Friday, April 13, 2007

More Than You Cared to Know About Our Stormy Night

I've always imagined it - in my vain imaginations - and tonight it actually came to pass. We had been warned all day about the bad weather that would hit the metroplex tonight. I hate it when I hear things that like in the morning because then I have to fight a sense of dread all day. So at about 6:00 the newscasters began telling us about a tornado warning near downtown Fort Worth. We listened as a woman spoke to an anchor while she was taking cover in a ditch (not my idea of taking cover). (Read about it here.) You could hear the tornado sirens through her phone. She was shouting about the debris flying all around and then she actually saw the beastly cloud coming her way. Is that not terrifying? I reached out my hand toward the TV and said, "God, have mercy!" I believe it dissipated and she's probably sitting down for dinner right now. If she can even eat. I'm not sure I can.

They warned us that the storm would hit our city within twenty minutes. I've always wondered what Curtis would do in this situation because he's always the one telling me to chill out. My fear has been that he wouldn't ever give us the go ahead to take shelter in the church basement, which doubles as our super nice fellowship hall. When I asked when he thought we should head over to the church basement, he said soon. At that point I knew it was really serious and not just me freaking out.

I got Beckham's leash because I couldn't stand the thought of him being here all alone. He gets so scared during storms. And if our house was to be destroyed, at least we wouldn't have the grief of losing our dog. Y'all know I love Bill, but he just wasn't making the cut at that moment. He would probably hide out under a bed and be fine. I packed the diaper bag with food, a flashlight, Jackson's pajamas, toys, a blanket, and diapers. We jumped in the Suburban, sans carseat, and took the twenty second drive to church. There was going to be a concert to raise awareness for the Invisible Children in the gym, so some of our college guys were up there getting ready. Right after we arrived, the tornado sirens began going off. I thank the Lord that we were already there because that was very eerie. We didn't have those in Houston, so that was my first experience with sirens.

Curtis headed downstairs with Jackson and Beckham while I stood at the window and called Sunni. I was hoping she and Ava would make it in time, but the storm came upon us so quickly that it wasn't safe for her to leave her home. There were very few cars driving around, but the ones that were were driving really fast. A few people were standing in their yards watching the sky and talking on cell phones. Then there was a loud crack of lightning and I boogied my beehind into the basement.

We actually had a fun time down there. Jackson walked all over the place while Beckham ran around and made friends with everyone who was hiding out. They had a blast. I fed Jackson his dinner while we watched The Office on someone's laptop. Once we were there, I was in complete peace. The Lord is sweet to me. He knows I've just needed a basement my whole life.

The storm just barely missed us. I think the north part of town got pretty bad hail. Haltom City got some bad damage and actually had a tornado touch down. Tomorrow will tell what all actually happened. We are getting more storms tonight but they aren't supposed to be as bad.

So that was my very long-winded report of our first tornado evacuation to the church. Now that we've experienced it one time I think it will give me confidence in future storms. Well, it turns out I am hungry and will be able to eat after all. I'm going forth to make my Lean Cuisine.

*Update* I just tried the Chicken Primavera and I highly recommend it. And here's a link to all the freaky storm pictures.


Kelly said...

Aren't tornados scary? As soon as they start saying "you need to get to a safe place" on TV - I head for our closet with my dog and pillows. My husband, however, likes to stand outside and watch. Great! So when the tornado comes - not only will I lose my house - but my husband too!
I felt so bad last year because a terrible one came through last year late at night and all my friends were talking about how they grabbed their wedding rings and pictures before they hit the closet - and I grabbed nothing! I'll be more prepared next time! :-)

Sarah said...

This post cracked me up! Don't y'all have tornadoes in Houston? My mom's from Beaumont, and I've heard her hurricane stories, but come to think of it, I'm not sure she has ever mentioned tornadoes. I've been through so many tornado warnings/watches/sirens/touchdowns that they don't even scare me anymore. And that's saying something, since I'm deathly afraid of frogs and moths.

