife. They were unharmed.

Last night as Ben and I sat in our bathroom chatting and riding out the storm I again realized how much I love this man. How calming it is to experience possible tornadoes with him and how if I had to live through a tornado, I'd rather do it right next to him - he's my best friend.

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