Thursday, June 5, 2008

Little Girls and Tornados

It's tornado season here on the high prairies, and as much as I might want to shield my little ones from fear and worries about natural disasters, there is just no hiding some things from them. Especially when their older brother, who is just this side of a storm chaser, hovers around the doppler radar page on the computer, talking about "funnel clouds" and "right conditions" and such. It's enough to make the stoutest little heart jittery.

Yesterday was particularly bad, I think, because it was such a dark stormy day here. While I was out, a friend spotted a funnel cloud to the north of our town (actually quite a ways north, as it turns out). So, I drafted out the procedure for our big boys to follow in case of a tornado threat, just as a precaution. And, of course the little girls overheard this. I did take some time (as it turns out maybe not enough) to calm their fears, though. Cathy was concerned about what we should do if there was a tornado in the night, and how would we know so we could run down to the cellar. I told her that Daddy and I are right here, but that she should pray to her Guardian Angel to wake her if there was an emergency and she could trust that she would be alright. This seemed to satisfy her and her sisters, and they went on up to bed a little later with nothing more said. My husband, the big brothers and I didn't think any more about it


About 9:30 or so, when we thought they were already asleep ~

Cathy (7 ~ our communicator) comes downstairs and tells us that

Theresa (9 ~ our worrier) has been up fretting and sketching out worst-case-scenarios, and
Anna (5 ~ our doer) has been packing up all her underpants...

"She's been doing what?" we all say, almost in unison.

"She's been packing up all her panties, because Theresa said if we had a tornado
we'd probably pee our pants."

That's our Anna. She wanted to be prepared in case of an emergency.

And that is our three little girls in a nutshell.
*PS* Just as I pushed the "Publish" button on this post, I got a call from my second oldest son, Kevin, who is heading back to Omaha this morning, where he lives and works. He wanted to make sure I knew that, as he spoke, he was watching a tornado descend from greenish clouds outside of Brush, Colorado ~ in a field adjacent to the highway on which he was driving. Wasn't that sweet of him to fill me in on that?
Actually, I'm glad he did, so that now I can ask everyone reading if they wouldn't mind saying a quick prayer to St. Christopher (his patron) to protect my boy not only from: problems with the old Saab he's driving, distraction, poor roads, low flying geese, and on-coming traffic... But also from tornados!
(Thanks, y'all!)


Laura said...

My niece and nephew had to do a tornado drill in their school yesterday because a tornado was touching down in the adjacent town.
They were still shook up about it when I called my sister yesterday. I don't know that much about tornados...but when you see one (like your son did) are you supposed to stay in your car? find a ditch? drive in the other direction?
Prayers for your son to stay out of harm's way...especially, but not limited to, the whirling high pitched kind.

Maryan said...

I'm laughing from reading bloglines... and then came and saw your update. So now you have my laughter and prayers.

GrandmaK said...

Of the tornadoes that have touched down here in Newburgh in the last 5 years, we had been out of town, the 1st in CA and the other in St. Louis. Coming home and witnessing the devastation is awesome (and I don't mean that as a cliche). The first time we flew over it, and the 2nd time we had to navigate through the damage to get home. There is no one in a community that is not touched in some way. Last weekend INDY had one and our Marianne was out of town as well, but came home to 10 inches of water in her basement. She was the one in five who was terrified of storms and would make preparation. She would immediately head for the basement and hide under the stairs. We all have our ways of coping and prayer is always in my PLAN. May God bless us you all in our "Season of the Great Winds." Cathy

Joannof10 said...

I have been thinking of all you folks our in the "west" and in the way of these storms. I will keep you all in my prayers....

GrandmaK said...

Forgot to invite you to visit as I have a "MEME gift" for you...Have a grand weekend!!! Cathy

Lisa said...

Laura ~ I'm not sure... but I think if you can't outrun it,you're supposed to go to a low place, under a bridge or something... and it seems like you're supposed to get out of your car... But I'm not sure; I'd better google that! We've had family members outrun them twice. Scary!

Maryan ~ Thank-you!

Cathy ~ I know! It's a scary time of year. I love the green and the garden and the fact that the kids can play outside, but dread the tornados. I'm so glad all yours are safe! (Heading over for that meme here, as soon as I feed the kids!)

Joann ~ Thank-you! The tornados are what we get in exchange for the humid weather, I guess. I think I'd take the humidity, though...

Ellen said...

Oh my, Lisa, I'm so far behind reading your blog but it sure was worth staying up late to read this one! Sweet Anna! I haven't laughed that hard for awhile. Quite the practical little girl, I must say. As for getting out of your car in a tornado, you're right. The air pocket underneath it is what makes it easier for the tornado to pick up. If you're flat on the ground(especially in a ditch), you have a much better chance of staying there. This bit of information made me think that it may be one of the reasons trailer parks are devastated moreso than most other areas: flimsy building material, yes, but also there is a three foot high "pocket of air" right under my feet! Fortunately, we have a storage shed built from cinder blocks... :-)