It Was the Big One

February 10, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Posted in In the News, Life | Leave a comment

My friends make fun of my overpreparedness for bad weather. I have to know where the emergency supplies are: the flashlights, the battery powered radio, the bottles of water, the leashes for the dogs, the blankets, the pillows. I am the person who has to be home when the weather hits, call my friends if I fear that they are out in the elements, and be the voice of reason for all my friends and family who refuse to take weather seriously. Perhaps it comes from living in FL where you are forced to spend hours preparing for the inevitable buying supplies and boarding up windows. The lack of preperation time with our stormy weather here makes it even more nerve wracking for me. I about drove Hubby nuts the other night with my need to prep for the big one.

Well, the big one it was. I have been through tornadic weather here. Some not so great memories take me back to a few years ago when I was on the sixth floor of Vanderbilt Hosptial in a room the size of a tuna can with 35 parents, teachers, and administrators and twenty-something deaf and hard of hearing children. NOT FUN. My boss had no idea why we couldn’t keep twenty something preschool children with special needs in the “tornado prep” position – head curled down in a ball position again a wall- and stay there for two hours. What was wrong with us?!! Why are these children not staying against the wall? Uh, not possible lady. What an awful day. That was scary as tornadoes were literally all around us that day. But it was daylight and you could see them coming!

Fast forward to last Tuesday night. Tornadoes literally everywhere. A super cell that just kept hitting us over and over again continually barrelled down over us. I was scared. I made us go to our safe room (our downstairs bathroom) a few times. It is pitch black outside, you can see NOTHING! The thing could be right over our heads and we would never see it coming. That is the worst part for me. Not to mention that I live on a bluff, a bluff people. I am higher than most people and the winds were nuts. After the first line went through, that consequently killed people and flattened a number of homes not ten miles to the West of us, it still was not over. We were facing it again at 12 in the morning. Another really bad cell was headed right for us around 1 in the morning. I call my mom who lives on the other side of the hill from me.

Me: “Are you in your basement”

Mom: “Kitty and I are”

Me: “Where is Daddy?”

Mom: “He is upstairs, asleep”

Me: “He needs to be downstairs with you”

Mom: “He won’t listen to me”

At this moment the newscasters are saying, “(My town) get in your safe rooms, there is a rotation cloud right over you” over and over again. Sidenote, the weather/news people NEVER say our small town’s name. There is just not enough of us out here to care about- they kept calling us out that night though. That freaked me out!

Me: “Go get him!”

Mom running up the stairs. In the bedroom. She puts the phone to his ear.

Mom: “Listen to your daughter”

Me: “Daddy, get up and go downstairs”


The next few minutes were spent crouching in our bathroom with the downstairs TV turned up as high as it would go so we could hear. Nervous dogs, imaptient husband, freaked-out me. Not a good combinantion.

Hubby is the one who wants to “watch”- I call him crazy. I don’t want to see something coming at me that could kill me. He is nuts. He leaves to go to the windows.

Hubby: “I don’t see anything”

Me: “Really, really, I don’t care! You couldn’t see anything if you wanted to! GET AWAY FROM THE WINDOW AND GET BACK IN THIS ROOM!”

He is trying to make me have a stroke!

The weather team says it is moving on toward Nashville. That is the same weather cell that tore up poor Castilian Springs and Lafayette. We truly were spared.

The next day I called Daddy and asked if he went downstairs or if he just told me he would. He said by the time he got down there it had already reached _____ (another town to our NE). I am sure he took a bathroom break and stopped to get some juice on the way to the basement.

Ugh, he drives me crazy! One day he will listen to me!

He says that those who stayed in their beds were the one who truly had faith. I told him he was stupid. I am grown now I can do that. He was kidding, so was I, don’t get the wrong idea.

Read Lindsay’s take on her account of the storm. We had twister teams and everything all around us.

Our hearts go out to all of the families who lost love ones and homes and memories. Also to the families and students at Union University. Thank God they had a good administration that made sure they were ready for such a night. That saved so many lives!

Also, the story of Baby Cysen, 11 months old baby, found in a field the day after the tornadoes hit. Amazing! He was released from Vandy Children’s with only scratches and cuts. You know that song by Brooks and Dunn “God Must be Busy“?

Yeah, he is!


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