North Texas had an unusually mild spring this year so far. Mother Nature noticed the oversight and decided to make up for lost time last night.
6 of us went out to a fawncy restaurant to celebrate my Mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. During the meal I could see a reflection of trees whipping around in a mirror across the room. The trees were not just blowing in one direction; they were whipping around like they were in a washing machine. That is never a good sign.
I started to get antsy but kept telling myself that it was just because I was with the in-laws. I even ordered a second gin & tonic which is unusual for me when dining with them. A little after 8:00 pm we stood outside saying our goodbyes. The wind came up and we were all standing there with our hair peaking up on top of our head like we were in a wind tunnel.
For the ride home we watched an impressive light show to the south, all kinds of spectacular but unusual strikes. Some that branched out horizontally across the sky. Others hit the ground and the rays were so wide it looked fake. Someone was photo shopping Mother Nature.
At home I was in a semi undressed state and Mr. Husband was without apparel when he came running out of the bedroom yelling “the sirens are going off.” I was in a sort of stupor and asked “what sirens?” He answered “the tornado sirens,” for once not rolling his eyes and giving me that “Well duh” look he excels in. I don’t know how he always hears them and I don’t. Must have been that 20 years of working in bars with music loud enough to rattle the fillings out of your teeth.
Of course a sort controlled pandemonium ensued. Where are the pets? Are they inside? Mr. Husband put some clothes on. He tends to respond to panic by dressing. I don’t blame him. If a tornado hits I don’t want to end up getting fished out of the rubble in my birthday suit. I grabbed my 2 most valuable possessions – my purse and laptop and put them in a handy place in case I had to grab them and take shelter.
Fortunately for us, but not so fortunate for those in the path of the tornado, it touched down south of Dallas in the Granbury area. Storm spotters said the tornado became huge with a mile wide funnel on the ground at one point, a real wrath of God type scenario. Some people reported hail the size of grapefruits. A chunk of ice that big could come crashing right through your roof and land on your coffee table.
This morning the news is reporting 12 dead and hundreds injured. The response of people rushing to help those who have lost everything but the clothes on their back is heartwarming.
This kind of disaster always reminds me that life is short. Grab it where you can and don’t waste time sitting around bemoaning your lot in life because it could get a hell of a lot worse in the blink of an eye.
Tuesday April 3rd, 2011 was an interesting day, if you define interesting as “oh God, oh God, I’m gonna die.” Extremely glad I lived through it, along with 6,371,773 of my closest friends. That’s the population of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex as of the 2010 census. Most of the time I love living in North Texas. It’s just those pesky 2 or 3 days a year that get so wild and crazy you need a change of pants.
The weatherman said “chance of storms, some severe.” Yea yea, how many times have we heard that? It might hail, rain, or it might rains frogs. The sun may shine so hard it melts the patio furniture. Go away you bother me, Mr. Weatherman. Well, we all got our comeuppance yesterday. Mr. Weatherman got it right.
Warning sirens started blaring and they sound scary as hell. Lemme tell ya! No sound effects in any of the scary movies made lately came up with anything scarier. Then, all of the sudden the damn tornados started dropping out of the sky. Excuse me, I’m really not in the mood for this! Could you go elsewhere, storm? I would really appreciate it. Didn’t sleep well last night and was in the mood to vegetate, NOT contemplate where in the house to hide to increase my chances of surviving the remains of this day.
Dallas/Fort Worth got hammered. Hundreds of people are homeless. But, thank God, no one was killed. That is the true miracle here. Brother and sister-in-law are looking at replacing their roof for the 4th time in 15 years. Her shiny red beamer was totally destroyed by hail the size of baseballs.
I found myself cast into instant solidarity with six million neighbors. A potential disaster is the great equalizer. Everyone single person in the area is thinking the exact same thing. “Oh crap, it might just rain a little, or a twister might decide to squat on my head and I lose everyone I love and everything I own in 5 minutes. All that decides it is the luck of the draw.” Sheesh!
Mr. Husband and I were extremely fortunate. At our house the only thing that happened was a few rose petals fell of my rose-bush. We suffered mutual semi-nervous breakdowns. I hunkered in the bathroom with my most prized possessions, my wedding ring, laptop, and purse. Hub-man brought his pistol and our tax returns.
The morning after was one of the most beautiful mornings I’ve ever seen. Mother Nature painted the day with a delicate silk brush. Gentle breezes, birds singing, butterflies flitting. Hadn’t realized how scared I was until I looked around and realized how crystal clear and wonderful everything looked, and sounded. Nothing like having the patooty scared out of me to realize how much I love life.