Since the recent tornadoes in our community, I can tell you that the usual dread I experience when a warning is issued has been replaced with sheer terror. Apparently, I live in quite the tornado alley.

The kids were released early from school today because a line of storms was moving our way. It wasn’t even raining when the boys got home so I wasn’t too concerned. Number Two was supposed to go to a sleepover so I fed him a snack, got his things together, and left to take him to his friend’s house. It was only sprinkling.

I stopped in a dollar store not even a mile from my house because a granola bar craving hit me that just wasn’t going away. It was barely drizzling when we went in but within three minutes it got ugly. The clerk took a phone call and immediately began yelling, “Lock the doors! Lock the store! There’s a tornado close by!”

I stinkin‘ freaked. All I could think about was the fact I was less than a mile from home and if we were going to get blown away, I wanted to be with my family when it happened. I threw my things on the counter and took off determined to make it home.

I’m nothing if not super-intelligent.

We jumped in the truck, soaked to the bones, and headed towards home with rain coming down so hard I couldn’t see one foot in front of the vehicle. I’ve always heard when the tornado gets really close that the rain stops so I figured I was still good at this point.

Who said watching endless re-reruns of Storm Chasers doesn’t have its benefits?

The whole way I’m chanting, “Please Lord Jesus just deliver us safely home. Please Lord Jesus get us home” while my kid is freaking in the backseat. I totally get it now about the importance of the captain maintaining some composure for the sake of the shipmates. The Skipper lost her mind. And and the little Gilligan? Let’s just say calm was something he left back on shore.

After nearly rear-ending someone who had decided to just stop driving in the middle of the road and then barely missing a ditch, we finally swerved into the driveway. “GET IN THE HOUSE AND RUN TO THE BATHTUB!” We burst into the house to find father and other son in complete serenity watching tv together. Cable. No weather warnings on cable.

I put all of the kids in the bathtub and turned on the local channel. Sure enough, there had been rotation spotted not far from here. I still never convinced Luke my hysteria was justified because he’s way too cool to get discombobulated over something as minor as an F4 Twister. After all signs of red disappeared from the radar, I lowered the alert level back down to DefCon1 and let the kids out of the bathtub.

Donald Rumsfeld would have been proud.

Needless to say, I’ve had all the excitement I can take for one day. It’s pajama time for me, girls!

Oh, I watched the weather. Nary a cloud in sight for the first half of tomorrow. Here’s to sunny skies….

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