I think summer is finally leaving north Texas to make room for some cooler weather. After a long hot summer that ran right through most of October, we are seeing rain, gray skies and cooler temperatures.
Of course, last night we had a tornado warning, so that’s more like spring than fall, but it happens here in tornado alley.
Tornado warnings go a little different in our house these days than they did 30+ years ago. With all the modern technology available to us to track the storms we don't get excited unless there is a visual confirmation of a tornado on the ground or we hear a loud roar.
As a child I grew up running for cover every time there was a thunderstorm. My parents were inside a building that was destroyed by a tornado two years before I was born. They huddled together as the tornado tore through their small town destroying homes and businesses and taking lives. Fortunately, they were mostly unharmed, but my mother had what I would politely describe as a “healthy respect” for severe weather that was passed along to me. However, those years of sleeping in clothes with my shoes beside the bed expecting the worst developed in me as an outright fear of storms.
As a young adult I couldn’t sleep if there was a storm, now it goes like this at our house.
10:36 p.m. I fall asleep knowing there is a risk of severe weather and possible tornadoes before the 6 a.m. alarm.
3:50 a.m. Weather alert goes off on phone
SuperDave: “What is it?”
Wiping sleep from my eyes I try to focus on the tiny blindingly bright screen.
Me: “It’s a tornado warning.”
SuperDave: “The sirens aren’t going off.”
Me: “It’s not quite here yet, they will.”
SuperDave: “Turn on the TV.”
I drag myself upright and we watch as they report the circulation is SW of us.
That means trouble.
Then the sirens go.
I’m still in bed.
I get up for the bathroom, my husband is dressed wearing shoes.
Me: “You got dressed?”
SuperDave: “If a tornado is coming I want my clothes on.”
He locks the cats in the laundry room.
I get a robe and walk back to the TV in the bedroom.
They say the circulation is directly SW of us, it’s headed straight for us.
I put my shoes, my phone, a glass of water (I was thirsty) and my purse in our 'hidey hole' aka IRNWLL (inside room, no windows, lowest level). Normally, I put my camera in there, but today I just don’t believe it and anyway, my phone has a camera if the worst happens and I need to document damage.
My husband is in the backyard looking at the sky.
I’m watching the TV.
4:35 a.m. The area of circulation passes, the warning is cancelled for us and we go back to bed and quickly fall asleep listening to the sound of the rain.
Yes, I react a little differently these days to bad weather.
5:58 a.m. Alarm #1 goes off, SuperDave gets up for work.
6:10 a.m. My alarm goes off, I hit the snooze.
It's going to be a long day.