Saturday, March 15, 2008

We're Oooookay

Bit of rough weather last night. What no one but the AJC seems comfortable conclusively calling a tornado hit downtown, about 6 miles west of us last night.

We're fine. Our framing is fine. I will confess to a touch of full-on panic when I heard the news of the tornado warning and we looked outside to see the quintessential tornado sky. The clouds were that perfect shape and color, with the bright linings and the crystal clear patch of starry sky between them...and the yellowish hue. When I looked up, it was as though I was a little girl again, standing in the front yard with my mom who, inexplicably, was pulling some weeds from the flower bed as the warning siren sounded and the storm moved in at what looked like a break-neck speed. Usually when we had tornado watches in Indiana, we'd pile in the van and head to our neighbor's house because they had a basement. Not just a basement, but one filled with games and toys and a pool table as well as a ping pong table. I adored tornado watches as a child.

There were a couple times in my memory when warnings turned into watches so quickly there was no time to get to the neighbors' house. I recall once sitting together in the dank crawl space which had about 3' of head room while we waited out the storm. Another time we all huddled on the floor of the kitchen, which was in the middle of the house and, though open to the living and dining rooms, windowless. We all sat there with pillows over our heads until the storm was over. I thought it was a hoot.

Last night, watching the storm move toward us at 33 miles per hour, I was less amused. I was thinking of the giant, old-growth oak trees in our front yard and the fact that because our second floor is just a finished attic, the only thing between those very heavy trees and the squishy heads of my children was a very thin layer of roof. I contemplated evacuating them to the basement...I'd have to wake them up and scare the crap out of them to do that... As the storm hit us and the hail dinged the windows I went up there and looked out the window at the trees. They weren't even swaying; there was not a lot of wind, only the non-stop lightning seemed a threat. I considered the knot in my stomach as I thought of how my own parents must have felt when we were all huddled on the kitchen floor with nothing but pillows to protect us. I still get a good dose of delight from a good storm, but it's not quite as blissful as my childhood ignorance had been.

Happily the storm skidded past us very quickly and Jeremiah and I found ourselves on the front porch, watching the light show off in the east. The first phone call we received this morning was from our contractor. We all really lucked out.


karen said...

Thank goodness! We just saw the news about the storm last night and I logged in right away to check on you and Joy. Glad to know you guys are heart is 50% more calm!

LMP said...

Thanks for checking up on us! There's a lot of damage downtown, I scoped it out today. It's VERY unsettling to see, but it looks like we've got some nice weather in our near future (whew!)