Free Chat Thursday

Well, we made it another week. 🙂

Tornadoes ripped across Minnesota on last Thursday evening, killing at least two people and injuring dozens more as homes were flattened, trees toppled and a gas station destroyed in the town of Wadena, MN.

This is something that some people get a kick out of, an adrenaline rush. I am not in that category, in any way! I grew up in Sacramento, with the worst natural disasters being earthquakes. In the 16 years I lived there I only felt one small shake. It was more like, I was a little off balance for a second. The threat of them is scary because they come with zero warning, so in that respect I suppose tornadoes are a bit easier to deal with, I guess! I’ve seen the damage they both are capable of. There is no earthquake season though, like there is here for tornadoes. It is the one single thing I absolutely hate about summer. To be 100% honest, until last Thursday I did underestimate the fear a tornado can cause. They never came close to us, only threatened to.

Thursday was too close for me. I am still thinking about it. I still have a hard time going to sleep, and the threat of more is surly to come.

Bailey had a baseball game scheduled for that evening. All day, the news was reporting a recipe for dangerous storms. It was about 5pm and the boys headed to the field. I still hadn’t gotten an email from the coach regarding a cancellation, and if my son was going to be out there during this, I was heading up there also. I’d never put my child in danger, we quickly realized this storm was heading our way and it was not pretty. I headed home, hoping the hail wouldn’t break the windshield. I gathered all my animals and headed to the laundry room (in the basement.) Jason had a truck full of kids, some of the parents dropped their kids off and left. So he waited for them and headed home. One his way home, he called me. The words, “it’s right over the house” will never leave my mind. I keep replaying in my head. Once I had Bailey and Jason home, I felt a little more at ease. That feeling is like no other, and I hope that I never have to go through that again…but chances are, we will.

This YouTube video was taken right down the road from where I live. This is the funnel cloud that went over my house. We believe, had that lake not been there, it would have picked up and done major damage to our neighborhood.

And here are some pictures that helps tell the story. It could have been so much worse, but I feel horrible for the ones that lost loved ones that day, and their homes.

This is all I really have to talk about this week. It’s on my mind, and will be for some time. Have you ever been in, or near a natural disaster situation?

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18 Responses to Free Chat Thursday

  1. Joy says:

    This about says it all about how I feel about these bastoids!

    I don’t know where all the pics went and I’m too lazy to redo them.

  2. SKL says:

    Whoa, I agree, that is too close for comfort! I live in an area that gets some tornadoes, but I haven’t actually been in the direct path of one, that I know of. A couple times, when I was a teen, all the indications of a tornado were there, but nobody would officially call it that. That was bad enough! When I was a tot, my parents left me and my 3 siblings with my aunt so they could visit an 0ut-of-town relative. There was a tornado in my aunt’s neighborhood during that time. I don’t really remember it, though.

    There were about 7 or so deaths in my state a week or two ago due to tornadoes. They didn’t come close to here. But they could, any time. Usually June through September is tornado season, but they happen at other times as well.

    I agree, I don’t get why some people think this is “awesome” stuff. I mean, yeah, it’s awesome in the sense that God and nature come up with some amazing things. But knowing how many people die and lose their homes that way, how can anyone get “pumped” about it?

    When it comes to tornadoes, there’s nothing you can do to prevent them, so it’s best to just not worry about it. I know, easy for me to say.

    On that note, we had some earthquake tremors here today. The center was in Toronto-ish but it was felt all over our state. We get little earthquakes from time to time but rarely enough to do damage.

  3. Sue says:

    Thursday was a weird day! We chased the storms home on our way back from South Dakota and that was scary enough. We also had funnel clouds over our house. Julie (my sister who lives next door to me) got pictures too and I said why on earth were you still at home (She has no basement)! She said, “There was rotation on both sides of the house along with this huge funnel cloud, where was I suppose to go?!” Good point I guess! By the time she got up the courage to make a dash for the car and drive to the neighbors, it disapated and the sun came out.

    We watch the show on Discovery Channel called “Storm Chasers” and it follows pro chasers (who are meteorologists) all over the country. These same chasers were in Wadena, MN when that tornado hit so I was linked to their FB and the comments of some people really irked me. Oh, really cool! Oh, great intercept! Oh, glad you got great video! Um, no. Not cool, not great, not anything! When a 1.3 mile wide EF4 tornado is ripping through a small town, there’s nothing great about that. A huge tornado in a corn field in Kansas where no one lives for 20 miles is one thing, but not in MN where we live much closer together. Made me wonder how the chasers feel about comments like that. Anyway, it was much calmer weather this week!

