Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stormy Weather

Say nine-eleven and anyone knows what you're talking about. It's one of those things that doesn't need any other words around it to be understood, like Cher or Oprah. In Oklahoma we have a couple of similar dates. One, of course, is April 19, 1995, the day of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The other is May third. On May 3rd, 1999, Oklahoma was attacked by multiple high level tornadoes.

I woke up that morning and opened the door to let the dogs outside. The air was so thick you could almost touch it. It clung to your skin. I went back inside and told the kids we needed to get the storm shelter ready. (I used to stomp my foot on the door of the shelter shouting "Auntie Em, Auntie Em!" My children were not amused.)

I turned on the television mid-afternoon. Shortly thereafter, the storm chasers started reporting tornado sightings. One in particular started out at about a quarter mile wide. We watched as it grew to a half mile, three quarters, a full mile across. And it stayed on the ground for what seemed like forever. Hours. Miraculously, we never had to go into our shelter. That tornado and several others wreaked havoc on Oklahoma and Kansas. (We didn't whine about it, though, we just cleaned it up.)

The weekend after, my daughter and I spent Saturday at Rose State College, cleaning up. Picking up cancelled checks from a town miles away, Christmas ornaments, toys, photos, people's entire lives. President Clinton's helicopter flew over surveying the damage while we were picking up lumber. The next day was Mother's Day and I chose to spend time with my family sorting donations of food and clothing for Feed the Children.

Fellow blogger Jeff has been complaining about not enough snow, and is eagerly awaiting a blizzard (which I totally do not understand because you cannot play golf in a blizzard so I have absolutely no use for snow). His weather has been dysfunctional this winter. Well, I'm here to say, so has ours. Our weather people told us all last week that we were going to have severe weather (meaning possibility of tornadic activity) last night. Which is very bad because it wasn't coming until late, which means night tornadoes, which are evil incarnate. If you don't believe me, watch "Twister." Which was actually filmed a few miles north of here. The problem with all of this is that it's FEBRUARY.

Our weatherman showed us what to put in a tornado kit. He suggested having one of the nifty little weather radios with a storm alert. That way, if we are sleeping peacefully and a twister is bearing down on us, Mr. Radio will wake us up so we can turn on the t.v. and Rick can tell us what to do. I went to several places yesterday and finally found what may have been the last one in town, at Radio Shack. I hope they did have another one, actually, or the lady behind me may stalk me down and kill me for ours.

Sure enough, middle of the night NOAA shrieked at us, we found Rick on Channel 5, he told us the storm was in Tulsa and we could go back to sleep. Which we did. There is a saying in our state that if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. So we had the tornado weather, generally warm and muggy, yesterday. As I write this, the wind is blowing 55 miles an hour (I'm not kidding), it's raining, and the temperature is 43, which makes the wind chill something unpleasant. But it doesn't matter because you can't be outside on account of the wind blowing you over or slamming your car door on your leg or blowing flying debris into your head. Don't ask how I know this.


Blogger Dorothy said...

This must be a big weather system because it has been pretty much just like that here today. Cold, WINDY and LOTS of rain!
We even had some thunder and lightning. I kept looking at the sky and thinking it looked so much like tornado weather. Strangely enough we have had one here in January. I don't remember the year but I remember it happening.
I keep thinking I ought to get a handy dandy weather radio but I haven't yet.
We did however, install a carbon monoxide detector since it is now a law in our state for homes to have one!
guess I need to make the radio next on the list!

8:19 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

At least we don't live on the east coast. A law to install a CO detector? That's just the government passing laws to protect us from our oh so stupid selves. Don't even get me started.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous TracyH said...

Oh, you'll love the law that Tom was telling me they're trying to pass in California. All homes will have to use flourescent bulbs instead of the regular incandescent bulbs. Now, I use the flourescent because I like the fact that they last so long. But to be told I HAVE to have them-UGH!

Wasn't the wind awful yesterday? I had to ride back from OKC in it, then drive home from Enid with it pulling me all ove the road.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

tracy - I would like to know how they plan to enforce that light bulb thing. Bulb raids??? Glad you made it home in that wind. Driving in that crap is exhausting!

4:11 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I know Jeff was whining about missing the snow. I, however, did not want snow and we now have more than a foot. Yuck. I think it's all the same storm that went through your area.

I'm ready for summer.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

heather - I think it is the same storm. It's odd this winter how the same storms keep going and going like the Energizer bunny. May your snow melt quickly!

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Lois said...

we got dumped on night before last--Sat. night---almost 12 inches. We have a heavy duty snowblower, so Bill did the driveway Sunday morning and the plow went by, so we made it to church with our 4-wheel drive Subaru. Guess what--there were like 30 people in church!!! And that included the choir members that made it. By the way, it's still snowing, and it's supposed to snow for the next 2 days. So Duluth is finally getting snow too. Last Friday we had bare grass and garden dirt showing!! 2 days later we can't get out the door!!! Isn't this fun?

4:49 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

lois - Yuck, yuck and more yuck. We have had several people from Minnesota offer to come visit us in the near future! We have been pretty lucky lately. Windy as heck, but Randy and I just got finished walking 18 holes. Gotta love that. Hope you get a warm breeze soon!

4:05 PM  
Blogger Harmonica Man said...

Sorry I haven't been keeping up here. I've been way busy with stuff at home. As a matter of fact, I FINISHED sanding my steps! Woo-hoo!!! Now all we have to do is poly them, but that's the easy part.

Speaking of snow - here it comes again!

6:48 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

h-man - Congrats on the steps, you are way more dedicated than I would have been! Have fun with your snow. You might want to wait to shovel until after the plow comes by.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

If I lived in your area, I would build a shelter in the garage floor, like you had in Pond Creek!! We have been watching too many tornados throughout the South. Do you have one in your new home?

7:26 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

bill - No, we don't have a shelter here. If the tornado siren goes off, we'll be sitting on top of the washer and dryer next to the kitty litter box! Believe it or not, this town doesn't have a community shelter. That's just crazy.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Tell Randy I need a consultant to organize my new instant tornado shelter. The plan is to square off a hydraulic tree planter, then dig a hole, and drop in a steel box. He can take it from there, as he sends me the checks!

5:58 AM  

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