It’s a stormy day here in middle Tennessee. As I sit at my computer I’m enjoying the sounds of chirping birds and nearby rumbles of thunder. Something about thunderstorms always seems to comfort me. The birds chirping confuse me somewhat but hey, they’re tough!
My oldest son had battalion formation for JROTC this morning. That meant he needed to be at school an hour early. As if the change in routine wasn’t enough, just as we pulled away from our home, tornado warning alerts came bursting from our phones. Oh joy! Not only was I driving all my kids to school, I was going to do it in a nasty storm. My goal was to get my 14-year-old to his school before all hell broke loose. I failed.
I dropped my 16-year-old son off at the front of his high school as the first drops of rain began to fall. I thought I still had time to make it to the middle school. WRONG! As I pulled out of the high school parking lot, the maelstrom opened up! The skies erupted, turning the rain into giant sheets of wind driven chaos.
I knew it was ridiculous to even attempt driving through the mess so I pulled up next to a sturdy brick dumpster enclosure in the apartment complex next to the high school. To my surprise, this seemingly insignificant structure gave me sufficient protection from the wind while I watched siding come ripping off the apartment buildings and fly through the air. I remember one piece of siding specifically, it was carried through the air across the lot about twenty feet in front of me. It crossed from my left to the right and suddenly stopped, hanging in mid-air for a moment, only to cross again but from right to left. Yeah, that was freaky.
Then the hail came. It started small, maybe pea size. Despite the size it still hit my van like projectiles from a pellet machine gun and the noise reflected the same. As time passed, it became louder. I looked down at the ground and saw dime size hail. Of my four children, I still had two with me. They didn’t seem to be frightened at all. In fact, I think they were having a blast, watching the madness surrounding our little white mini-van. Yes, I have strange children.
Soon, the storm subsided into nothing but a heavy downpour. I emerged from my hiding place and drove the mile to the middle school. By the time I dropped my 14-year-old off at his school, the rain had reduced to a steady drizzle. From there, I took my daughter home because she still had an hour until her preschool started. On the drive home, I saw some broken tree limbs and an uprooted dead tree. Other than that, there wasn’t really much to note.
However, I do feel the need to share this one piece of advice. When severe weather approaches, never – and I do mean never – take shelter in a Port-a-potty. You’ll regret it and this picture should tell you why…