Considering the rain that was heading our direction, Steven had stayed home with Mr. B with plans to attend a horse auction later in the day.
I warned him not to take off until the storm had passed. The way the winds were shaping up, who knows, they might just blow him off the road or worse!
He just laughed and said, "you don't get a little worked up, do you?". And with that, they headed into town.
I couldn't believe it. Me? Worked up? Who does he think he is married to? (Ahem)
I took Miss L to the bus stop where I assured her that the main threat was strong winds. I had watched the news and there were no indications that there would be any tornadoes (which we are all too familiar with) or even any tornado warnings. She was relieved to find out there wasn't a tornado threat primarily because "I don't like to duck and cover at school."
Apparently she prefers to do her "ducking and covering" elsewhere. She is a duck and cover snob.
Before I had even completed the 20 minute drive to work, it became obvious that a very different scenario than I had told Miss L was shaping up.
Tornado warnings were popping up in almost all of the counties around us at the forefront of the storm.
My neighbor had stated earlier that she might want to make use of our basement and I told her to help herself with only one condition: on her way to the basement she was to grab my son, because I was sure MY husband would be anywhere but taking cover. Because, we were just getting a little "worked up." And what would HE need with a basement.....or cover for that matter?
Because, you know, he is invincible and all. Only the weak take cover.......
However after she arrived it was only because of a guilt complex that he followed her, and Mr. B, to the basement.
I, however, was at work.....wishing I could take cover. I alternated between offering live storm coverage to Dale from my viewpoint from the double glass doors...(I know, not smart), to crouching in the fetal position beside the desk where he was working.
One might say I was "worked up".
And, yes, Dale already knew I was crazy. Long, long before this.
The storm was passing through our area roughly 15 minutes before it hit home where Steven and Mr. B were. I began calling Steven and keeping him updated on the winds and tornado warnings that were hammering down on us. Since our house had lost power I was the only lifeline the "man of steel" had. Not that he was worried.
Storms....they are for the weak. I think he told me that very morning...."People have been weathering storms for thousands of years...." as I am thinking....yeah, they have died too.
Back on the work front, Dale kept assuring me that schools were the safest place and not to worry about Miss L.
"Don't worry?" Seriously? You are telling that to the woman crouched on the floor beside the desk you are typing an obituary at because I refuse to actually work when I can alternate between veering outside and hiding my eyes because I am scared of what I might see. Sure. Fine. Don't worry. Why didn't I think of that?
Once while giving an update to my husband I heard a loud noise, followed by something akin to "My GOD!" leaving his mouth and the sound of Mr. B letting out a scream in the background.
He quickly comforted Mr. B and told him it was "OK".
"What, What?" - I needed to know then what was going on. My nerves were shot. Between being worried about Miss L who was surely taking cover at her school, my hard headed husband and son and the very real possibility that I was about to be impaled with flying glass.....there was no room for wondering what had warranted that type of exclamation from my husband.
He said, "It must have been lightning, but I have never heard anything like THAT before. It sounded like an explosion." After assuring me everything was fine.....I got off the phone and waited.
Two hours later the skies lightened and the sun started shining. Miss L's teacher called me to assure me that Miss L was OK, (her teacher's got my number...), and that Miss L was sleeping quietly.
After the storm had passed Steven sent me a picture of my porch. Something was different.
Oh. Yeah. There used to be a rail at the end of the porch. And, of course, the chair used to be sitting upright. And the end of the actual rockers on the chair? Those covers were gone. Tiny pieces of plastic sucked (?) out of their places.
And then I received another pic. It looked something like this:
And a little closer up:
Yes, that measurement is 26 inches to the top of the ground.
A big hole. 26 inches deep. Not exactly sure how it got there. But it was there none the less.
Once I arrived home later in the afternoon, I found the mess the hole made:
I guess the hole didn't actually make the mess, but rather whatever made the hole made the mess.
As Steven and the kids were helping neighbors clean up downed trees, I started picking up my porch rail from the yard. And yes, I found the ends to the two rockers.
I also found a gray object that looked like what used to be the front of the phone box attached to the side of the house.
I turned my head to be able to see if it was indeed the box and I think it was safe to say that it was. The box. Or what used to be the box.
Initially it was hard to know what had been fried and what hadn't because our power was still off. When the power returned we found that our phones were goners....as was my printer, our satellite box and computer modem and router were unscathed. That being said, we dodged a really big bullet.
A 17 tornado outbreak bullet.
A little later we realized that maybe we had lost more than we had initially thought although still not much when you put it into perspective.
Steven had an older Ford Ranger that he drove to go look at jobs and run quick errands. It was easier to jump in and head out in than his work truck that is loaded down with air compressors, welders and materials. He had just returned home from town right before the storm had hit and he had stopped short of pulling it up on the concrete pad in front of our garage. The bumper of his truck only slightly overhung the edge of the concrete.
However, apparently when the lightning either entered or exited the large hole in front of our house, it must have temporarily found residence in his truck and then left the truck abruptly, leaving this in its wake:
Now the truck doesn't start. Period.
I think it is pretty apparent what the moral of this story is.
Well, let me tell you.
If Steven had stayed home, then the truck would not have been parked in front of our house where he apparently left it in a mad dash to get inside, away from the rain and oncoming storm, but would have been in its normal spot, away from our house, the lightning strike and concrete pad.
If Steven would have listened to his wife he would still have a working Ranger and we would have no hole in our concrete.
Maybe that hole can serve as a reminder to me of how lucky and blessed we truly are and as a reminder to him that he should ALWAYS listen to his wife.
Oh, as for Miss L and my assurances of "no tornadoes"? Well, I think after two hours of "ducking and covering" in the girls restroom, the missing concrete will probably remind her to never listen to her mother again. Ever.
Oh well. You win some....you lose some.