"The Blizzard is coming, the blizzard is coming!" The cry went out across the land. Even places that don't have snow (i.e. Florida) heard about it. This was Big News! And of course, it gave me some concern. All of our kids live in New England. Other relatives are in New England. Old Friends live there too. Needless to say, last night, the Blizzard of 2017 was on our minds.
I checked the weather on the phone frequently for blizzard updates but I wasn't too concerned for a number of reasons. First, our kids are sensible, rational, reasonable people who make good decisions. Second, over the previous twenty-four hours, we had been in contact by phone, email, and/or text with all 3 of the boys who assured us that they and the girls were safe and had solid plans for riding it out. Whew!
Therefore, we were semi-settled in to watch a little DVR'd TV last night when suddenly, the house phone rang, which is unusual in and of itself, immediately followed by both of our cell phones started to clamor. Then there was this horrific emergency alert sound coming from multiple sources which made hearing on the phone next to impossible.
We ran to the phones, if for no other reason than to make that noise stop! And learned that:
We too were under weather assault. I had never heard of a "Code RED Weather warning" but it surely does sound scary doesn't it? We looked at each other a moment, then Tim turned the channel to local weather.
We were already prepared for rain and lots of it. That had already been predicted. And, as predicted, it was pouring. I opened the front door to listen for that freight train sound that I associate with tornados and only heard the rain pounding the heck out of everything outside. I shrugged, closed the door and went back inside. More alerts! Okay. I texted Joy.
She and Bob are temporarily living in their RV just down the road in Venice proper. Knowing how tornados feel about RV's, I wanted to be sure she knew about the alert. We texted back and forth a bit. She assured me that if they became more concerned they would drive to our house. Good.
I wracked my brain. I knew there were things I should be doing, tornado prep-wise, but it's been awhile. I filled pitchers with water. I think that's on the list. We discussed which room would be the safest to hide in. We opened a few windows to hear better. We watched weather news reports. And we listened hard.
The alert window closed without incident but it was exciting for awhile. I see no sign that any tornado touched the island anywhere, thank goodness, but I have to say that I am impressed with both the town's alert system and us. We were just a calm as could be.
Tim is a calm in an emergency kind of guy anyway. If you ever have any sort of emergency he is the fellow you want to have on hand because not only is he calm, but he always seems to know the right things to say and do. I'm calm but my brain seems to shut off. I really had to reach to remember the water thing.
I experienced an active tornado once in Connecticut that spun off from a hurricane. I watched it rip a tree right out of the ground in my yard before my very eyes. I remember the tornado alerts in Texas and listening to that wind that sounds as though a train is going to come right through the house. Tim and I both stood on the back patio in Colorado and watched tornados form in the sky and saw one of them dip down to the ground. It was a rather impressive whirling dervish, mostly brown and grey, that swayed from side to side chewing up everything in it's path. So we've seen a tornado or two before.
This was our first Florida tornado though probably not our last. And we are just fine and dandy. Nobody can escape the weather. It's out there. Whether it's drought, flood, mudslides, lightning, blizzards, tornados or hurricanes. Mother nature is going to do whatever she has a mind to do and, at least at this point, we have no control over her. Our job is to know what to do in the event of a weather emergency, stay calm and do it. Be smart and be safe.
The blizzard is still raging in New England and I will still keep an eye on the weather channel throughout the day. I'm sure I will check in with the kids now and again, just to be sure, doing my mom-thing. Even though, in my heart, I know that they are safe.
Meanwhile, I have plenty of pitchers of water still standing on my kitchen counter. I'm thinking, Kool-Aid?
Wherever you are today, please be smart, please be safe. And may the weather alerts be with you.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.