Last Thursday, the town I live in experienced storms that would change many people's lives in a matter of just a few short minutes! Those monsters of nature knocked out our power for 73 of the LONGEST hours of my life. But those first 30 minutes were, by far, the worst, and had the most impact in my life!
What started out as a typical evening turned out to be not so typical after all! Shortly after finishing up our meal and clearing the table, I decided to run some quick errands, all of which would keep me within the same one square mile. Familiar territory, or so I thought.
Made it home in just seconds. Just as the car pulled into the driveway, the waring sirens stopped. All clear! Thank God! I was so relieved I went in and kissed hubby and the boys. Thanking God all the while and thinking "Cool, I can finish up my errands and cross them off the list. Maybe I can even tackle a few other projects."
After a brief conversation with my husband, knowing that we were still under a tornado watch, I decided that I could make it to my niece's house and back -- less than 1 mile round trip -- BEFORE the rain came! No big deal! Right? The sirens stopped, we were just gonna get some rain.... Ummm, no.
Motherly adrenaline was working in over-drive! Made it home and into the basement with the rest of our family and we just held on for the bumpy ride. (Little did I know that when the power went out the second tornado was directly.over.my.house!) I kissed and hugged my children more that night more than I think I have kissed them in their entire lifetimes -- total -- combined.
When we emerged from the basement, Buddy, our six year old, looked out the front picture-window and asked why there was a tree in our usually vacant front yard. What?? We walked out on the porch, looked around and there were chunks of branches everywhere, the street was flooded and we were all in the dark. But all of us, our neighbors included, were safe and no one lost their lives, their belongings or their homes. We all learned the next day that two tornadoes blew through our neighborhood diagonally through the center. They were each over three miles wide and two and one-half football fields deep, F-1 category. We survived....
Moral of the story? My priorities were knocked out of line early that night thinking errands were more important than staying and protecting my family. It took two tornadoes skipping through my backyard (and 73 hours in the dark) to set them straight!