  4. SKL says:

    I don’t really have much to report as far as free chat goes. Today it was rainy but we still did “girls’ night out” and made it to the museum and the outdoor concert next door. Luckily the rain cleared or stayed away from the place where they had the concert. Tonight it was Irish music and a lot of young girls were dancing. My girls eventually warmed up and joined in, and then didn’t want to leave. It was nice without the “aunties.” They focus on the food, which drives me nuts. My kids and I can have a good time without pigging out, thank you! So anyhoo, it was a nice and relaxing evening, even though I was pressed for time as usual.

    I think I mentioned before how every time I take my girls on an out-of-town trip, their language takes a noticeable leap forward. Last week’s DC trip was no exception. The girls’ conversation is getting so much more grown-up. And it’s much more reflective of their personalities. So I think they are officially “kids” now and no longer “tots.” I know a sentimental mom might shed a tear at that, but I am really happy about it. It’s so much nicer to have a real conversation, one which accomplishes what every participant needs to accomplish without frustration (most of the time).

    In other news, we’re down to the last week before the second “big June deadline.” I am still not done but I think we’ll make it. I am really looking forward to next week – even though I still have deadlines here and there.

  5. Ellen says:

    This must have been indeed so scary. Brrrrrrrr… I am glad you all are safe. I am so sorry for the family of the people who died. Here in Southern California, we have indeed a lot of earthquakes, and I am almost at the point, when I feel a big bang or the floor is moving, I think, wow, an earthquake, and I forget to mention it on my blog! 🙂

  6. shanef says:

    I have never been through a tornado, but have been very close to them many times. They absolutley scare the hell out of me. I was at work all day. They had the radar up all day on one of the monitors out in the shop and I thought Oh my God! We have no basement and a lot of dangerous objects there. I don’t feel safe there at all.

    I think it was 2 yrs. ago when we had straight line winds of up to 150 mph. and I was at work that night also. The power went out so we all went to the lunchroom and I remember looking out the windows and seeing the trees going back and forth, and there was a lot of lighting and it poured for about an hour. When they finally let us go home I remember driving home and seeing trees down everywhere I mean everywhere and alot of the streets where flooded. I thought about the maple tree that’s in front of our house and what would happen if that hit the house. We didn’t have any trees down or any damage to the house but everyone around us had trees down. The power was out for 2 days. It was pretty scary!

    I’m with you Nikki, that’s the only thing that really sucks about summer here. Next time it’s -20 outside and there’s 2 feet of snow on the ground and it’s dark outside at 5:00 just say hey at least there’s no chance of tornado’s.

  7. Laura says:

    I’ve run the gamut of emotions regarding tornadoes. On one hand, I’m in the “cool!” camp, as it relates to a weather event. I am fascinated by them… how do they form? What kind of weather causes it? What factors into it? Why will this storm produce tornadic activity, while that one doesn’t? I prefer to think that those who are chaser-fans are in the same vein as I am. We understand and mourn the devastation, but want to understand the storms themselves. Of course, there are idiots everywhere, and chaser-fans are no exception.

    I’ve been terrified of tornadoes most of my life. I mean, bone shaking, turn cold, freeze-to-the-spot terrified. That came to a head, I think, when I was 7 months pregnant with Josh, and I got locked in the basement of our home (south of Chicago) for several hours while tornadoes passed through the town next to us. The ones that touched down were little ones – F1’s – and only did minor damage… trees down, a shed smashed, that kind of thing. Once we moved here to Iowa – on the edge of “Tornado Alley” ( that dark green spot in Iowa? I’m in that) – my fear has seemed to dissipate some. Perhaps because we live on a hill (the worst place to be, tornadoes like high spots) and I can see what’s coming? I don’t know. But I don’t get that bone-cold fear anymore. Maybe it’s the Mommy in me that insists that I stay calm so my son isn’t afraid of them. We have a healthy respect, and have spent more than one afternoon or evening playing cards down in the basement, but we don’t panic and run anymore. I’ve also got a “panic stash” set up down there… food, ice in the freezer (frozen for water), batteries, flashlight, blankets, etc., in the event that we do have a storm, we’ll at least have something to sustain us for a few days. We also have a NOAA Weather Radio (which I have yet to be able to set NOT to scream at me every time there’s a flood warning, which is about every other day), and I’m signed up on our local TV station’s “Tornado Warning Call” system, where you’ll receive an automated call if your house is in a Warning Zone. You’re right, you can’t predict them, but you can prepare for them. It’s all you can do.

