Saturday, January 11, 2014


This morning we woke up to a wet, rainy, warm day. The temperature was forecast to reach 70°F. With those conditions in place we were put on tornado watch. In the early afternoon things got a little crazy outside and we were put on a tornado warning—seek shelter immediately, the weather service advised.

I had to look up the difference between tornado warning and tornado watch because I can never remember which is worse than the other (though I had already figured it out since we were moved from a watch to a warning just as things were picking up outside). Basically, it seems that if you're under a tornado watch the conditions are such that a tornado could possibly form. If you're under a tornado warning, a tornado (or at least a funnel cloud) has been detected so you're supposed to take cover immediately, etc., etc., etc.

Wind was blasting and rain was coming down in sheets so thick we could hardly see across the street. I was already gathering the children to "have story time in the closet" (which was bound to be super fun) when Andrew called to check on us since his phone is set up to receive weather alerts and mine, for some reason, is not. He told me about the warning to "seek shelter immediately" and I told him preparations were underway.

I was a little stressed but the girls obediently got their pillow and favourite blanket and waited in the closet for me while I finished turning off the computers and got Benjamin settled. He was quite panicked by the weather—he kept fussing and running to the windows so he could see what was going on outside—but eventually I convinced him to join us in the closet for story time (he was a little confused about that, first running to the couch and plunking down right in the middle, ready for anything...except a tornado).

So, with shoes on our feet and flashlights by our side, surrounded by pillows and blankets, we hid in the closet and read stories together until the warning passed.

The children were not impressed with our cramped conditions or the lack of fun activities to do in our closet so after I released them they both gathered a bunch of stuff for "emergencies." Let's just say that their idea of a 72-hour kit and my idea of a 72-hour kit do not match. Perhaps we should compromise a little. It's probably time to redo our 72-hour kits anyway since I put them together soon after moving here so I'm sure I still have newborn outfits for Benjamin stuck in there (not to mention how old those granola bars are getting). I can try to prepare some more exciting activities for our emergency bags (not that we even got them down; but it probably wouldn't hurt to have an entertainment box in the closet for almost-but-not-quite emergencies like today) while the girls can exercise their practicality (because I don't think we need to pack the Duplos or the entire stuffed animal collection into the closet with us).

We emerged from the closet unscathed and still friendly, however.

The creek in the backyard was roaring—at least compared to how docile it normally is.

And the tree in the front had a few more branches break. This poor tree needs a good pruning (if only I knew how):

Not only did I survive a tornado warning today, I also disassembled and reassembled the plugs in the bathroom sink. That and so far the kids are all alive.

Those three things totally explain why the house is a disaster today, right?


  1. I'm amazed at what you do when Andrew is home. When I saw he was presenting somewhere I was even more impressed!

    We had a lot of rain, too. The streets were particularly puddley (for lack of a better word) this morning ,and Haw River is more full than I've seen it in a good while.

    Looks like better weather tomorrow!

  2. I think you need to invite the Jacobsons for a visit, and ask Doug to bring his tree-trimming gear! Glad you weathered the storm.

  3. Warning is worse :-/ I hate tornadoes so much. They have been seriously giving me nightmares for the last ten years. I'm bummed out that so a large part of the country gets them...and man do I want a basement. We just hide out in the harry potter closet and I hold the phone looking at weather reports while Dr. J if he happens to even be good luck with that, runs back and forth between windows. I think the man actually wants to see one. Yikes! The worst are when you are driving and there is no where to turn. Once I was in Nebraska with my mother-in-law and sirens went off and they kept breaking in on the radio. What were we suppose to do? You can't see anything in the dark. It was a nightmare. We finally found an exit and stopped at a hotel. The next morning we found out it was this town that one night was hit by 20+ tornadoes.