Yes, it is that time of year again…. tornado season. I will publically admit that I am deathly afraid of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Most of the time you will find me in the back room of the basement, holding my dog tightly in my arms. My husband on the other hand will be standing outside looking at the sky. I remember once when the kids were little I was in the basement with them and I heard my husband hit the dining room floor above us running. I think he literally took the basement steps in one leap before he joined us. I knew it wasn’t good outside that day! I remember another time when the tornado siren went off and we lived in a two story house. My husband was working the night shift, so I grabbed one kid under each arm (they were about 6 and 7, so no small feat) went down the steps, around the corner, down some more steps, through the dining room, down some more steps and into the basement, with both of them still asleep. My heart was pounding, I still don’t know how I did not drop them!
Remember that I work in an Emergency Department and several years ago we got an all call page. That basically means that there has been a disaster and all employees are being called into work. I drove about 90 mph that day, as the dark clouds whirled and swirled above my head. A small town about twenty miles from where we live had been hit by a tornado. We had 14 people arrive in our ER that afternoon and luckily only one was seriously injured and he is fine now. Imagine those people standing in the ER, mostly with no shoes and the only thing that they had left was the clothes on their backs. That little town had been hit hard and about one half of it was gone. We waited about three weeks before we went and as I pulled up to the stop sign, it looked like we were in a war zone. As I turned the corner and came up over the hill, I literally could not breathe. There were no houses left, there was destruction everywhere. What had once been massive trees now looked like short jagged poles sticking out of the ground. I promise you that is a sight that you will never forget. The people of that town and the surrounding ones are amazing people. If you drove through that town now you would think you were just in a new housing development. All signs of the disaster are gone. They have rebuilt their homes and their lives, but I promise you the sound of the tornado siren will never be the same for any of them, or me.