    I think my fear might have stemmed from the 1967 tornado that went through Oak Lawn, Illinois. I wasn’t even born yet, not even thought of yet, but my dad was there. He taught at the high school, and was leaving the building when the storm came through. He had nowhere to go, and hunkered down next to the concrete steps at the front of the building. The gym where he taught was destroyed a few minutes later. He watched the storm go through. Here’s a picture of his school: The spot where he took shelter is to the left of the edge of the picture.

    • Joy says:

      Wow, great picture. I’m with you about those NOAA radio’s. I think they go off far too often. I think of the little boy who cried wolf. They go off so often that I tend to either ignore it or turn it off. Some days it’ll go off every 20 minutes. While it’s good to know, that’s irritating. The day of these storms, I ended up unplugging mine. I was talking to Sue on the cell and it was way behind anyhow. By the time that thing went off, it was past us. WTH???

  8. Joy Rehnee says:


    I literally got chills when I looked at the photos of the tornadoes you posted. The one with the rainbow is amazingly ironic, like a promise of peace amidst the devastation. I am always saddened when people lose their lives or homes in these type of natural tragedies and I’m glad to hear that you are okay.

    We also had a tornado in Billings, Montana on Fathers Day. I heard about it, but didn’t watch the videos until yesterday and the images were frightening as well. Many people don’t even realize that we have them here, myself being unaware for a long time. A few days before that, a Microburst killed one woman in Eastern Montana. Her husband was spared, even though they had been side by side in their home. This phenomenon is thought to be very rare, but they actually occur at least 50 times a year. They don’t usually make the big news though, because they normally strike in very rural areas.

    I spent a large part of my youth in Southern California and vividly recall the terror of
    earthquakes. The suddenness of it all is the worst part. I remember getting down on my knees to pray, when my Granny jerked me to my feet and said I could pray while standing in the door jam. It just goes to show that no matter where we live, there will always be the forces of nature to deal with.

  9. starlaschat says:

    OH MY GOD! I’m glad you guys are OK! That’s so traumatic I would be a mess. The pictures are amazing and eerie and the one with the rainbow how strange. I think I would have a hard time living in an area that was pron to tornadoes although Montana on the East side does get them. They had a tornado in Billings that tore up a building, the force is just crazy.
    When I heard the news that day my first thought was I hope that you guys were OK. I even came over to your Blog looking around. Things look OK. Sigh. Sorry to hear of the damage and the deaths. ;+/

    I’ve been in several strong earthquakes actually 3 over 7. Two earthquakes regesteing 7. in Hawaii, and l in California a 7. That’s enough for me no more please. I’m not a big fan of traumatic disasters, I’ll get my kicks some other way say coffee!

  10. Nikki says:

    I actually just noticed that the picture with the rainbow was form 2004! It was hard to filter through all the pictures, trying to find ones from that night. So I apologize, it’s not from this last storm. I agree though, it is indeed an amazingly ironic photo.

  11. Vicki says:

    I was up in Wadena after the tornados struck to help them with security and returned home yesterday, took a lot of pictures. there is places in that city thats a total disaster, pictures never show what the eyes see, i couldnt believe some of the things that happened there, when i left a guy was still looking for his 3/4ton pickup which blew off somewhere. I seen the buses and the one house that you have above in the pictures, the dishes/glasses sat so nicely in the cupboards yet the wall was ripped right off.
    I was at home when the storm struck we all got a little crazy on facebook afterwards showing the pics of the funnel clouds and our experiences.

  12. SKL says:

    Hey you guys, remember how there wasn’t a remote prospect of romance in my life? Well, starting tonight, my daughter has decided I am her boyfriend. I won’t get into all the details, but she is very romantic. I would like to know where she got some of her ideas, but all in all, it’s cute and funny. The only way I could get her to go to bed was to tell her I need to work the night shift, girlfriend, but we’ll go on a date on Saturday. She is really pumped – already told her sister not to come along . . . we’ll see how long this fantasy continues.

    • Joy says:

      That is really cute SKL. I can remember when I thought I’d marry my dad.

      • SKL says:

        I just posted about this as a “just for fun” post over at the adoption forum. Let’s see if they turn it into something horrible, like they often do. I always read about little boys wanting to marry their moms, so it’s not totally weird. But nowadays, people get all kinds of strange ideas about kids and parenting.

  13. Wow… Tornadoes scare me SO MUCH. I’ve never been near one, nor a hurricane, and the only natural disasters I’ve ever had to fear are earthquakes in California or in Israel.

    I hope the tornadoes don’t come anywhere closer than they already have! And that you have a good week :).

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