So…I survived “tornado” day. I have to admit I’m a bit conflicted. I have gone through a range of emotions since yesterday morning. At first, I was concerned for my family’s safety because of the size of our building and lack of basement. Then I was annoyed because my husband didn’t seem to take the impending storm or the storm warning seriously enough. Then I was in pain because I sliced into my finger with a steak knife while cutting a piece of summer sausage…oh, wait. That’s not relevant, is it? Although I suppose it would have been, if the cut were deep enough to warrant me spending the whole afternoon in the ER. Okay, so then I was pissed off and upset that my husband was too afraid of getting written up at work to leave early and come with me and our daughter out to my friend’s house, where there was a storm shelter. I didn’t want to leave him, but I felt I had to look after the baby first.
Anyway, I drove to my friend C’s house about 30 miles away (leaving hubby at work, without a vehicle, and not knowing if he’d be okay when he got off work.) I kept an eye on the sky. The sky was still alternately sunny and overcast, but the wind was picking up, and my Ford Explorer was being blown around quite a bit.
I brought a diaper bag with a few things for the baby, plenty of diapers, and a change of clothes for me, as well as my medicine…just in case.
I also brought my camera, and as we stood outside smoking (I quit about 2 years ago, but I cheat every once in a while, so sue me,) I began snapping pictures. It was probably around 2 or 3 pm. My anticipation built as the sky darkened. We kept an eye on the radar on C’s 50″TV, and left for the storm shelter before the rain hit.
The thing is, once my daughter was safe in the shelter, I was no longer worried. I stood outside taking picture after picture of the sky. I wanted to see a tornado. For many years now I have had a fascination with them. I’ve dreamed of them, dreams that are often scary and a bit surreal, yet intriguing to me for all of that. All told, between my friend’s family and my daughter and I, there were nine people there. While the kids hung back, most of us foolish adults stood outside sky-gazing until the last possible minute. It began to rain, and we were attempting to snap pictures and maybe get a glimpse of something phenomenal. I only retreated to the shelter when the hail began, some balls of ice almost as big as golf balls.
When that particular storm passed over, we still had our eyes to the sky. (It has been said that the calm after the storm often springs tornadoes.) My friend checked the radar on her phone to see if any more of the storm systems were headed our way and I took a few more pictures of the sky, which was becoming bright and sunny in one direction and still gray as a bruise and lightening in another.
But it seemed our portion of the storms was just about over… and I was disappointed.
When I finally got home around seven or eight, I found out that not much happened in our area of the city at all (although the warning siren did go off.) Turns out, I’d have probably been safer just staying home. Ironic, and a bit irritating, to tell the truth.
Today I see reports of widespread damage across Kentucky and Indiana. Property damage has been extensive in some areas. There have been several fatalities and hundreds of injuries.
I realize we were extremely lucky. There’s really nothing fun or exciting about your home destroyed, your property scattered from here to kingdom come, and your family or friends in danger of injury or death. I am glad my family and friends are safe, and I feel bad for the people who weren’t as lucky…
But I’m still a bit disappointed. Like I told my best friend. I really, really want to see a tornado with my own eyes…from a respectable and safe distance of course.
I’ll leave you with just a few of the images I took with my trusty digital (which, though a bit water logged, is thankfully still functioning) and a map I found on a weather website depicting the areas and the sighted tornadoes from yesterday’s storm outbreak. It might be wishful thinking on my part, but some of the cloud formations even look like they were wanting to descend and form a funnel. I’ll leave it to you to decide.