Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

Hello my darlings!

I had big domestic plans this weekend. Saturday we spent the day rearranging and sorting out our daughter’s room, and Sunday was set aside to do the same to our son’s.

Woke up Sunday and felt motivated to be productive. Started it out by running off to our local Starbucks to grab coffee for us and hot chocolates for the kiddos. I love my Starbucks. This last week they’ve been very accommodating to me by concocting these Butterbeer lattes that make my geeky tastebuds soar.

In fact, while I was there they had joked that I was the one to blame for a rush of people coming in store to order one of those yummy lattes because I’ve been Tweeting and Facebooking about it like it’s my job. I was Tweeting gleefully about this all morning yet again!

A few short hours later, this was the state of my Starbucks…


Fuck all, right?

I’d gotten home with our drinks and we were plotting out the rest of our afternoons. Drew noticed a little ! over his weather app and looked to see that oh my holy shit, we were under a tornado watch. In November. Because of course.

We decided that moving things in and out of the garage would be a bad plan with the rain so we decided to postpone.

Then shit got quite real, quite fast.

Suddenly the tornado watch became a tornado WARNING and we were paying attention in a big way.

Mr. Drew is a storm spotter. He had to take some kind of exam and everything. Back before we had kids, we would gleefully semi-chase storms and get quite thrilled when tornadoes would come about, which is relatively often in Indiana.

I remember the last time that was fun. I was pregnant with our daughter and on our way home during a tornado warning when a funnel started forming behind our car. I’d never been so scared in my life. It wasn’t about the excitement of seeing a storm, it was, OH MY GOD I HAVE A FETUS I MUST PROTECT IT DRIVE FASTER YOU FOOL, DRIVE FASTERRRRRRRRRRR.

When Lola was born, there was a big ass tornado that went right over our house. We lived in an old farm house with a huge basement and we sat down there, Lola in her carseat and listened to the explosions and chaos outside. The tops of all our trees were ripped off. Police were on the road in front of our house when we came up. It was scary, but I felt all secure in our lovely basement.

Our house currently is basement-less. This brings me a bit of fear when the sirens go off.

It went from Warning to OH SHIT TAKE COVER pretty damn fast on Sunday.

The kids were thrilled with the excitement. Lola has taken her parent’s love of weather phenomenon and had a blast preparing our little “storm shelter”. Sans basement, our shelter was actually hiding underneath a short loft bed in the guest room surrounded by pillows and prayers. I don’t feel great about it, but it’s what we have.

I lit up the Phone Tree and made sure my family anywhere in the area was on high alert, as well as friends who I knew would be in the line of the storm as it went on.

I was sitting in the bedroom, stalking the news sites as Drew stood with his fancy storm radio to his ear, stalking every weather channel and site he could find. Then the alarms started going off. The apps on our phones have this thing that sends a 60 second buzz/alarm that said SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

I had no idea it was so close. The kids were happily in their new “clubhouse” and hubs and I stood at the back door, watching the sky move. It was bright and sunshiney and there was this mass of clouds beside the sunshine that started to swirl.

The town sirens started blaring and more warnings were sent to our phones to get the fuck undercover you idiots and get away fromt he back door.

It didn’t make sense. The sky was sunny. There was no rain. It looked like a beautiful day!

As we stood there, the clouds were moving. I was shaking. Not because I was scared, but because I’ve got that old lady vibe when the pressure drops and everything starts to ache and my body goes all cattywampus. Hubs pointed out that if you looked closely, you could see the rain lines coming down.

It was then I noticed that you sure could see them coming down. But you could see they were moving in the opposite direction of the clouds. And holy actual shit there was the hook. The hook of the motherfucking funnel cloud that was forming right the fuck in front of us, like, right outside our backdoor.

The hail started. But it was coming down in a crazy way. It had no direction. It was just falling from wherever with no sense of “falling” hail.

We realized later it was because it was being tossed about by the funnel.

The hail started and we ran. Kids were in the shelter, we grabbed the pets, locked the doors, and hit the deck.

We could hear it, but we couldn’t see anything. About ten or fifteen minutes later, time spent making shadow puppets with the kids, giggling and pretending all was well, but letting them know something serious was happening, we came back out.

Looking outside, you could see the clouds moving away with a lot of scary attached to them. Other than a knocked over flower pot, all was well on our street.

The cell phones weren’t working so I sent texts through wifi to everyone I knew to check in. Everyone was fine.

Then the news started showing pictures of our town. And showing the exact spot the storm had formed. And where the tornado had began.

Seriously. Right over our house, guys. If we’d stayed at the back door even 60 seconds longer we would have seen it hit the ground.

The Starbucks I’d been out a few hours before was totaled. Power lines down all over down, houses destroyed, businesses damaged, cars flipped, so on, and so forth.

My town had just been hit by a fucking tornado.

I’ve been in many tornadoes in my life, but for some reason, this one hit harder than any of the others. It was RIGHT THERE. Like, by my house. All the pictures people were posting were just a street or two away. The Starbucks was a three minute drive.

I can’t get over how freaking lucky we were. I don’t even understand how tornadoes work like that. I don’t mean to go all Twister on you, but that freak-out speech where Helen Hunt is screaming how it hits that house and misses that house and comes for you? That chick wasn’t being irrational.

I keep looking at my kids thinking how everything could have been so different. That scares the shit out of me.

