Tornados - ugh. Kids - gotta love 'em.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I love the Midwest, mainly because the people are generally so down to earth. I spent 15 years away and coming back was coming home. I'm Midwestern thru and thru.

    But... I really do not enjoy these storms in the slightest. I think watching my Eastern-born mother flip out at every tornado siren during my youth probably influenced this particular neurosis and one thing it has done is make me *very* aware of how I react around my kids. I'm sure I've caused my share of their future neuroses, but at least storms won't be one of their triggers. I fake calm well.

    I was talking to Timer Lady when the sirens went off. I mean *sirens* as in I could tell they were blasting off from a couple of communities, including ours. Usually we get one or two (and usually on cloudless days, seriously). Linda knows I'm a nutcase so I'm sure she understood when I basically hung up on her. So - 45 minutes in the basement, watching one wicked and incredibly slow-moving storm creep over our little neck of the woods courtesy of the Weather Channel, with confirmed sightings of 2 tornados, one which was just far far far too close for comfort (a couple of miles at most). I knew it was worse than usual when I asked husband if we were done yet and all I got was a terse "no".

    husband was sitting in a chair in the Wreck Room with Boo - we can't put him on the floor because we can't get him *off* the floor. I'm huddled with Wee and Dee under the stairs, covered with a heavy blanket or ten because of course the hot water heater is right next to the stairs. And oh the conversations we had... just silliness, making jokes, Wee and Dee discoursing about the features of a new video game Wee is just dying for, talking about school and redecorating their rooms and just all kinds of stuff. In the background is that annoying "beep-beep-beep" from the Weather Channel with each new update. We decided that they settled on that particular noise by putting a bunch of children (and neurotic adults???) in a room and seeing which sound freaked them out the most. :rofl:

    It was just one of those unplanned but real *quality* times with the kids and I just felt so proud of them as we huddled underneath the stairs, being goofy. Inside I was really very worried but being with them made me be a better person.

    Taking suggestions for retirement options - no quakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, and preferrably no thunderstorms. :)
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so glad you are safe.

    My parents tell the story that they were about 1/2 hour away from home visiting friends when a storm came up. Us four girls were home alone. The friends said, "You should go home. Your girls will be scared in this weather." My parents just laughed and said, "Nope, they are probably in the door way running in and out of the rain." And we probably were. I don't ever remember being afraid of a storm until I was in a camper in a storm (I was in my late 20's). Even as a little girl, tornados did not scare me. One year when they were all around us, I had dreams but never with fear - just watching them from a distance. (I also have grown up and lived in the Midwest my entire life - MN girl)

    When my kids were very young, we did have some storms come through that made me feel vulnerable (only if husband was gone). I found I felt very vulnerable about travel and weather when my kids were babies. Now that they are older, that vulnerability feeling is leaving.

    I will take tornados over the others you listed. Not sure where your retirement should be.

    Good job on making this a quality fun family time event. I have been at a Girl Scout Day camp that we needed to put the girls in a shelter. I couldn't handle being confined with a ton of people (scared or not) so I stayed near the door as a look out.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Glad you got to spend some quality time with the kids:) Glad you are safe!

    My niece used to be like that about tornadoes. For a long time she wouldn't even come to Madison because every time she did we would get tornado warnings.

    We had a bunch of tornadoes touch down around here today along with the straight line winds that did a bunch of damage. They said they we had in spots hurricane force winds. We were lucky and nothing touched down right by us. We spent about 45 minutes in the basement but it's finished so it wasn't too bad.

    We are still under a watch til 3:00 a.m.

    I'm not sure what to suggest for moving ideas -maybe Montana?
  4. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    My daughter just called me after she got out of the basement in IL. The tornado went right past her dad's house!! How scary.

  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Yup, those storms were something, eh Sue?
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im thinking of retiring to Maine. While they do get Noreasters...they arent tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes or anything else like that. I also hate hate hate the heat. Here it is the first darn week of June and we are already in the 100s! This is so not good. I dont do hot well at all.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Then I'll be your neighbor, Janet. Maine is my place to go, too.

