Clearly, I’ve got my priorities in order.

Today has been an eventful one, weather wise. Early this morning, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, issued a Potentially Dangerous Situation tornado watch for our entire area, with a big red bullseye painted right over the top of where I live. For those of you not from the South, that roughly translates to, “You’re all royally fucked, but have a nice day!”

So I spent the afternoon glued to streaming video out of KFOR in Oklahoma City watching storm after storm drop tornadoes all around my friends and family who live there and wishing I’d had the balls to tell a doctor that I really need medication for this anxiety problem I’ve got because, hey! I’m pretty fucking certain I’m having a panic attack and the thewallsareclosinginonme! Exclamation point!

In the grand tradition of my patented super-duper-compartmentalization-I’ll-deal-with-it-later technique, I pushed all my fear to the back of my mind and took a little trip to Wal-Mart. You know, retail therapy and all that. My grocery basket looked like a trip to prepare for the apocalypse: cheese and cheese-based products, imitation cheese, travel-sized soap, and beef jerky. Buying all that certainly made me feel better, but Lord knows what I’m going to do with a can of bacon-flavored cheese spray. It, um,  sounded like a good idea at the time.

Then tonight while I was doing my OCD pre-bedtime scrub down of all the kitchen surfaces, I heard the faint wail of tornado sirens in the distance. If you’ve never experienced that sound, count yourself lucky. Every time it happens, my stomach attempts a hasty exit through my asshole and my heart goes into spasmodic fibrillations that would do a hummingbird proud. It took me about five seconds to scoop a still-sleeping Boo (along with an army of his stuffed animals) out of bed and get him situated in the bathtub of our guest bathroom.

Then the storm hit.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been more worried that the windows were going to be broken by flying debris. With my last shred of common sense, I turned the TV up as loud as it would go, grabbed my laptop, and sprinted to the bathroom. The power flickered once. Twice. Above the roar of the wind, I wondered what would happen if our roof got ripped away. Boo sat up from his nest and told me he was ‘skeered.’ I told him it was going to be okay. My voice was not convincing.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity but was probably more like five minutes, the roar of the wind faded away. Rain still pelted the windows, bouncing off the glass like bullets off pavement, but I could tell the worst was over. When the sirens wound down with an eery Doppler echo, I knew I could brave opening to front door to survey the destruction.

We escaped any damage as far as I can tell. Red said he saw places where dry wall and insulation had blown into the road, so other people here weren’t as lucky. Selfishly, I’m relieved we still have power, which means we still have internet access. All that, and after tonight some people don’t even have a place to call home.

Clearly, I’ve got my priorities in order.

I’ll just deal with it all tomorrow.


About Chelsie

Mommy. Beauty product whore. Plastic lawn flamingo enthusiast. Nosy neighbor. One day novelist.
This entry was posted in Boo, Family, I should probably just apologize ahead of time, Internetland, No one else will think this is funny, Red and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Clearly, I’ve got my priorities in order.

  1. niek1928 says:

    Hi Mom
    You’re not in the neighborhood of Joplin, are you? Wish you strength there where you are – greetz – Niek

    • Chelsie says:

      We live south of Joplin. The tornado that ripped through there was given an EF-5 rating and had 200 mph winds. The one that came through here was an EF-1 with winds in the 60-80 mph zone. Thankfully, we got hit with the outflow boundary from the storm, not the tornado itself.

  2. Mrs. H. says:

    I’m glad to hear from someone in that area. I’ve been watching the news this morning from Alabama, and the tornadoes they’ve shown have been so terrifying. You’re right about that siren, though. As soon as I hear it, even on our monthly tests, my blood runs cold. I can’t help but create a mental safety plan (which is complete with “how am I going to convince two cats to stay in the bathroom with me and the two dogs?” and “our most central room isn’t really that safe…”).

    This summer’s storms have been so devastating and frightening. I count myself lucky, too, that I survived the tornado that came through here last month. For those who weren’t so lucky, we can make donations and offer prayers. Maybe someone who doesn’t have a home would be grateful for parts of your stockpile? Anyway, I’m glad you and your family were spared. I’m offering prayers others in your area who weren’t.

  3. Michelle says:

    Hey, glad to hear you guys made it out okay. I spent most of the day trying to work off the excess adrenaline shooting through my system, which I did okay on until I heard about the tornadoes hitting El Reno. That was what nearly gave me a panic attack.

    Thankfully, even though the storm was dropping tornadoes north and south of us, the front moved through most of the greater Tulsa area without significant incident.

    And then, even after things moved through Tulsa, I heard about the storms going through Dallas, Bryan County, and LeFlore County, which left me worried for my friends and family in those areas. Fortunately, it looks like everybody survived the night, for which I am so very, very grateful.

    I’m glad you and Boo and Red are all right.

  4. Jennifer Charter says:

    The tornado sirens are the most terrifying sound ever! I’m another one of the run outside and look, until I hear those sirens, then it’s grab the kids and head to the shelter! When they went off last night it woke Teddy, and he was already getting dressed when I ran into their room. That tells me we have had a really bad storm season this year, because Teddy used to ask what the sirens meant, and now he just gets ready and grabs his backpack (that I keep crayons and a coloring book in). I REALLY hope this is the last big storm because I really hate getting to know my fellow townspeople at the town shelter. Glad you guys are safe and suffered no damage!

    • Chelsie says:

      I’m always afraid to leave our house for the tornado safe room at the elementary school down the street from us, because it only opens if the city directors decide to turn on the sirens. That means that we’d have one or two minutes to get our stuff gathered up and haul ass down there. A little too close for my comfort level.

  5. I spent the evening hunkered down in a storm shelter. I am new to the midwest, and the sound of that siren scared the piss out of me!!! Glad you were safe.

  6. After the Japan tsunami my husband went mildly insane buying disaster relief items. There’s a lady camped in our garage next to the 500 gallon tablet-treated water supply. I think she’s his replacement wife.

  7. kate says:

    it is so painful to watch all the devastation on tv and then we have amazing weather ! (East cost) it all seems surreal. i am so glad you are ok. my in-laws are in OK and we keep calling to make sure they are fine (they are) but it’s still scary.

    • Chelsie says:

      In all honesty, I’d rather deal with the minimal chance of being struck by a tornado where we live rather than dealing with the certainty of being devastated by something like a hurricane in coastal areas. I don’t think I could handle that.

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