07 June 2011

That dark day

It's been two Sundays since Ryan called Macauley and me just as we'd walked through the door at Walmart and said, "Get home--a bad storm is coming." We walked right back out and drove home with a sense of urgency, but not panic, as the radio bleated storm warnings. I heard something about a Pizza Hut being "flattened" but I didn't hear where. Safe in our big sturdy house, the 3 of us stood around in the kitchen, watching the TV's choppy satellite picture, listening to the tan Dream Machine clock radio I've had since I was a teenager--wondering, waiting. Ryan had suggested Macauley and I put on "real" shoes, not flipflops, so we put on our rain boots and I thought to grab my purse in case we had to take shelter in the storage room under our house. Booker sat worriedly beside me near the kitchen island instead of lounging on the couch like he usually does. The danger passed for us in Springfield not long after, but I will remember the way we all stood there in the kitchen with such a feeling of unease. Time to think about what to do but questioning if any of it was necessary. Like many of my neighbors, I emerged from the house to see the sky's eerie orange glow, light and dark at the same time. From the back of our house, you could just barely see a rainbow, a double one, stretching across our side of town.

Still not knowing what had really transpired just an hour down the interstate from us, we made a spontaneous trip to Andy's, Macauley in his pajamas (even though it was only early evening) and a pair of my sparkly flipflops he'd found in the car once we arrived and he realized he had left the house barefooted.

A few others were out and about, too, most of us gazing west--quietly, curiously--at the strange sky, snapping pictures with our phones and little cameras that couldn't really capture what we saw. It was only later that word started coming in about our neighbors in Joplin, the EF 5 that had shaken their town to the core while we milled about in our kitchen. It could have been us. It wasn't. I wonder why.


farmlady said...

WOW! This must have been a scary day and those days after... wondering about the luck of it not coming down on you and your family, your town, ruining your lives.
I live in California and we are always waiting for the "big one"... the earthquake to end all. We ignore the truth and live on the edge... waiting...
I kind of know the feeling long term of "waiting" but not what must be so frightening where you live, when you know that tornado will come down somewhere and it's just a roll of the dice as to where.
I'm so glad you and yours are OK. I prayed for the folks in Joplin. We all did.

summersundays-jw said...

I think your post kind of represented the way we all felt that day. You just said it really well. Thanks! Jan

oliveoyl64 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oliveoyl64 said...

We are so connected through blogland and our lists can be long on our blogroll. We forget where each of our cyber friends resides until they send out reminders like this one. I have been close myself to a tornado that skipped over our town and leveled the next in it's path. Why were we spared? Still cannot answer that one after 11 years.

My friend and her family in Joplin lost everything as did many of her friends and neighbors. I cannot be there with her physically, but I think about her struggles every day, multiple times.

I wonder if they will still be asking 11 years later, Why us?


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