Well, we survived the tornadoes last night too. And lest you think these were some paltry little Texas-style tornadoes (which I recall as usually involving some minor house damage and maybe some downed trees, but nowhere near as serious as north of the Red River), they made the New York Times. We'd been listening to the radio and watching the live satellite on the website of whatever TV station plays it - we don't have a TV, so I had to ask Ryan each time for the name of the local weather station. We watched the line of storms move from the OKC area towards the McAlester area, and right as we saw the line moving through Muskogee, our phone rang. It was Ryan's brother Erik (whom you can visit at memoirsofavaslife.blogspot.com), telling us, "Take cover! There's a tornado on the ground east of Wagoner and it's moving your way." One minute later the radio said the fateful words, "Lost City," and five minutes after that my dad called. I reassured him that we'd opened all the windows and taken all possible preparations. The satellite still showed the storm hovering safely on Muskogee, a good thirty miles away from us.
Guess that live satellite wasn't as live as the radio reports.
The sky here was calm, though not clear, and the dogs lazed about as if they hadn't a care in the world, so we guessed that we had a little bit of time. We changed out of our PJs back into real-people clothes and packed some emergency supplies in a couple of bags in case we needed them. Of course, since this house doesn't have a basement, I don't know under what circumstances we could need emergency supplies and still be around to use them, but I guess there's no harm in being prepared. We unplugged the internet (and the computers, Dad!) and listened to the radio until the storm began scrambling the signal too much. Then Ryan turned it to country, and I began freaking out because I wanted to hear a weather report, I've never been in a tornado without hearing a play-by-play weather report, every tornado I've ever experienced I've experienced in the safety of a bathroom with up-to-the-minute coverage of exactly which intersections the tornado was crossing, and THERE'S A TORNADO COMING WHY ARE YOU LISTENING TO MUSIC???? I'm from Dallas, you see.
In fact, I went and laid down on the bed in my jeans and boots because the music was worrying me so much that I couldn't get a grip on myself.
Then I realized that we live in.the.middle.of.nowhere, and even if there were a radio signal for the AM weather station, they would not be telling us whether the tornado was currently ravaging a town that consists entirely of a stop sign and the four houses on the corners surrounding the stop sign, nor whether said tornado was happening to bear down upon a tiny brown house on a dirt road five minutes away from the stop sign in the middle of nowhere. I took a deep breath, walked onto the porch, apologized for being silly, and watched the sky with Ryan. After all, there was no way of knowing, sitting in a bathroom, whether it was safe to come out yet, or if it had ever been unsafe to be out in the first place. There are no tornado sirens in the country.
After a while we began to see lots of lightning in the sky to the east, moving from south to north. It only barely drizzled. There was a nice breeze. If we hadn't heard of a tornado warning, we would have thought it was lovely weather to sit out on the porch past our bedtime, refusing to worry about how tired we would be in the morning. Eventually nothing happened, and we went to bed. I slept in my clothes, because I was still nervous about a rogue tornado breaking off from the main storm front, backtracking and targeting our house like a heat-seeking missile. Taking my boots off was my one concession to comfort: I wanted to be ready to jump up at a moment's notice, grab the baby and huddle in the bathroom.
At midnight on the dot (I know, I looked), some other storm about which we hadn't been warned broke upon us with a fury. There was hail, there were howling winds, there was a veritable deluge. I shook Ryan and tried to make him interested in the situation, but either he was too asleep or he really thought it wasn't a big deal. I lay in the bed and trembled for the hour in which it assailed us. I listened for anything that sounded remotely like a freight train, because that's what I've heard tornadoes sound like. Between my sleepy wishful thinking that there were no freight train sounds and my paranoia that everything was a freight train sound, I am still unsure whether I did in fact hear a freight train sound or not. It passed, however, and I haven't seen a downed tree yet this morning, so I'm inclined to believe that if there was a tornado, it at least did not touch this 10-acre valley.
So here we are, only a little sleepier for the wear. Please, though, can we be done with tornado season? This is quickly becoming obnoxious. I can't get out into the garden as long as the soil is this soaking wet, and between the weeds taking over and the seeds becoming too waterlogged to sprout, I'm getting a bit worried.
Later today I'll share the magical bread recipe I found after two years of searching which satisfies Ryan's desire for white bread and my desire for healthy whole wheat, all in one!