When Theo is Gone: Tornado

I’m continuing my series on “When Theo is Gone”. You may have gathered by now that I am just slightly dramatic…..and by slightly I mean that I could probably join a Miss Dramatic pageant and win at least 2nd place.

This next story took place about a year ago, when I was about 5 months pregnant with Tera.

Of course, as with all the stories in this series…Theo was at work.

It was Spring, and Spring in Ohio means tornado season. Tornado’s are not exactly common, but they also aren’t rare.

One day as I left work, the sky was dark purple and it just looked ANGRY. You know what I’m talking about? You feel kinda terrified to be under the sky. But of course, since there is no where else to go but under the sky… Anyways, I digress.

I drove home looking at the sky, feeling rather terrified. I was listening to the radio when that beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee noise came on. By this point, it was pouring and my windshield wipers didn’t work (but that’s another story for another time). There were tornado warnings and watches and flood warnings and watches.

Now, I don’t know about you….but where I grew up, we never had to take cover for weather patterns. Take cover? Haha, you kid! In Niger, its the opposite…if there is a weather pattern, you RUN.OUTSIDE.AND.PARTICIPATE! And by participate, I mean…you run, dance, play, sing, jump, drink, lay down in puddles and ENJOY the weather. The only types of “weather” that ever happen in Niger are dust storms, rain storms and the occasional hail storms. Yes, MKs will run out INTO the weather for all three of those things.

For example…here is a picture of my entire high school outside in a dust storm. Yes, school was in session, but when that storm hit, you better believe that we were ALL outside- including the teachers.

And here is proof I was there:

Don’t ask what made me choose that shirt with that skirt. It was high school.


So, pardon me…but I always get confused about watches and warnings. Which one is worse? Which one means I need to take cover and put my head against the wall and stick my butt up in the air, and which one means I should just go about my day but be aware of the potential for an emergency?

(Side note: As a teacher, tornado drills are one of the funniest and yet worst things EVER. You stuff hundreds of children into one spot, then tell them to get into a funky position and BE QUIET?? Yeah, right! They all hunker down and stick their little butts up in the air and someone’s panties are sticking out and someone bumps into someone else and then someone says something and then someone toots and the giggles are impossible to stop and….that about sums up a tornado drill with young children.)

So, I got home, and started to feel frantic. The sky was dark, it was pouring and I had no idea if I was safe or not. Watch? Warning? Do I go to the basement? Do I take candles? Do I have a radio? What do I do? What do I dooooooo?

And then it hit me: our pets! What do I do with our pets? We had two cats…I frantically located them, and then was unsure what to do with them, so I let them go. And then it hit me: the CHICKENS! Yes, my friends…we had chickens. And I don’t know if you have ever seen a chicken, but they have really small heads. Which means that they have even smaller brains.

You guys….a chicken brain:

So I look outside at the chickens and those bird brains are not taking cover in their coop, under a bush or even on the back porch…no, of course not. These chickens are ROOSTING on the FENCE POLES. Not only are they out in the open, they are up on top of poles. It should also be noted that their chicken coop weighed about 250 pounds, and was probably the safest place for ANYBODY to be. That thing was going nowhere. In fact, I probably should have crawled inside.

So…being the intelligent person that I am, I run outside and try to chase them into their coop. Remember, it’s pouring rain. There is a tornado watch/warning….whatever it was, it was danger. Theo was gone and I had lost my head.

Chasing the chickens around was absurd, so I gave up on that and said my goodbyes to them. I figured they would never survive. I ran back inside and called Theo. Of course, he told me that was not a very intelligent thing to do and that I should stay inside and have everything ready to head down to the basement. Even the cats. And that I should leave the chickens outside. Why didn’t I think of that perfectly sane solution?

By the time all this had happened, the rain had stopped and the sun had emerged. I was SAFE! I was going to live! The cats were ok! And the chickens and their miniscule brains were also going to be fine! A few minutes later I hopped online to check the weather patterns, and I found this picture:

Less than 20 miles from our house. This tornado formed and touched down when I was outside trying to save the chickens lives.

Oh dear goodness, I lose my head when Theo is gone!



One comment

  1. Beth Bo. says:

    Oh gosh, I love the description of tornado drills with kids. It’s so true and then when it’s the real thing that awkward position becomes one you have to keep for a long time and the kids just start to cry. Thank goodness that’s not an issue here. 🙂 You sure do have some adventures when Theo’s not around!

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