Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In An Emergency, Sip Tea!


There was a weird sort of siren wailing in the distance.

“That’s an odd sounding ambulance,” I thought, "it sounds like it's standing still. I wonder why doesn’t it seem to get any closer or further away.”
My mother and I continued sipping our tea.

All the blinds in the house were open and we chatted away without really noticing the heavy rain.

All of a sudden lightening lit up the house. The thunder chased after it, rolling its heavy body across the roof and shaking the windows in their frames.
“That was close!” my mom said, taking another sip of tea.

The wind howled angrily and then suddenly the world became strangely quiet.

The sky outside looked oddly green.


When I
answered the ringing telephone it was K calling from the library where he had gone with the kids.
“We’ve been sequestered to the library basement,” he said.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“There’s a tornado warning, Jess. You and your mom may want to go down to the basement or at least turn on the radio to find out how long the warning is in effect.”

“Huh? Okay.”

“The kids are really anxious,” he said. "I’ve got to go."

My mom and I turned on the television only to find that the tornado warning had just expired in my county.

The threat of the storm had passed.


Maybe next time there’s an emergency and I hear that "odd sounding ambulance," also known as MY TOWN'S EMERGENCY SIREN, I’ll go down to the freakin’ basement.

Oh, my disaster preparedness!

52 comments:

Sadie said...

*lol* That's something I do ALL the time!! It takes several minutes before I finally look at hubby and say, "wait...is that the tornado siren?!?!" *lol*

Glad you made it through safely. I'm SURE you would have heard the tornado before it hit, though...I hope :D

Wow...first commenter? That never happens to me at your blog! *G*

Emily N said...

Tornadoes, broken bones, chance encounters with wise women offering profound insights on childrearing ... you have more drama in 3 days than many people have in 3 years!

rookiemom said...

LOL. You can't possibly live in Texas...can you?

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Oh that is too funny!

Perhaps we should just call you Dorothy from now on!

My oldest was afraid to go to bed because of the tornado warnings... and they'd expired 4 hours before his bedtime!

Heather said...

At least your tea didn't get cold.

WILLIAM said...

Auntie Em Auntie Em!

furiousBall said...

did you poop a little bit in your pants?

Sister Honey Bunch said...

Ok, Furiousball just made me laugh. Now I don't even remember what I was going to say to you.

Laura said...

OH my goodness....thank goodness you are OK...but, how funny that you did not recognize or react to the warnings.

Thanks for sharing...now go have a nice cup of tea!

Annie said...

YIKES!

We had tornado warnings for the whole of Florida last week - there are no basements in my neck of the woods - so I don't know what we're meant to do exactly if one hits?

Blog Antagonist said...

Girlfriend, that was scary! We don't even have a basement. We had to haul all our coughing/hacking/pukey butts to the downstairs bathroom, which is aobut 4x4. Not fun.

Husband was really blase about tornadoes too. Once when we were just married, one went right over our apartment and he went outside to look!! The cat and I were cowering under the bed, and he's outside looking.

But, it rattled him enough that he won't do that again. He darn near got sucked up into that thing.

Worker Mommy said...

I'm about as prepared as you are ...

liv said...

yeah, i heard that siren, too. well, maybe not your precise siren, but the one near my house.

and you know what i did? finished my glass of 1991 jumilla and stirred my big pot of soup. oh, and mumbled something to the kids about staying away from the windows.

ImpostorMom said...

Ever since a tree fell on power lines in our backyard and caught the woods (and nearly our house) on fire 4 years ago I am alway super nervous when we have that sort of weather.

I hate it because i feel like it may make Boog scared of storms some day. I was so relieved when that particular storm lost its power before making it to my house.

Kyla said...

Only you, J. LOL.

Mahala said...

Well, they do say to remain calm. It sounds like ya'll have that part down lol.

Edge said...

Tornadoes just kind of happen around here. You get used to them if they aren't close to you. A couple of years ago one went pretty much over our house ( skipped it ). Total real danger time if it's close is about 30 seconds. We all huddled in my office. I went outside before it hit to check on the dog. The rain was horizontal and it was roaring. They terrify me.

~Jef

Mama DB said...

Lordy, Jess. Nice one!

Amy@UWM said...

I TOTALLY would have done the same thing..."Oh, an ambulance. Must have been an accident from the storm." Duh.

Omaha Mama said...

SCARY! But also made me laugh.
I'm picturing two ladies, sipping their tea, as a cow flies through the air past the window.

Lawyer Mama said...

That would have been me too! Although the green sky usually tips me off....

Paige said...

For what it's worth, I heard that ambulance too.

Bastet said...

LOL! Up North here, we don't have the sirens...or at least I don't think so?

Glad everyone is ok.

Tracey said...

LMAO! That is sooo something I would do too! My father in law always calls me with weather updates because he knows I don't pay attention!

Above Average Joe said...

