"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


The day I listened to the weatherman!!!!

 Believe me, the irony was not lost on me last week, when the tornado sirens went off in my new little town, that after all that hard work (and I mean HARD work) of moving, it could easily just "POOF" be blown away. You have to know that I am the girl that stood outside during a different tornado warning several years ago, to watch the tornado come in and got struck by lightning. Anyway, I am not a girl that takes tornado warnings very seriously. I grew up in Oklahoma and I know full well the wrath they can dispel on people, but they totally fascinate me. So, last Tuesday when every single time there was a commercial the weatherman would come on (and it was sunny and beautiful outside) to tell us that it was a HIGHLY unusual weather day, I kinda listened. The weatherman said we had not had any days like this for years. He even said if we had an old football helmet or motorcycle helmet laying around, we should keep them close. That caught my attention. I had never heard a weatherman suggest that! Then almost to the minute of when the weatherman suggested the torndadoes would start, they did. The same helmet suggesting weatherman was on the TV full time by then and had another suggestion. He said, "If you are in the line of these massive tornadoes, take cover and pray. If you are not in the line of the tornadoes, please pray for those that are." Hmmm. A weatherman suggesting prayer???? (I began to listen). The sirens went off and I got the leashes for my dog and the crate for my cat. We have only been in this house for a week, so I knew the animals were not familiar enough to run to the basement. (And THANK GOD we do have a great basement.) I had one daughter at home and she was game to continue to sit upstairs with me. By this time we had had several phone calls from relatives "strongly suggesting" we head to the basement. (They know me so well.) Then the weatherman said, "Guthrie (my new little town), the tornado is coming right at you. If you are in Guthrie take cover now, because this tornado is rain-wrapped and you will never see it coming. Well, being that Oklahoma raised girl, I KNOW that rain-wrapped tornadoes are horrible. I listened. I gathered up my pups, my cat and my daughter and we headed to the basement. The animals were all very calm. ....Which surprised me. One day many years ago, I had been out riding my horse on a sunny day and the horse acted horrible all afternoon. He even bucked me off!  That night we had a big tornado. Animals sense things that we often cannot. So when my pups and cat were being good, I thought maybe we were going to be spared. Then the air changed. It is hard to describe unless you have been through a tornado. There was an eerie stillness all around us. Then the basement door looked like it was breathing...with a big inhale and a big exhale. It even knocked over the big huge board I had put in front of the door for protection. Then we lost our power and we were in a very very dark basement. I knew the tornado was close. We were calm. We hugged the pups and waited it out. We kept getting phone calls from people worried about us, but our phones would not stay connected to anyone. But they did know we were fine. When we felt like it was safe, we came out of the basement. The only thing that had happened to our house, was some minor flash-flooding of the sidewalks and part of the basement from the torential rains that wrapped the tornado, and we lost our cute little metal awning that was over our back door. We were beyond lucky. There are no words for how lucky we are. A mere three blocks away, homes were leveled, the power plant was hit, the schools were hit, the animal shelter was hit, and there was loss of life. We were one of many tornadoes that hit our state last Tuesday. The only picture I have included is of a house in our town...or what was a house in our town. I do not want to share a bunch of pictures because you all have seen the ravaged mess the tornadoes leave. I do not want to exploit anyone's tragedy. Our power was off for hours, and we could hear the sirens of rescue crews for hour after hour. We knew it was bad, just by that. Believe me, we have said our prayers of gratitude multiple times each day since the tornado. I hope I have learned to be a little more cautious. I know that the terrific weathermen that day in OKC had to have saved many lives....if people, like me, listened!
One last note about the tornadoes. My sweet daughter Annie works for the American Red Cross and is in charge of sending out volunteers to disasters. She then helps families with any and everything they need to rebuild their lives. The afternoon of the tornado, she text me and said, "Mom. It is coming right for you. Go to the basement." She not only took care of me, but she has taken care of thousands all week. Today is her birthday and she spent it doing what she is wonderful doing.....taking care of the needs of those that have lost so much. I have no doubt when they visit with Annie, they leave feeling a little better. Happy Birthday Annabelle. You make me proud the way you selflessly help so many.
Picture from last year, since we did not get to celebrate yet this year!)
Tomorrow, I'll show you the shades we got put up in the den! Be safe everyone!

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