Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wild and Windy Night

What is with the weather lately? Tornadoes, floods, excessive heat ....

Here in North Dakota, we've been able to escape the wrath of Mother Nature but we got a dose of her fury last night.

I was alone with all the kids when signs flashed across the TV about tornado warnings. I've been fascinated with thunderstorms and ominous weather since I was kid and my curiosity got the best of me. I grabbed my oldest daughter ("Annaboo") and we walked outside to see the impending storm.

The sky was a combination of blue, black and gray with swirling clouds abound. We were in awe - but only for a minute as within seconds the wind blew and trees were bent. We ran back home only to realize we had left Sasha outside on her chain and Mommy's little helper was playing in the yard with friends. I was terrified that a tornado was within minutes of touching down.

The momma bear in me kicked in.

"Grab Sasha and get in the basement with your brother," I yelled. I grabbed Mommy's little helper from outside and Annaboo, by this time, had Sasha in her arms and was wrestling with the screen door to get in the house.

Envision Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz sans the flying cows and witches flying around on broomsticks.

The lights flickered and the wind howled as we waited out the storm in the basement. My teenage son was home (atypical for a Saturday night) and I was relieved that I had all my children in the house. The neighbors were gone and had called to tell us that their two young children were alone with a frightened babysitter. They asked us if we could bring them over to our house for safety. Through gale-force winds, my son volunteered to get them and he brought them to our house where we sat around and listened to the radio and ate Goldfish. I was very proud of him and his initiative to be the "man in the house" last night. I think the kids were more calm than me!

The storm blew past Fargo and we were fortunate that no funnel clouds touched down near us.

I took a tour of the house and garden and noticed little damage despite reports of 50-60 mph winds. The basketball hoop - a heavy beast to begin with - was moved about 10 feet and one of our flood lights on the house was blown out and dangling by a thread. And the gardens .... they were unscathed except for lots of branches and leaves mixed in with foliage and blooms.

I hope others were as lucky as us.

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