Our little town has a telephone emergency alert system. At 5:45 AM (aka zero dark thirty), I was awakened by the phone. Immediately, I think about BAD THINGS - because no good message comes that early in the morning.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for our area.
So here I was, AWAKE at this ungodly hour.
The thunderstorm was already underway when I woke The Boy at 6:30, his usual wake up time. Then the hail started.
I like a good storm...but this was something else. I stood at the front door and watched the hail, some of it was BIG, regulation size National League hail. Luckily, we avoided car window/windshield damage, though I'm sure I have more dents in the Mom mobile.
Not a big deal.
Our next door neighbor said that his awning is pretty much a lost cause.
The phone rings again. This time, it is the school district emergency alert system, the recorded message tells me that the buses will run up to an hour late so no children have to be on their way to the bus in the downpour of baseball wannabes and rain.
The school transportation office calls to let us know that The Boy's bus will be on time, like usual (since it comes to our door, and he travels outside our district to school).
Here, The Boy is holding some hail (after the rain had melted it and made it look puny):
Here's a pic I got from a local news site - hail in our town:
Then, last night, just to add an air of excitement to our evening, we had a tornado warning.
We live in a mobile home (we ARE "trailer park people" aka "trailer trash" ).
We have no basement.
What we don't lack is anxiety.
Once again, the town telephone emergency alert system called to say there was a tornado warning for our area.
Have I mentioned that The Boy must know who is on the phone, and what was the general topic of conversation...every time the phone rings?
"It was just a tornado watch", lying through my teeth. Why don't you take your shower before the storm starts?"
"I'm not taking a shower tonight. What do we do now, Mom? Are we going to drive somewhere safe?"
Have I mentioned that I took the car for repairs today, and it's still at the shop?
The Boy's conclusion based on his usual thought process? ALL HOPE IS LOST.
"It's just a tornado watch, and we're going to be fine. Check the batteries in the flashlight on the desk, to make sure that they're still good, okay? Just in case the power goes out, I don't want to trip over the cat in the dark."
Then the town's TORNADO SIRENS start blaring, and another recorded voice says that we are in the midst of "A TORNADO WARNING, AND WE MUST TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY!"
The Boy says, "We're all going to die, and it's okay." He's dramatic like that.
Alrighty then. I go outside on the deck and watch the dark clouds that have gathered above us. Foolishly, I ask The Boy to grab the camera off the desk and bring it to me...I want a picture of the orangish clouds...they look weird.
"OMG, MOM! What are we going to do? Where should we hide?"
"It doesn't look that bad out here (another lie), I just like the color of the clouds. Get back inside, the rain is starting." I can muster false courage when necessary.
From the Man Cave, I log onto a St. Louis TV station site and watch the regional radar...and mute the sound.
I often talk to myself when I'm at the computer. Okay, not just at the computer...I talk to myself often. When I talk to myself in the car, I drum my fingers on the steering wheel so other drivers and passengers assume I am singing. At least that's what I tell myself, probably out loud.
"Wow, that's a lot of red."
"Wow, it'll soon be time for BED."
I continue to watch the radar, sans noise. The last thing The Boy needs to hear is how dicey this weather situation looks...from the so-called "experts".
Thank God, they were wrong.
I wish I could be wrong 75% of the time and still get a fat paycheck.
Until a correspondence school offers meteorology as an option (and allows me to participate without the necessity of paying tuition), I guess I'll continue being wrong without compensation.