Friday, March 2, 2012

Tornado Outbreak

Part of living in Kentucky is getting used to Tornado Warnings each and every spring.  In fact, it isn't uncommon to be under tornado watches almost every single day, and those are usually brushed off the way you would brush off a snow flurry.  Most tornado warnings can be taken this way too, but not lately.

After last years devastating tornados in other states, and some really weird developments we aren't used to seeing in this area, we've started to take these warnings a little more seriously.  Storms never bothered me much until I had a little one to worry about and now they absolutely TERRIFY me.  Storm seasons sure are different when you are worried about the life of another.  I could care less about losing every single board to my home, but I was nauseated over the thought of being away from Ethan today.

Of course I had to work.  It always sucks to have to work on beautiful days, but it sucks even more to be away from Ethan on days that they are predicting life threatening circumstances.  I slept a grand total of 3 hours last night, I woke up in tears, and I drove to work in tears.  Thank goodness for best friends who felt just as overdramatic today and supported each others unhealthy anxiety levels.  We exchanged our love for one another, our wishes on what needs to happen in the event of our deaths, and even revealed some of the silly things we did in anticipation (ahem, revealing our locations in case we needed to be dug out from debris-NOT kidding. This conversation happened.)

Business were closing early, our local university cancelled all classes, and people were heading indoors as quickly as possible.  Storm Chasers had arrived in our town, and there was rumor that Good Morning America was staying in our city to cover the damage.  The national attention made the anticipation worse.  

Being back in the insurance business means we HAVE to be in office during these situations.  We are the first in line to start helping families get their lives back together, and that is actually a very rewarding part of our jobs.  However, it makes situations difficult when you are worried about your own loved ones.  I felt very distracted all morning, to the level of nausea.  I couldn't handle the thoughts of possibly not being able to get to Ethan after the storms, or losing phone service where I couldn't call and check on him.   

My boss was out for the day due to a family matter, and called in to check on us.  He was hurrying back into town to be with his children before the storms hit, and mentioned how difficult it is to be away from them when you know they are afraid and need protection.  I agreed with his statements and suddenly I heard him say: "You do what you feel is best.  Go be with that baby if you need to."  I told him that I very well may do that if he meant it and he just replied with an easy and cool "I've got no problem with that at all."  20 minutes later I walked out the door.  I convinced Jason to leave, and my entire family gathered at my parents house so we could all be together.  Again, I burst into tears as soon as I walked in the door to see that little face.  Mom laughed and insisted that she would have protected him.  I know she and my Dad would have protected Ethan better than I ever could, I just needed to be with him.

The storms hit, but thankfully the devastation didn't hit our specific area.  We spent a good hour enduring one tornado warning after another, after many funnel clouds and tornados touched down just miles away.  We "hunkered down" (our meteorologists overused, annoying phrase) in the kid's toy closet underneath the stairwell.
Riley wasn't too thrilled about wearing her helmet,
especially since we didn't want to scare her with why.  So E
wore it instead. 
Playing in the closet.

SO thrilled. Can't you tell? This was before the hail began, and I started
overdramatically crying again.  Yes, I'm a grown woman that
cried in the middle of a storm.

Sweet boy.
 We had a little hail, but nothing damaging.  Hail is almost just as vulgar of a word as tornado around here, because we are all a little scarred from a devastating hailstorm 14 years ago.  It's definitely always fresh on our minds each spring.

We are so relieved that our area was safe and that our loved ones are safe.  I'm even more relieved that I have an understanding boss that knows what it means to be with your children when you feel they need you.  Let's hope that this "In like a lion, out like a lamb" isn't too climatic this year.  I'm tired of the lion roaring already.


katie + bret said...

I am very glad to see you are all safe!!

Brittney said...

I used to "enjoy" storms and thought they were so neat to watch until I had E. Things definitely change when you have babies!

Jess said...

I'm so glad you guys are ok and that you have an understanding boss.

Also.... my friends and I would totally do the same thing. On the phone, word-vomiting all of our last wishes, locations, and general hysteria, lol.