I am so grateful the damage in our town wasn’t worse. As far as I know, only minor injuries here.

But I watched the news as that same tornado that formed over our house cruised through the state destroying just, everything. People were hurt, some people died.

I know this is stupid but I hate that I had to watch it form and just let it float away. I saw it, so I feel like I should have stopped it somehow. Maybe I’ve seen one too many superhero movies, but I felt so helpless watching it fly off, taking people out as it went. Where is Iron Man when you need him? He could have done something, right? Thor? He would have knocked that bitchy twister back to wherever it is the God of Thunder sends asshole storms.

I’m having a hard time reconciling all of it. I was standing at Starbucks, ordering goofy coffee and laughing with friends. A short time later those people were running for their lives when the storm picked up in a second and destroyed the joint.

I can’t wrap my brain around all the pictures of people’s destroyed homes, businesses, and like, the picture of a person’s house sitting in the middle of a street because it had been just blown the fuck off its foundation.

Entire counties were put into emergency states. A fire department was destroyed. The wreckage of a building with a shiny firetruck poking out underneath it was surreal.

And I’ll never be able to process this picture of a Panera store table stuck into the side of a Chuck E. Cheese.

Panera table at Chuck e Cheese Kokomo_1384724711865_1277229_ver1.0_640_480

I mean, look at that. A table. Stuck in the side of a building because the wind was that strong. What the actual hell?

So, yeah. Tornadoes. I’m fascinated by them, but holy shit was that the scariest thing I have ever experienced. It scared me because well, hey, tornadoes are scary.

But mostly it was because I had no freaking clue how close it was to us. I had no idea as I huddled under a loft bed with stuffed animals and grumpy critters and my giggling children that right outside an act of nature was like, IT’S GO TIME, BITCHES.

I’m feeling particularly mortal, I guess.

A few facts from Sunday:

1. I’ve read there were 80 tornadoes that touched down in the Midwest.

2. At least six people have died because of those tornadoes.

3. Our barometric pressure dropped to that of a Tropical Depression.

4. I’ve been told the car in that Starbucks picture actually went in one window and came out the other. Not sure if that is accurate, but holy crap.

For everyone affected by this god awful line of storms, I hope you all are in one piece. I hope that everything is fixable. I know that won’t always be the case, but damn it, I am hoping it anyway. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. That’s a genuine offer. I’ll help however I can!

I hope you all are doing well, and that we are tornado free for quite some time, yeah? Yeah. I’m pretty good on adventure for a minute.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Clear Skies


  1. It’s really freaking scary. I live in Arkansas, and there’s nothing like seeing the clouds above your head move one way while fifty yards away, they’re spinning in the opposite direction. Or seeing the sky go green. *shivers*

  2. I’m glad you and your family are okay. That’s beyond scary.

  3. So glad you are all right! So scary.

  4. So glad you are OK! As scary as your experience was, you still manage to bring the funny:

    “He would have knocked that bitchy twister back to wherever it is the God of Thunder sends asshole storms.”

    YES. Thor would do that.

    My dad was a weather watcher; I have vivid memories of sitting alongside the innermost wall of our basement with my mom. Where’s Dad? Outside with the neighbors pointing at the sky. Dude would leave the weather channel on for HOURS. I knew all the cable weather people back in the ’90s. Though I have never seen an actual funnel and I would have ran just like you did, so I’m glad you got away from the door, curious as you were.

    Those pictures are tragic. Not just that your corner Starbucks was wiped out, but that you were just there, and employees were STILL there. I’m assuming all OK, but well, jobless for a bit 🙁
    (and the Panera table is somewhat funny but only in a OMGZZ SAY WHAAAT?! type of way.)

    We are just north of the tornado line in IL; a town 8 miles south of us tends to get hit often; the devastation in our state was further south this time. Washington, IL outside of Peoria pretty much leveled.

  5. What can I say except OMG!!!! The picture of Starbucks blew me away (no pun intended).
    I don’t live in a tornado area and I cannot begin to imagine how TERRIFIED I would be – especially wanting to protect my children.
    Glad all is well for you and your family.

  6. OMG!I’m so glad you’re alright! That chair in the Chuck E Cheese wall picture won’t leave my mind. I’m glad you all are alright. I live in the desert so don’t know much about tornadoes except what’s on the movies and TV. Glad you all are safe.

  7. Got all choked up when you described that feeling of “letting” it get away. You felt it because in so many ways, you ARE a superhero. But your power is words and feels and heart. So grateful the world has you in it. So grateful the world STILL has you in it.

  8. Glad you’re okay. I’m in Illinois. The winds cracked the metal pole on the basketball hoop outside and it is now standing at an odd angle. My niece and I we’re coming home from breakfast and had to seek shelter in the movie theater because the rain was blowing so hard I couldn’t see to drive and the car was rocking. Five minutes later and we were good to go. Lots of tree branches down on the way home, though. Crazy pictures of the Starbucks and the Chuck E. Cheese.

  9. Fizzy, that’s my Starbucks too! We were huddled in a closet under the stairs with two cats (I often feel like Harry Potter during tornadoes) and the power went out and my uncle (serious weather junkie) started sending text messages updating us on the weather. Hearing about the Starbucks made things very real for me too. I go there on a frequent basis. How could this building I visit all the time be destroyed like that? I think I heard they had about two dozen people crammed into those bathrooms!


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