Monday, February 18, 2008


Wow! We sure did have an awesome thunderstorm yesterday afternoon! And there was no damage (at least in my neighborhood) so that's a good thing. We did end up in our basement for awhile, though.

When I was little (really little) I was terrified of thunder. I could hear thunder far, far off, about 20 minutes before my parents could, lol. Used to drive my mom nuts! Then I had some close encounters with severe weather that made me realize that the thunder was not what was to be feared! For about 5 years, every time I went to summer camp, there was some hideous, horrible storm. The first time was at girl scout camp, it was a severe storm with high winds - it occurred during a meal in the "mess hall", which turned out to be a really good thing, because one of the tent areas (not mine, thank goodness) was completely destroyed. Then there was swim camp, and me and about 50 other girls were crammed into 3 bathroom stalls (safest internal room in the dorm) while a funnel cloud was sighted about a mile away. Last time was at music camp, and it was truly terrifying. It was a woods-y kind of camp, with cabins and no good safe areas. So, when the tornado warning sounded, the director drove through the camp on a golf cart with a bull horn and screamed at us to grab a blanket and run down to the beach. We spent about 40 minutes, huddled together on the shores of the big lake (lowest point of the whole camp area, apparently), blankets over our head that didn't protect us at all. It rained, and hailed, there was wind, thunder and lightening like I've never seen before. At each flash of lightening, I watched the roiling, pea-soup clouds and prayed (even though I didn't consider myself religious at the time!) We all were ok, but there was a tornado about a quarter mile outside the entrance to camp.

Amazingly enough, after that experience, I grew to love storms. After being outside in a storm like that, I came to appreciate watching from a distance and having shelter at my back if I needed it. Plus, the experiences probably reinforced that "invincibility" you feel when you're young. No storm could harm me, obviously (haha) so aren't they cool to watch?

And then I became a mother.

Right after we moved into our very first home up in Minnesota, we got a series of terrible storms. One night, J1 had fallen asleep in the bedroom upstairs. Dh and I were still awake downstairs, watching TV, and a severe t-storm warning came on. We listened to the storm rage outside, and I kept asking, "Should I go get J?" and dh would say, "Nah, he's ok, let him sleep." (because at that time, getting him to sleep was such a rare victory, ya know?) Finally, the winds picked up hard, and I ran up the stairs to grab my baby. And as I'm on the stairway, we hear a sickening crack and a loud "BOOM" - let me tell you, I think I teleported the rest of the way upstairs to grab J and get into the basement - I truly have no memory of scooping J up and going down 2 flights of stairs, I only remember that crack/boom and then suddenly I'm in the basement with my baby! Turns out a very large tree in the neighbor's yard had fallen across the road (the end of it landed just 10 feet or so from our living room) and that's what we heard. Dh and I were both just sick - we had a very large, very old oak tree in our front yard that was about the same size as the tree across the street that fell. If our tree had fallen, rather than the neighbor's, it would have landed right across our stairway (while I was going up to get J). I would have been injured, at best, and J would have been trapped upstairs. And that whole storm was not a tornado, just wicked "straight-line winds" - caused tremendous damage across the entire city.

Needless to say, ever since then - I still love storms, I really, really do. But I have a very healthy respect for severe weather. So yesterday, when the severe t-storm warning popped up on my computer and the warning said there was "no tornado sighted, but some radar indicated rotation" within the storm, my caution senses went on high alert. Then, the kids mentioned that it suddenly got foggy, and we realized no, it was just raining so hard it looked like fog. Dh mentioned that the rain was actually moving sideways, almost parallel to the ground, and I got a bit anxious. Then, J1 and I looked out our back door, at the many large trees in our back yard as they swayed violently in the wind. J1 made the comment, "Look at those trees, mom - could they fall on us?" and I flashed back to about 10 years ago when I almost didn't grab my baby in time, so I made the kids go down the basement - just in case.

The kids freaked out a bit. A2 made the comment, "Will we die? Oh well, if we die we'll all go to heaven, so it's OK." I was so happy to see his faith in action, especially as he approaches his First Confession and First Communion. Ah, the faith of little children!

All turned out just fine for us yesterday, thank goodness, and we got a bunch of much-needed rain. I was glad to have a basement, and very glad we didn't really need it after all!


Sarah Faith said...

Hey, Dave says that you guys wanted to have us over. Email me to set a day, we'd love to... sarahhodges323 at yahoo dot com

Kelly said...

I'm glad you have a basement too -and glad you didn't need it!

Love A2's comment about dying - wish we could all have that much faith!