    I was terrified as a kid of thunderstorms and tornadoes. That W would come up on the tv and I had my little pencil box with all of my 'I can't live withouts' and my stuffed dog that I'd had since I was 3 and went right down to the basement. My brother would tease me and say, 'Oh my God! It's in the backyard!' Not funny.

    I love thunderstorms now. I love to watch them roll in. I sleep the best during a storm.

    We don't have a basement so we have to use the hall bath for our safety place. Any idea how hard it is to get 4 cats in there at the same time? You get two in and close the door. Get the other two and open the door to put them in and the first two run out. I hope they're good at finding hiding places.

    I'm glad you were able to get some quality time out of this. Will also help the kids not be so afraid.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Good to see your smiling face & to know that you survived. Not a bit insulted at this end that you hung up..... by the way, the storms went south of us & the warnings we had were called off shortly after we got off the phone.

    I guess I'll have to set up a cool place under the basement stairs for kt & myself. As kids we just went into the basement & played whatever was around .... my parent set up the basement for just such occasions as I grew up in tornado alley in Wisconsin.

    My first apartment my neighbors & I would pitch in for a keg of beer; we'd keep it in the basement of our apartment bldg & we'd party through tornadoes. It's good to be young & stupid.
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I hate tornadoes. I can handle earthquakes. I can even cope with hurricanes, but tornadoes no way, no how.

    I remember living in Kansas when I was a kid. Tornado warning went off, we dutifully went to the storm shelter. Heard a horrendous roaring. We truly huddled together in great fear. When it was over, our garage was gone. It was as if someone had used a giant saw and cut it off. The house was completely undamaged but for one broken window. The car had been moved 6 feet but was fine. But, we. didn't. have. a. garage.

    I HATE tornadoes and lightning storms (they do go hand in hand in my mind).

    Glad you guys were okay and that the time under the stairs was pleasant.
  10. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    I'm glad to hear everyone is safe! Also, glad to hear your safe time turned into a fun-goofy time.

    I'm getting better at holding myself together during tornado warnings......but, wish I had a basement. I think I would be able to handle them much better.
  11. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    On the news, after they announce a tornado warning, now they have started saying please find a place of safety and send us your pictures AFTER the danger has passed......just too many people like me who would be trying to see the funnel cloud. At least I have stopped myself from running outside.
    As a kid we had a tornado pass through our small town and the school let the kids go home.....most of us walked home, I had my bike and started riding for mom found me halfway home with the car and said, "Just leave the bike....." I said, "No way", so shoved the bike in the back of the station wagon and drove home quickly......By the time we got home the wind was over, but I can still remember running my hands through my hair and just getting handfuls of sand, dirt...... I was too young and stupid to be afraid, but more awed by the power of the wind. A girl was hit by a falling tree and died and you can believe the school heard from the parents for letting kids go out in that. Their answer was to gather everyone in the gym---largest roof surface???? Needless to say advancements have been made since then......well except for us fools who want to see what happens......
    Glad you are safe and living in the midwest is why I have always lived in a house with a basement and try to find walkout basement so I can still see......then run for cover.......
  12. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    So what happens if the Weather Channel goes off the air mid beep?? I don't know if I could handle minute by minute updates on impending doom and disaster. One small warning it was headed my way would be good enough for me.

    I remember I was 20 when the Sylmar quake hit - my first one living in LA and very un nerving when your eyes fly open and plaster is comming down from the ceiling. Tried to get to the babys crib, kept falling down - literally picked her up and threw her under it and went for the door way. Seemed like it lasted for hours although it was only a few seconds - stuff falling over, everything falling out of the cabinets. Me screaming the entire time - called my mother in PA, still screaming with terror during the aftershocks - why, who knows, not like she can do anything 3,000 miles away LOL

    Now that I am much older, and have been thru a few, handle them more gracefully, no longer screaming, only sound leaving my mouth is a bunch of eff words, although the Big Bear one did have me barreling down the hall and thru the front door in a Tshirt I grabbed. Didn't realize it was one of dex's till one of the kids says mommy, you forgot your pants...

