Aside from the creaking of doors, the house seemed to be silent from our stance in the basement.
In fact, not 20 minutes before the tornado hit, we were oblivious to the weather taking place outside our home:
Steven was upstairs watching something on the satellite, while I was downstairs sanding on my dining room table and chairs, which I was in the middle of refinishing, and the kids were running up and down the stairs pretending to travel to Oklahoma City and back.
My neighbor, Ruth, called and asked if they could come and use our basement. It was at that time that I realized things were turning severe. I hung up the phone, went upstairs to tell Steven to put on some pants (I think he was watching TV in his underwear if I remember correctly ;0)and to change Mr. B's diaper. I explained to Steven that Eric and Ruth were coming up and they would be there any minute.
Although, Miss L was extremely excited about the company, Steven couldn't believe that it was actually THAT bad. Exaggerators. That is what he thinks about weather men.
Once Ruth and Eric arrived we headed straight downstairs. We had only been there less than five minutes when the electricity went out and things were creaking upstairs. However, soon there after, it was all clear and we remained in the basement "just for good measure". We got a battery operated radio and turned it on to find out what was going on.
Between the radio and the phone calls that quickly ensued, in became clear that we were very, very lucky.
The phone calls were from neighbors that saw our neighbors barns be demolished, checking in to make sure that we were OK. The radio made it clear that the tornado was indeed close, announcing that one fatality was within five miles of our home.
In fact, this string of storms has its own wikipedia page. You can check it out here.
After spending the night in the basement, our electricity returned around 4 am. Upstairs nothing seemed amiss other than a spring-loaded curtain that had fallen out of place and the hair line absence of paint around our bathroom cabinet that made it obvious that the house had shifted, if only a tiny bit.
Deciding to check the cows, Steven headed off on the Ranger. When he returned a little later he was no longer as convinced that weather men were exaggerators. In fact, he was surprised by the destruction he saw.
We were lucky. So many others were not. Our home was untouched. Our cattle survived. We only lost trees, fences and our camping trailer. I think Miss L and Mr. B lost a feeling of invincibility, as apparent in the following photo.
This is my fourth picture. It is of Mr. B after witnessing our demolished camping trailer. The kids loved it and were devastated by its demise. However, Steven and I knew that we couldn't even begin to feel bad about it considering all that we had been spared.
It took awhile for the kids to get over it. Miss L would draw pictures of the camping trailer with people around it praying. Apparently this was very traumatic for the kids.
In order to take their minds off of it, we traveled to Bass Pro and bought a tent and set it up in the basement. January isn't exactly outdoor camping weather. The kids thought that was almost as good as the camping trailer.
What more could they ask for? All the conveniences of home.....while "camping".
Thankfully it doesn't take a lot to spark the enthusiasm of a 2 and 4 year old.
So.....what is YOUR fourth photo?