Praying in my own godless way for the most recent tornado victims to find peace with their losses and a solid spot to place a foot as they step into the future

pocstormWe have cyclonic storms here in the Great Lake State. I don’t know if we’ve ever had anything approaching an F5 tornado a couple miles wide and packing 200 mph winds (or whatever it was). But we do get some killers and, therefore, I can be a ninny about them. The GG? Naw. Let’s go outside and watch…

I have been through an actual tornado and lived to tell the story. It was 1997 and we were heading north on the I75 SUV Speedway one hot, humid July day. The sky turned black, we bailed into a rest area, I wanted to go and hide under a toilet (if you know me IRL, you *know* how much I hate public toilets), the GG made me park on the entrance ramp *back* to the freeway and… There was the tornado, coming straight at us. It flipped one or two cars over but in the end, we didn’t get a direct hit. We were rocked around a bit but came through unscathed, except for the sand-blasting my loverly old POC endured, the beauteous lemonish vee-hickle in the photoooo. That tornado was nowhere near an F5 but it was a killer — one person in a mobile home, if I remember accurately. One is more than enough.

That photoooo was not taken on the tornado day. It was taken in the loverly Landfill Driveway a few years later, 2000. No, a tornado did not come through that time. It was 3:00 AM and a bit of wind woke us up. The GG said something about how nice it was that a storm was blowing in because that would make sleeping so much better. Roight… So a little wind and some thunder and lightning. And then! Swoooooooosh! HUGE WIND! More REALLY LOUD THUNDER! Except not. That was the sound of a tree falling on our house. We jumped out of bed and so did the then teenaged children. Thank the gods no one was hurt (including Izzy the rat, guinea pig [many names (Toilet Brush?)] and whatever anoles [not named that I know of] may have been left by that time).

I’m a mom and when severe weather is predicted, I worry freak out. What is the safest place in my house to throw my body over my childrens’ bodies in case worse comes to worst? Under the dungeon stairs, I think… What if we’re not home or I’m separated from my children or THEY ARE OUT DRIVING SOMEWHERE ALL ON THEIR OWN! Because licensed teenagers and adults doooooo that kind of thing… I can’t imagine living in Tornado Alley. I need the green of the Great Lake State and the big water of Gitchee Gumee. I’m not sure there is any place that is safe enough to survive an F5 tornado besides an underground shelter like the one Dorothy didn’t quite make it into when she went to Oz.

And then there was the day when we were all home at the Landfill and the sky was really threatening and the tornado sirens blew. Total chaos erupted. The beach urchins freaked out and threw every last blasted stuffed aminal down the Landfill Dungeon stairs. Workers across the street were noisily chipping up some old branches or whatever and did *not* stop because of the dern tornado siren. The GG? Well, he was outside! Where else? A couple of cecropia moths were mating in a crack between sidewalk panes and he and our late [beloved] neighbor Hans were out there watching them. And taking photos, which are around somewhere but I couldn’t find them in iPhoto so you get the POC instead. No tornado came anywhere near us that night but whenever I think of that evening, I imagine a beautiful zaftig soprano trilling an aria throughout all the activity. That’s about all that was missing.

2 Responses to “Praying in my own godless way for the most recent tornado victims to find peace with their losses and a solid spot to place a foot as they step into the future”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I would hate to deal with tornadoes. I’m scared of my own shadow, practically. I am terrified of big snowstorms, windstorms and the nasty ice that we had a couple of years ago. Our biggest threat here is an enormous earthquake. (which is hard because there is no way to predict it)

  2. Marquis Says:

    Checkout Slate’s interactive map of deaths from tornadoes since 1950. Your neighborhood out-tolls OK.