Thursday, May 5, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night!

Ok, so I really wanted to title this post "Oh, Hail!" but I wasn't sure that would go over well with some people. The more I've thought about the storms from last Wednesday evening and night, I want to put some memories down.

Before school that morning I had "informed" my children that Nana and I would be getting pedicures, shopping and having lunch for our Mother's Day gifts. I told them there would be no early pickups from school today, belly aches, head aches and just not feeling good wouldn't get them picked up. I would only pickup early if they were dying. I told Mollie's Parent's Day Out teacher basically the same thing I had told the kids.

Nana and I got our pedicures and were shopping when it started raining and the wind picked up. As we were running in TJ Maxx my cell phone rung. It was Kristi, Mollie's PDO teacher. She had drawn the short straw and had to make the call. "I hated to have to call," she said. I was thinking about just telling her to let her take her nap somewhere else, but as I was thinking, "Oh what a wonderful day," she told me school was letting out early because of the storms.

Nana and I grabbed lunch and went to pick up kids. By this time the sun was shining which I've since learned is not a good thing with wild and wacky weather. As the big storms came closer to town the kids and I debated whether we wanted to go to church. But Michael, being a 6 year old genius, told me, "We are safer at church, because we can hide in the back class room downstairs and God is there. He will protect us." You guessed it, we went to church.

Mikie had decided he was leaving work 30 minutes early to beat the storm, walked to his van and had to return to his office because of a tornado warning in the county where he works. At 5:10 he called to say he was leaving, an hour after he originally tried to leave. He barely made it out of the front gate when another tornado warning was issued.

Church activities were busy that night as usual and there was only heavy rain. We stood around and talked and finally got home about eight o'clock.

As Mikie went out to bring Maximus from his outdoor kennel to the basement I heard a tornado warning had just been issued for our county. I quietly and peacefully told the children to go to the basement. Oh, okay I can't lie, they were upstairs, I was on the main level and I panicked. "Everybody downstairs, go to the basement now. I don't care that you're peeing. Finish in the basement. GO, GO, GO NOW!!!!"

 I've always aggravated my Mother (Nana) that it is her fault I'm terrified of storms. The last tornado that went through our little hometown was 34 years ago. She was pregnant with me and working at the White Way. The manager didn't know a tornado was coming through town and told her to hold the front door shut cause the wind was blowing everything in the store. Needless to say when she finally decided she couldn't hold the door shut and took off to the back of the store they realized what was going on. So I'm sure there is some inter-womb caused fear of storms there. Which one day I will think to ask my friend Kristel if that is possible.

Back to Wednesday night, as we went down the steps, I turned them around and sent them for flashlights while I informed Mikie who was now standing in the backyard looking up at the sky what was going on. One of these days the inevitable will happen he will become a lightening rod. I've heard we have other friends who may join him in this same demise.

As Mattie cried uncontrollably about her friends who didn't have basements, lived in apartments and the trailer park, about the cat who was afraid of the dog in the basement and chose to stay upstairs, and the bunny in the cage upstairs that I wouldn't bring to the basement because of the dog, Maggie and Michael discussed what they would do if Momma and Daddy died. This whole conversation was taking place in a very small bathroom which contains a toliet and vanity and at that time, 3 small lawn chairs, 4 very upset kids, one sitting on top of the toliet and a great dane. I shut the door and went outside with their Daddy.

As the first hail storm began, I went to the hallway outside the bathroom and sat down. Michael was deep in conversation with Maggie.

"If Momma and Daddy get killed I'll shoot myself with my new bow and arrow. I can't live without my Momma and Daddy." Me, "Michael your new arrows barely go through the target all you will do is hurt yourself." Him, "Then I'll get out my BB gun and shoot until I die." As much as I appreciate his dying love for me and his Daddy I couldn't help but laugh. Mikie broke up the woe is me and made them go to the sliding door to watch the hail storm. Once it stopped they had fun playing with it. And of course hollering "Oh Hail!"

This whole event occurred within 15 minutes of getting home from church and the power went out in the process. We spent the night in the basement, sat in the bathroom several more times, one included Mikie when he saw a cloud he didn't like the shape of over the lake. At 4:30 the next morning when Mikie got up to go to work we all went to our own beds. School had been canceled and we slept for a few more hours. Once we got up I surveyed the damage, which fortunately wasn't too bad, considering our neighbors got much worse. Pictures on the news and Facebook showed the damage to our friends homes and cars and to our little hometown were an F1 had passed through tearing up the high school and lots of homes, which started in that cloud Mikie didn't like over the lake.

As the kids and I spent the day doing basically nothing cause we were mentally and emotionally exhausted I thought about how God has blessed us. I don't know why He continually blesses my family. We aren't anything special, we just try our best to follow His will and do what He tells us to do. I pray for those families in my hometown and other counties close by that have damage and have lost loved ones. I can't understand why the Lord lets things like this happen. But I've realized it's not for me to understand or comprehend. Only to trust to Him.

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