How can I talk about anything else?
That was my bank. The 7-11 where I buy gas. The hospital where I take my kids to see their pediatrician. The bank where I cashed a check, just after 2pm. The bowling alley where we held my daughter's birthday party. The theater we visit for date night.
The park where I take my kids.
The kids at Veteran's Park in Moore, Oklahoma.
The park that is 3 miles away, that was hit by a tornado that was possibly 2 miles wide, with a 2.5 mile wide debris ball surrounding it. The park that's essentially no longer there.
I picked up my kids from school along with a confused, scared mess of other parents. The school went into lockdown, but we fled for home, literally 500 yards down the street, dodged the rain running to the car, pulled into the garage and over the storm shelter as the hail started.
Shooed the kids in the house to get long pants, a bottle of water, a snack, their backpacks of "necessities" still packed from storms the day before. They came back with their jeans, shoes, blankets, a sleeping bag, pillows, 2 cans of soup, pudding, crackers peanut butter and an orange.
I knew we had a good 10 the 15 minutes before heading to "the hole" (that would be the tornado shelter, but let's not blow too much sunshine; it's a hole.) so I packed a laundry basket with our stuff, snapped a picture out the window and called my husband to tell him we were going underground. This storm spun up so quickly there was no way he could make it home to be with us. Not ideal but we would both be as safe as possible. He would weather the storm on base.
The storm is coming. We are going underground.
We had storms the day before; we endured a little hail, and watched ducks weather the storm in the bushes at our mailbox, though just east of us Shawnee was hit pretty hard. But it's easy to be lulled into thinking that things won't be that bad where you live when they weren't that bad the day before. It's easy to scoff at the weather reports when they seem to be filled with hyperbole and brimstone. This is Oklahoma after all; we get a lot of weather warnings and there are a lot of them that never happen. But sometimes, the storms do happen. And for all the jokes and lighthearted fun we poke at our weather people and storm chasers (Gary England drinking game, anyone? Mike Morgan's sparkle tie?), we do listen. And we respect the power of weather.