I dont think I know what my tornado siren sounds like either. I dont even know if I have a siren. I'll just have to wait for Helen Hunt to come rescue me.

Mimi said...

Oh funny! Not the tornado, but your tea-drinking strategy. Yeesh. Here it's KILLER SNOW, but there's no siren for that (so far as I know ...)

LSM said...

If you didn't go outside and stand in the yard looking for the funnel cloud, you are clearly not a Midwesterner. My "favorite" tornado memory happened when a major storm was heading our way and I was 39.5 weeks pregnant. I was huddled in the bathroom with pillows, two kids, and a huge belly thinking the low pressure would surely send me into labor. Fortunately, the storm turned before reaching us.

I'm glad the kids were safe and that there was no damage!

notfearingchange said...

LMAO! Don't worry i would've been in the same boat...well except exchange the tea for wine!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

LOL---you guys are quite a team!

I spent a few years in Illinois as a child, and I can hear that sound in my head clearly. I remember running into our basement and hiding with my doll in my lap.

Deb said...

Every time we hear the warning, we huddle like idiots in the basement for hours, wondering if the coast is clear, because we don't OWN a radio. I always manage to snag a couple bottles of water and a baby blanket on the way down the stairs. You know, just in case. Yes, I have mad disaster prep skillz.

Sugarplum's Mom said...

oh my gosh... I would have seriously freaked out... but then I've never been through a tornado.. or a tornado warning for that matter. Earthquakes are my natural disaster of choice.

Bananas said...

"That's an odd sounding ambulance"

I sooo love it.

The last time I got to ride out an earthquake I thought, 'wow, the people upstairs must be moving furniture!' Meanwhile people in the offices around me quickly escaped the building. I was the last one out.

I think, if you'd been there, I wouldn't have been alone!

Bungi said...

LOLOL! I might have done something similar too... And we don't have those kinds of alarms here anyways...

JCK said...

Yikes! I think I'll take earthquakes. Knock, knocking on wood.

kellypea said...

Scary. Reminds me of listening to the news at the end of the day and finding out there was an earthquake with 25 aftershocks and we didn't feel any of it. Unbelievable.

The Sour Kraut said...

Thanks for making me laugh...again.

Shannon said...

Well, now you know what the siren sounds like!

I'm happy you lived to tell the tale ;)

Patience said...

I hate tornadoes! In my little burg we have no sirens, no warnings at all. (But we have The Weather Channel on cable!)

Joeprah said...

Wow! Close call. I think I would like to see one from a distance, just to admire the power of it, but I think being in the path of one or even possibly being in the path of one, ummm, I would have to change the boxer shorts.

Not Hannah said...

I would have fallen down dead and died. And spilled my tea.

I tracked the storms on Sunday and did laundry a day early just so my closet would be cleaned out. Because I am a complete eejit when it comes to tornadoes.

jennifer h said...

So funny. Although as a former Midwesterner, the green sky and odd quiet might have given me pause. Or the urge to drink more tea. Hard to say.

Love this line: "rolling its heavy body across the roof and shaking the windows in their frames." You have a gift.

Liza's Eyeview said...

Well.... at least we're glad to know you're still here and not taken away by the tornado ;)

Janet said...

I have to act all laid back and calm when there is a tornado warning because my middle child FREAKS THE HELL OUT! I casually make up some excuse why we should all go to the basement but she always sniffs out the true reason.

Next time, I'm making tea.

Honeybell said...

Don't feel too bad, the last tornado warning we had we stayed outside to finish our badminton game . . . .

Granted we live in Kansas, we don't get excited until we see the neighbors house fly past.

carrie said...

Yikes!

corgimom said...

Back in the day we oh-so-brilliant law students used to run to the window to see who could spot the funnel first...sheesh.

Glad all is well with you and yours.

kristen said...

dude, that would have been me. glad you weren't sucked up in the twister. xo

LceeL said...

Sometime shortly AFTER the tornado came through in August of 1990 they installed the sirens in and around our town. The following Spring, we were at one of the baseball fields just east of town when the sirens went off. People instantly disappeared. They still do that around here to this day. Whenever the sirens go off, the people of Plainfield, Illinois just disappear. Just like many of the houses and 27 people did in the summer of 1990. I hope you NEVER find a reason to remember what that sound means.

Maureen said...

Ha! Just BRING the tea with you to the storm shelter next time, okay???

Magpie said...

Um, I'm glad you're okay and that now you know what to listen for.

I certainly don't, and I live a frighteningly short distance from a large nuclear power plant.

Queen Karana said...

It's easy to laugh now, but I am so glad that nothing bad came of it!

I'd probably do the same thing... but I'm pretty darn sure that our city doesn't even have a tornado warning. It's not very likely here.. but it HAS happened.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow, we don't get anything like that in the UK. It must be scary (if you know what it is at the time hee hee.)tfz