While you were crouching down in the basement, we were standing at the open backdoor commenting on the pretty sky and lovely hail. But Caiden was in his closet praying for the people at the speedway and his hamster, so I guess we haven't distilled all the fear around here :)

Glad you're still able to eat. :)

Anonymous said...

Alright - one time my sisters and I were in the kitchen with my mom, watching the news to keep up with the storm -and the tornado sirens went off. We all scrambled to the basement, and I grabbed our puppy, Daisy. She was just a little Jack-Russell. (I say "was" not because she tragically died in this moment of sheer stupidity on my part... but her death is another story.) Anyway - little did I know, she was wearing her electric fence collar - and the fence was in the house, in front of the staircase UP to the 2nd floor and also the staircase DOWN to, you guessed it - the basement. our destination. she screeched and yelped and as the fence was new, it took me a few seconds to realize i was standing in the midst of shock zone! poor little thing! we all arrived safely in the basement but let's just say she was a little hyper and twitchy that night... whoops.

Alright - while I'm at it, the story of how she died is quite sad. I was running and took her on the last few miles. We got to a spot in my neighborhood and were attacked by two German Shepherds who were quite scary and not chained up. They literally ripped her apart right in front of me. It happened on my 16th birthday. But God later gave me a horse, named DAISY of all things. :) Not to replace, just to help a little. :)

sorry this was SO long. and i'm glad ya'll are safe and sound! i bet jackson just thought it was a party :)

Kelli said...

I've lived through the "Big Three" earthquakes in CA growing up. I don't think I could be that brave in a tornado.

Glad it was at least fun :)

Holly said...

Praise the Lord for your family's safety! We lived in Marshall for several years, and we had several touch down and do some damage. We lived in a house built in 1854, so we figured it had been there a long time for a reason! Then we lived in a fort-like home...but dear friends of ours lost their home as the "train-like" sounds covered them. After, we all volunteered for picking up and taking meals to folks who had damage. I think it is always wise to head for shelter when you feel the Lord pressing you. SO glad you're ok...keep a song in your heart, Amanda for all those storms each time they come through.
PS Home in Colorado have basements... hint hint :)

Military Mommy said...

Poor Bill. :) Just kidding. I know how you feel. If it came down to the dog or the cat, sorry whiskers. :)

I am still laughing out loud that "Bill didn't make the cut".

Thanks for giving me something to giggle about tonight.

Love, Michelle

Tracey said...

Hi Amanda,

New to your site! Love the layout.

I know what you mean about the tornado sirens. We moved to Alabama almost 7 years ago (from Georgia) and the first time I heard those sirens, it was like a WWII raid! Weird.

We have tornados all the time. In fact, we lost a good friend/former student in the tornado that recently hit Enterprise High School.

Glad you guys are safe. What better place to be than in the basement of God's "sanctuary"!

Glad I stopped by and will check back in often!


Holly said...

I'll take time next week and find the pictures of the inside our 1854 home and give some testimony of how we got there...I tell you God provides such neat stories in our lives! I'll let you know when I post it. The ceilings ranged from 12 feet to 9 feet...can you imagine our Christmas tree? It filled the room ('cause of course it had to touch the ceiling). It was my very, very favorite home ever (probably held together by caulk :)
Blessings on your weekend...May God watch over you all!

a boy a girl and a pug said...

I'm with you girl...that was scary. I live in the DFW area and after my work-out at the gym I decided to throw all that cardio out the window and head to Rosa's Cafe for a hearty dinner of chips and queso. So not smart. I had never been in a car during a hail storm...much less alone. I wanted to bawl!

Thanks for the good laugh!

debra parker said...

Weather is so scary! In Springfield the first Wednesday of every month was "Siren Test Day." That was always strange enough. The first time I heard it go off during a storm panic struck. I am so thankful for a level headed man.

Jackie said...

