Tornadoed in

Extreme weather makes me extremely nervous. Call me crazy, but I’m not a real fan of blizzards and tornadoes. And living in Minnestoa we get our fair share of severe weather. Severe snow, severe cold, severe humidity, severe mosquitoes (don’t even try to tell us Minnesotans that’s not a real weather event. Come visit us in July and when you confuse a gray cloud of mosquitoes for, well, an actual gray cloud, you’ll change your mind) and from May – July, severe thunderstorms which often turn into tornadoes.

One of my very favorite things is rain – the sound, the smell – and I miss it terribly during the frozen months. When we get our first post-apocolyptic rainfall (usually in April) I’m as happy as a puppy that’s just discovered an unguarded den of baby bunnies.  What is NOT my favorite, however, is when the weather-gods turn it ugly.  Some fun weather terms we hear a lot in the spring and early summer up here:

Severe Thunderstorm Warning! 
Tornado Watch*! 
Tornado Warning*! 

*difference between the 2 – 
with a “watch” you can go about your activities, but should keep an eye on those dark and looming clouds, and stay close to shelter.
With a “warning” you are supposed to “get to a basement, lowest room of your house, or doorway. Stay away from windows. If you are outside, TAKE SHELTER. NOW.”

I, however, do not choose to differentiate between the two. “Watch” or “Warning”, I high-tail it to my basement with my cats, my kids (accompanied by every single one of their stuffed animals), a flashlight, candles, my good pillow, and a variety of snacks (you may notice Husband is missing from this list. He’s a wanna-be tornado chaser. Oh, he eventually may come downstairs, but usually it’s because he needs to grab a beer when he goes outside to watch the storm roll in). Since our basement is finished and is where our good t.v., comfy chairs and games are, it’s not a bad place to hang out until the storm passes. Plus, there’s a bar and a full bathroom down there so I’ve really got all I need to get me through the stress (unless the sirens go off, then I’m bringing all of the above into the corner closet.  Bar included).

I do a pretty good job of staying calm on the outside so the girls, Thing 2 especially, don’t freak out more than necessary.  I’m all, “Oh, it’s fiiine!! There’s no tornado near us (rainbow of colors on the weather map swirling around doing their damndest to contradict me), Oh, that siren? It’s just a test!! Why are the trees blowing sideways and are those squirrels flying by our windows you ask??  Just a happy little breeze! They love it!  Now, grab a fudgesicle and bring mama that bottle of wine in the fridge and let’s sing Girl Scout songs!!” 

Cool on the outside, crazy on the inside. Story of my life.

I’d love to say we don’t get tornado warnings all that often, but it seems like we’ve had more than usual the past few years (I blame the 1%. Why not?)

And after an amazingly mild winter and a beautiful and unseasonably warm month of March, we are getting hit with our first dose of SEVERE weather and the first tornado warning of the year. 

Yesterday was one of the most perfect spring weather days you can get up here, and I spent the day sitting outside on the deck of our cabin in the warm-but-not-hot sunshine, writing, looking at the lake.  And last evening was just as lovely sitting by the bonfire next to the glassy and perfectly still lake. 

It’s been pouring rain all day today. The lake looks like the ocean, all wavy and angry.  The wind has been whipping the trees around and slamming the raindrops into the window for hours.  We were supposed to drive back home this evening, but we’ve been tornadoed in (a new weather term I just made up. I like it. I think I’ll send in to weather.com). Tornado warnings in every county from here to home and swirly yellow and red paisley shapes on the weather map which has resulted in the past hour of Husband and I staring at the laptop and trying to decide if we should make a break for it. Since I’m not a fan of the idea of being caught in a tornado while driving because there’s not a chance in hell I would (as the experts tell you):

1) PULL OVER
2) GET OUT OF CAR (are you out of your f’n mind??)
3) RUN AWAY FROM CAR SO IT DOESN’T FLIP ON TOP OF YOU and 
4) FIND A DITCH TO THROW YOURSELF IN WHILE COVERING YOUR HEAD TO PROTECT FROM FLYING DEBRIS (um, like a car??)

it looks like we’re gonna hang tight until the morning, make due with the rations of food we have, watch a movie and enjoy a fine wine (we keep plenty of that here, naturally).  Plus, we’ve got our cats, our kids and our gramma (who was along for the weekend) with us so things are good.

Oh, except for the fact that we just checked weather.com and looks like this rain is gonna turn into snow at about 3 a.m.  Shit.






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