Saturday, June 14, 2008

Weather Watchers

I think I will need prescription for anti-anxiety meds before this summer is over. I used to love a good thunderstorm, but something has shifted in me and they now give me a very severe nervous tummy. I would like to note that I have always had a healthy respect for tornadoes (it happens fairly automatically if you grow up in the midwest), but my respect (read: intense fear) has been ratcheted up a notch of late.

Part of the reason for this is certainly the insane storm season we've had here already, and all the horrific tornadoes so early in the year. But I think another reason I am so much more nervous about storms, specifically tornadoes, is the fact that I have children now and I just can't stand the thought of anything happening to them.

We had the first major storm/tornado threat in our part of Ohio a little over a week ago. I believe it was a Tuesday night, sometime after eight, when the sirens went off. Harper was already out cold for the night. I started yelling for her to “getup!getup!getup!getup!” which she reacted to by not moving or blinking or giving any other sign that she could hear anything. So I had myself a little Sophie’s Choice moment when I debated which child I should leave to the mercy of the tornado while I ran the other one down to the basement. Since I was already holding the baby, he got to be ferried to the basement first. Then I ran back up for Harper - thankfully our house had not been leveled while I saved the youngest child - carried her downstairs, and deposited her safely in an armchair. As an afterthought, I ran back up for Harper’s epi pens (Because the food at the shelter where we’d have to stay after the house had been leveled might not be safe and then where would we be?), the diaper bag, and my cell phone. And then we waited.

Michael was surprisingly content to let me entertain him as he lay on the floor, while I kept half an eye on the fuzzy reception of the local weather report on the basement television.

Harper passed the time doing some sort of bizarre sleep yoga. The next morning she had no memory of being in the basement. (And, yes, she still wears a diaper to bed. BIG SIGH. That is for another post.) As luck would have it, my camera was in the diaper bag and I was able to document Harper’s strange position changes.

Fortunately we all survived that evening unscathed.

We also missed the worst of the severe weather which cut through our path to my parents' house last Friday. Although the storms did blow two semi trucks over, turning I-65 into a parking lot for nearly half an hour. At least Harper got to see her first ever real-life rainbow while we were sitting in the resulting traffic.

The first Saturday we were here we all ended up in the basement as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms swept this area of Wisconsin.

Sunday we drove back from my aunt's house in torrential downpours, during which I was sure our car was going to be washed off the road.

The weather last night and this evening has sent me scurrying around making sure there were working flashlights and putting needed items in the basement "just in case."

And we are very fortunate not to be in a town where severe flooding is occuring. Just yesterday a friend was going to drive out from Madison to see us but couldn't because, oops, the freeway is under water.

Mother Nature? We've had enough, okay?


Erin said...

Totally. Amen. I am DONE with this severe weather stuff. And now the FLOODING. Seriously, it's freaking me out. WTF already?

We had a nasty set of storms the other day at work. It was 2pm, the tornado sirens were going off, everyone in the nature center (staff & public visitors) had to cram in the basement storage room for AN HOUR. The poor kids were flipping out a bit. I was trying not to think about MY BOYS who were 6 miles away and might as well have been on another planet.

Feeling helpless is a sickening feeling.

The sleep yoga, however: FUNNY.

Swistle said...

Last week we had just a REGULAR storm, not even a tornado-type storm, and I got up in the middle of the night to bring my cell phone to bed with me, in case I needed to act fast in an emergency and so wouldn't have a phone. I think I'd like a prescription, too. Although the laughing I did at (1) Michael's shirt and (2) Michael's expression and (3) Harper's sleep positions went a long way toward relieving stress.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, we had the same thing here (near Cincinnati) about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Ally (who is 3 years old) was not asleep yet and we dragged her downstairs, along with all of our "provisions", and watched the tv (which thankfully did not go out). As they are pinpointing the path, my hubby got very quiet and said we were directly in the path of what was possibly a tornado. We hid under the tables (which being 7 months pregnant, was not comfortable) until it passed, and spent the entire night in the basement. What freaked me out was that there were unconfirmed reports of a touchdown about 4 blocks away. So now Ally always talks about "bad weather" and hates when the news talks about the rain. So do makes me sick to my stomach when I see severe storms on the radar now. Though she handled it like a trooper...I think I would have preferred she slept like Harper--those pics are hysterical! :o)


Emily said...

I KNOW. I'm a nervous wreck lately. I've always been anxious about tornados, but now they seem to be more of a real threat? I don't know...I'm whimpy scared.

And I'm absolutely dumbfounded that you can pick Harper up and move her to a different location and she STAYS ASLEEP!!! Incredible! And in all those positions - hysterical!

samantha jo campen said...

Yeah, these Midwest storms can just knock it off.

I'm glad you're all okay. And yes, Harper's sleep yoga had me cracking up. At least she was relaxed! :-)

Hillary said...

First of all, I'm sad that I'm the friend that was suppose to come from Madison to see you and wasn't able to because of flooding. Curses to those storms!!!!! It is still crazy here. I-94 is now a two-lane highway for four miles b/c two rivers are still incredibly high.

We have had nice weather since the crazy storms ended almost two weeks ago, so hopefully the water will continue to recede.

Mother nature has now sent us mosquitos--they are evil. I, too, have had enough (especially after last winter).