We are beginning to get it here in Houston.. they have been warning us of 'severe storms and tornadoes' all evening... now they are beeping across our screen non-stop. I have a 2 yr. old running 104 fever, so I am not sleeping anyways. My hubby is at work downtown in the TALLEST building, on the 70th floor and won't come home- he says I am overreacting! I am freaking out here- I couldn't handle the 70th floor.
Glad you are safe- hopefully we will get some rest tonight. The thunder is so loud my walls are rattling. I WANT A BASEMENT! Have a good weekend. -Jackie

Kelli said...

I was watching the news in Houston and was scared for you guys up in the Dallas area! Glad you all were "blessed in the basement"!

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

A carry over from the PDLAM post? In my first tornado warning as a mom, I belted my children to me so they wouldn't blow away without me...seriously, pdlam...:))

I am so glad you all are okay!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Funny because I ate a Lean Cuisine after the storm too--Vegetable Eggroll, and it was pretty good! I'm glad that we didn't go blow our diets at Sonic to calm our nerves (I wouldn't have blamed us.)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am glad everyone is okay! You would think with all the crazy storms we have in Houston we would be used to all this - but, seems like everytime a new storm rolls in - I get the feeling I have never been through one of these before.

In regards to leaving Bill and letting him fend for himself - when I was 18 our home burned to the ground in the middle of the night. To be honest, when we were awoken in the middle of the night that the house was on fire - I did not even think about Penny, our calico cat. It was not until we were standing outside and across the street watching our house burn that I realized she was still in the house! Fast forward - a few weeks after the fire we were given the "all go" to go back and sift through whatever remained...but, no sight of Penny. It was several months later, when we began to rebuild - that she walked up to the house - as if nothing had happened! We could not believe she survived! Cats surely do have 9 lives! Ha!

PandaMom said...

I can totally relate to your fear, but on the flip side! I have grown up with tornadoes and though I get nervous and pray for safety, they have always been part of our springtime from central to north texas. The two years that I lived in Baytown, TX I was COMPLETELY terrified of those hurricane warnings!!!!!!!!! I just about flipped out the first time a "watch" hit the news! Funny how we are accustomed to different things in our environment. Glad to know y'all are safe.

BTW: I used to pack my two cats in a duffle and huddle in the hallway when we lived in Ft. Worth when hubby was in Seminary back in the late 90's. So I am happy to hear that your Beckham was taken care of as well. ; )

Vernon & Amber said...

we had a lot of fun last night braving the storm...we dont have a basement so we got a mattress and got in the bath tub. We had to make it a game so as to not scare titus! Vernon ran accross the street because we were watching out the window and all the powerlines were falling at our across the street neighbors and there were sparks and smoke. The ladies who live there are two very elderly ladies and we wanted to make sure they were okay. Needless to say they did not answer the door...they were probably scared to death! Our neighbors tree fell right on his F 150 pick up. That is when Vernon said okay go to the bathroom with Titus and i ll make sure no one OUTSIDE is hurt....He is crazy! but Brave i guess! All in all it was an eventful evening. After it was done I made choclate chip cookies...yum yum...and we laughed at the craziness of it all. We are totally safe, no damage to our yard, house or cars. Titus has been talking about it all morning! Tonight be sure to ask him about it! hehe! it is so funny! So glad to hear Yall were safe and the Invisible Children event people also!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Glad you're OK. I like realestategirl's comment about being safe in God's sanctuary. That's beautiful.

Personally, I love big storms. I love standing outside, watching the wicked clouds tumble and the rain hit my face. But then again, all Minnesota homes have basements. I can't imagine living through a tornado warning without one. What were Texas builders thinking?!?

Nancy Mon said...

Amanda,I am so glad you all are ok. I don't think I have ever heard a tornado siren in Houston either, but I remember the air raid siren that went off every Friday at noon. I think Baptist Temple in Houston is the only church with a basement unless you count the lower floor of the library at HFBC.

AKat said...

Aren't they terrifying?!?!?!

Praise and Coffee said...

OH Amanda! I was up here in Michigan praying for you and all my new bloggy friends down there in Texas!

I'm so glad you are ok!