  13. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    LOL, Marcie - have to laugh - if the Weather Channel goes off mid-beep, that means we're in *big* trouble and I just cover the kids with my body. Also means husband is in even *bigger* trouble because he still hasn't put together the doggone generator that I insisted he buy after we lost power for 3 days in 9/2007 and our basement flooded because sump pump was dead!! :rofl: I like to have the WC on because the stupid sirens were not blowing when the tornado hit our part of the world. Really steams me. The thing was on the ground for quite a while and not a peep out of the sirens when they *should* have been going off. WC gives really good info and we don't come out of the basement until the radar shows the storm is past us. I like to keep track of where and when they're predicting the twister to be so I have an idea of when to unclench.

    We had 3 moderate earthquakes while we lived in WA state - actually, the little ones I don't mind at all - think the sound and rocking is actually kinda amazing. We had one here a couple weeks back - I was awake and didn't even notice it, LOL. I just don't want to have to endure a big one, a la Northridge or the San Francisco quake in '89.
  14. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I was just amazed at the one Tornado I saw in Kansas, from a distance, when driving from PA to CA - had to pull the car over and just stood there for a few minutes looking at the sheer beauty of something so powerful - had never seen anything like it in my life.

    But still, will take the quakes over the tornado's anyday, although the weather has been so weird anymore we actually had a tornado like thing set down on one of our local freeways a few weeks ago - people in their cars were taking cell phone photos of it. I think it took a while for them to register what they were seeing because they are such a rare occurrece here - Its been only the third one I know of in the 40 years I have been living here.

    Everytime there is a big quake in some other part of the world - we have to endure weeks of running commentary about "OUR" big one, the one that hasen't happened yet, but is due in the next 30 years. I just tune them all out - Northridge was a fluke - on a fault line no one knew was there, probably one of soooo many fault lines no one knows are there. Who knows, I may be living on top of the mother of all flukes - but would much rather NOT know..Am getting old now and need to keep my stomach clenching down to a minimum..

  15. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    True story.

    I was IN a tornado when I must have been about 7 or so. My family was camping in SD. It was the weirdest thing. Bright blue sky, then BAM! This thing came through and we watched through the window of our little trailer scared crapless. I watched trees completely uprooted and tossed around. BIG trees.

    One vision I will never forget is a couple who were in a tent, and watching their tent sucked up by the wind. They, fortunately were not.

    My parents have photos of this.

    Not 5 minutes after the tornado, it was beautiful again.

    Tornados are nasty devils.

  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sue, I agree about the origin of the weather beep. It is the most annoying sound, I can't believe that the military doesn't use it as a torture device.
    Wow, Abbey and Marcie, great descriptions.
    There is a museum in St. Paul that has a tornado room. You sit in the cellar, which looks pretty much like a real cellar, except it has a sauna bench (we had to sit on the cement floor when we lived in St. Paul) and there's a window that is half submerged in a window well, and you can see lightning and rain through it. The power goes out. All the while, a static-y old time radio (with-batteries) plays an exact recording (including the beep) and tells you to take cover in the SE corner of your basement. I went there with-my Dad last yr and it was so real, it brought tears to my eyes.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, speaking of Chicago/Midwest ... my husband flew in from Chicago to Atlanta last night and missed the connecting flt because of the weather. He spent the night at the airport and just got home 2 hrs ago! At least he's safe.
  18. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I guess it all depends on what you are used to. I've lived in tornado country all my life and I'm probably more likely to go out and watch the sky than go to the basement. I"ve been through a couple of them (I did go to the basement for one of them). Where I live, the chances of being caught unaware by one are almost nil and people do know how to cope. But I most certainly would not like to live where there are hurricanes or, even worse, earthquakes and tsunamis. Isn't it funny how we all have our own little fears. I think mostly we are more scared of the ones we are unfamiliar with.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Actually, having moved to VA where we have hurricanes, the advantage is that we have several days' warning, but with-tornadoes, little if any warning. Plus, tornadoes can touch one house and leave another intact. Hurricanes pretty much take down everyone's trees and flood everything with-o exception. And tornadoes can follow hurricanes.
    So I hate them all!!!