Monday, February 28, 2011

In all the years that I have lived in Missouri there have been only a few rare instances when I have had a close encounter of any sort with a tornado. Once in high school I did hole up in a low church building with a friend while waiting for it to be safe to drive home. And once at a contra dance the sirens went off and the party moved to the building's basement where we continued to dance the night away. I can count all of these stormy encounters on the fingers of one hand, and none were that serious. In fact, in the wildness of youth, I rather enjoyed the excitement of those occasions.

A couple months before Clay and I were engaged, while I was still in college, there was one notable storm that passed through Springfield. The tornado sirens wailed and giant balls of hail fell from the sky and dented all of our cars. My roommates retreated to the basement of our little rental house but Clay and I took in the fury of the storm from the front porch. And joined in the ranks of other crazy college students who ran rampant in the streets as soon as the hail was no longer large enough to be life threatening. Ah, to be young again...

Clay and I still enjoy taking in the occasional Missouri thunderstorm from our front porch swing. There is something so invigorating about watching the lightning streak across the sky, feeling the rumble of thunder and the gusts of rain and wind blowing across the porch. However, my enjoyment of tornado threats has lessened considerably since I now have a family to watch out for and a house that I actually care about.

So last night I wasn't too thrilled when the wind picked up and started making very odd sounds outside our window. And naturally it happened on a night when Amelia chose to be a good little baby and sleep soundly in her Moses basket. Living in the country we don't have sirens nearby and we also don't have any television stations. Thankfully our internet was working quickly so Clay checked the radar online. Sure enough there was a big dark red storm cell passing right over our house. I wouldn't have been so concerned if that wind hadn't been acting so strangely. I have never heard it sound quite like that before. We decided to act on our impulses and carried our three sleeping children downstairs into the dank, cold basement. We sat on folding chairs with our bare feet freezing in the puddles of rain water on the floor and cuddled the kids. William looked around in wide-eyed wonder and Margaret plaintively requested to be put back in bed. Amelia slept soundly through the whole event.

I'm not sure how long we were down there but in my sleep deprived state it seemed a long time. At last, when we no longer heard the wind whooshing threateningly around the house, Clay ran up to check the radar. He gave the all clear and we all stumbled thankfully back to our beds. Another exciting late night for the Dodson household.

And now I think it is time to get these kids down for naps and pray that I can take one too....


  1. How was your house, yard, etc? Too bad you couldn't sleep while the baby was sleeping!

  2. I hope you can catch up on rest soon, Elissa! I'm so glad you're all okay, minus the lack of sleep! xo

  3. Keith wants to say hi! We're moving to Spokane, so still in the Northwest, but more sort of Metro, if you will. Glad the storm blew over. I hope Amelia likes the whole sleeping right on through thing by now.