I knew the rain was coming. On my way home from work, the radio DJ mentioned the yucky weather we were going to get. Apparently some nasty cells would be moving through middle Tennessee between 1-4am.
I listened. Well, half-listened. I was thinking about other things... I was tired. It had been a long day. I was hungry.
The power went out. The house fell totally silent. Lightning flashed. Then the loudest, creepiest noise ever began...it wasn't thunder, but in my disoriented state, I thought "what a strange, loud and long thunder roll."
Next, a HUGE smash. Immediately, Reagan screamed and shot out of her room, screaming bloody murder. I ran to meet her in the hall.
It's pitch black. I can't see. I asked Reagan if her windows broke. She didn't know.
At that moment, Stu came charging out of our room, holding Remy. He yelled TORNADO! And told us to hide. At first, Reagan ran for my closet. I opened Riley's door and yelled for him to get up and come out. It feels like it takes him forever to emerge. He was scared, too afraid to leave his bed. I can feel my mind start to panic, where is Riley?!?! I take a breath, willing myself not to go down that path. Riley comes out.
Stu wanted us to get to the basement.
It's still SO loud. What is happening? It's dark. It's scary. We can't find the lantern Remy has been playing with.
We rush down the stairs. Riley, Reagan, Remy and I huddle together in a corner.
I think the loud noise has stopped. It's still storming. It's still terrifying. Stu heads back into the house to grab shoes for all of us. And jackets, it's cold in the basement. And the phones. We can use the flashlights on the phones.
I don't know how long we stayed down there. At least 30 minutes. We were waiting for the tornado warning to be lifted. We huddled together on the couch in the basement.
We waited. And we prayed.
Almost as fast as it all happened, the sky was calm. Stu walked outside. The first thing he was greeted with was someone's air conditioner in our driveway. The kids and I stayed in the basement. He went out to chat with the neighbors. People all along the street were popping out to check on each other.
He came back and said "the house on the corner is not there anymore."
It felt like a strange dream, still does. Eventually, we moved upstairs. No one wanted to go back to their rooms. I could not blame them. The big kids were terrified. I was too. We snuggled up on the couch together.
The fire department arrived to assist people nearly immediately. The police came by to see if everyone was ok. The cop told Stu that another bad storm cell was coming in about 30-45 minutes. Awesome... no sleep for me.
Dawn came. Peace did not. We stepped outside. Instead of our beautiful, peaceful neighborhood, we were greeted with a clear path of destruction. It was terrifying how close the path came to us. It was horrifying to realize that not only one house went down, but many houses no longer stood.
We prayed. Thanks to God for saving us. Prayers for the families who now have to rebuild. Prayers for our school. Thanks to God for the tornado's timing... I can't even imagine what life would be like had it occurred during the day.
Family & Life
Nothing super fancy here. Probably not life changing either. But you might enjoy a peek into our world.