For nearly an hour yesterday evening, I heard something I rarely pay much attention to … the wail of the tornado sirens. Having lived in Kansas all my life, I’ve had close calls with at least two tornadoes (including the huge one that went through the heart of Andover, Kansas). I usually take a quick peek out the back door to check for the tell-tale signs of imminent destruction … things like green black wall clouds, a distinctive smell, extremes of temperature and pressure. For the first time this Spring, the warning sirens blared continuously over the course of an hour, heralding a dark doom for parts of Leavenworth County. Lansing, and those south, skirted and flirted with disaster, but we saw not a single drop and barely a puff of breeze. All of this reminded me of the Rapture predictions for five o’clock, which also fizzled ignominiously.
My husband and I, and the Rottweilers, spent quite a bit of time outside watching the show to our northwest. The lightning, the thunder, the ever darkening skies as the sun set behind the dark and gloomy storm clouds. I watched the radar as the heart of the storm, and it’s potentially spawning tornadic children, made a bee-line for my mother’s home in Easton, Kansas. I didn’t dare call her during the height of the storm, since she doesn’t have a wireless phone and her cell phone doesn’t get signal from the safe-room in the house (the main bathroom).
I remembered to call her this morning, after reading about the poor town of Reading, Kansas, which suffered one death and the destruction of twenty homes from yesterday’s storms. She was fine as were her four grandsons.
The prediction of baseball or softball sized hail might have inspired my hubby to finally get the other half of the garage cleaned out. He was lamenting (translate that to whining) about losing the Firebird to a hail storm. I did not volunteer to trade places with the Bonneville in the garage however. Somebody upstairs must have heard his plea since we hardly had a wisp of wind from an otherwise very dangerous storm system.
Last evening’s siren serenade reminded me how grateful I am for basements, meteorologists, radar and early warning systems.