A PAMPERED OUTBREAK

I’d been looking forward to Friday, March 2 for a month. I scheduled the day off work in order to have a day of pampering with a massage, hair cut and highlight, and a pedicure. I was cashing in my Mother’s Day present from last year and gifts from my birthday and figured, why not do it all at once? My plans were nearly foiled by Mother Nature.

All week, storms were predicted for Friday and as the week progressed the forecast became more daunting. I didn’t get concerned until my employer sent out an email bulletin about the forecast and reminding everyone of emergency procedures. I work for a utility company and we watch the weather closely, but never in my five years there do I recall such a message. Friday morning came and I heard that the Weather Channel had sent some of their top reporters, storm chasers and meteorologists to our city. We’re used to severe weather, but not like this forecast. A super outbreak was on the horizon and everyone was on alert. As the day progressed, schools let out early, businesses closed, and the streets emptied.

I made it to my massage, which was awesome, and my hair appointment went off without a hitch. However, by the time I was finished, tornado warnings were issued about 20 miles north and we expected to see a line pass through our area within the hour. My pedicure was going to have to wait.

We do not have a basement, which is okay, except for times like this. We’ve hunkered down in our safe place before, but honestly, I never really feel all that safe. Tornados can splinter a house in seconds and I can’t stand the thought of having to hold on to my children for dear life as everything around us is destroyed. Jeremy and I decided it would be best if we went to my parent’s house. They live in a valley and have a basement. It’s a very secure storm shelter. We packed up and headed out.

The kids happily played in blissful ignorance at Mom and Dad’s while I kept an eye on the weather. Tornado warnings were dropping all around us. Soon one was issued for our county, but at my parent’s house it was just cloudy, as the cell was about 10 miles south of us. Dad opened the side door and Grant exclaimed “Oh, no! Oh, wow!” as he listened to the tornado sirens.

The last of the storms came through and we were spared. A small town 20 miles north was not so lucky and numerous deaths have been reported. We thanked God for keeping us safe and prayed for those who weren’t so lucky. We could have easily been devastated and I celebrated survival by finishing my day of pampering with a pedicure; better late than never.

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