Sometimes, I don’t know how people put up with me. I’m not kidding here. Looking back on some situations, I realize that if someone was to react the way that I reacted, I would have smacked them upside the head and said, “Get a hold of yourself, woman!! You will be FINE. You big BABY.” Thankfully, I am surrounded by people filled with an ocean of more patience than I have. Namely my mother and Peter. Sometimes…
Severe weather is one of these situations. Almost nothing horrifies me more than a tornado warning, aside from audience participation events, but that’s another story for another time, as in later this week because I just had a little episode with THAT too. It’s been quite the weekend.
So anyways, I think that the root of my problem goes back to my 6th birthday. As you know from the previous post, my birthday is at the end of June (I love presents, FYI), which also happens to be about the peak of tornado season. Between the blizzards and tornadoes, there is almost no better place to grow up than Wisconsin.
I need to stay on topic.
For my 6th birthday, my mom was wonderful and loving and threw me a birthday party. The guest list included my ENTIRE class of like 8 people I think? And my cousin. And we were borrowing a slip and slide from my other cousin, so this was BOUND to be the BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER.
Except the dang weather. My party had to be re-scheduled twice, once because of a really bad thunderstorm, and then again because of a tornado that has super strong winds (which is, ironically, the definition of a tornado) and knocked down a huge limb off the HUGE tree in our front yard.
When the day of my party FINALLY came, we played on the slip and slide, ate cake, I was the center of attention and opened my presents, and the afternoon ended in the boys (both of them and Marty) watching Bambi downstairs and the girls playing Barbies in my room. Why were we inside on a hot summer day? Because there was a severe thunderstorm that resulted in a power outage and crying. Awesome. Thanks, Mom, for being awesome and keeping everyone calm.
Last November there was a tornado about 3 miles from my parents’ house on Mohawk Road. It destroyed our neighbor’s farm and was really scary. For this, one would think that I was safely sitting in our scary basement with my family, but nooooo. I HAD to go babysit in a house that lacked a BASEMENT.
After the power went out and I could no longer track the storm, I was constantly texting Peter to check it out for me, because sirens were going off, and police cars were driving around with their sirens on signifying that this WAS serious. Turns out that Peter was in a meeting and computer-less. So, what did I do?
Cleaned out the broom closet aka threw everything that was in the closet into the living room, and then thought better of it and moved the vacuum cleaner REALLY far away because I didn’t want to get knocked out by it because of the strong winds. Then, I went into the closet with a flashlight that I found, and sat on the floor trying not to cry. Why was I afraid in the closet?
Because this house had SERIOUS mouse problems. One time, I was at the house in the afternoon with twin 1 who was faking sick, and a mouse had crawled up ONTO THE SCREEN DOOR and was scampering all over it. Still makes me shudder. On an almost nightly basis, I moved my shoes to the couch, and didn’t move for hours at a time because I could see the mice scampering around on the kitchen floor and ON THE COUNTER TOPS. And when I say mice, I mean MORE THAN ONE.
So anyways, here I am in the middle of a tornado trying not to cry because not only am I going to die in the tornado by getting hit in the head with a vacuum cleaner because I’m not sure if I moved it far enough away, but I’m also going to be bitten by a mouse that I’ve SEEN going to and from this closet. And then I’ll have rabies, just like that time I got chased by the rabid dog
ALSO causing my blood pressure to raise through the roof was the fact that I’m the NANNY so I was unaware of the fact that it’s some rule at the school to have the kids stay after in severe weather. So I’m thinking that the two boys that I’m responsible for are about to get swept into the wind on the bus.
Throughout the whole event I kept calling my mom and crying to her telling her I was scared. She told me lovingly that I would be OK, and to just bring the boys to our house instead of staying there in the dark. But we didn’t have power yet either, so instead we packed up and headed to Illinois to my cousin’s house. It was really traumatic.
So then, LAST night, when there was MORE severe weather, I was sitting alone in my apartment on the SECOND FLOOR wondering where to go in the event that there is a tornado, which according to the news, is “more than likely” and “it will be VERY damaging” if it touches down. UGH.
I called my mom.
Sara: Mom. I’m really scared. There’s going to be a tornado.
Mom: Yeah, we’re watching the news. You’ll be ok! Why don’t you go to Peter’s?
Sara: Because he lives on the second floor too, and I don’t want him to think I’m a baby.
Meanwhile, I’m texting Peter.
Sara: I’m watching the weather, and they’re talking about tornadoes and I don’t know where to go for a tornado in my apartment.
Peter: In the lockbox?
Sara: Where is that?
Peter: It’s an SNL skit.
Sara: Peter. This is not something to joke about! You forget that that last time I was in a tornado warning a whole farm 3 miles from my house got wiped out!!!!!!
Sara: I’m really scared over here!!
Peter: Well. We are playing Monopoly Deal.
Sara: I should have come over. But I’m not leaving now!!!
Peter: I can’t wait to read your blog about this weekend.
Sara: I can’t wait until my blood pressure goes down!
Sara: The sirens are going off…
Peter: Thunderstorm warnings?
Sara: No. Tornado for SW part of Brown County.
Peter: Aren’t we north?
Sara: Yes, but I’m still scared.
Peter: We’ll be fine.
Sara: Just promise me that someday we will have a BASEMENT.
Sara: Tornado touchdown in Kaukauna. On top of it all, it’s 78 degrees in my apartment. I’m sweating to death.
Sara: Ok. The worst is past us. Thank God.
During that whole conversation, I was sitting about a foot in front of the TV looking at the towns and things, since I don’t know the area all that well, and sweating to death, looking out my window and being scared to death.
When the warning FINALLY passed, I texted my mom.
Sara: Alright. Worst is past. I can finally breathe again. Already dreading summer storms…
Mom: Wow! You held your breath that whole time? You are awesome and must have super powers 🙂
Sara: MOM I WAS REALLY SCARED!!!!!!!!
Mom: I know. That’s why I didn’t go to bed yet. Until I knew you were safe and calm.
Sara: You’re so nice. I’m safe and calm now, and I asked Peter for a basement for my birthday.
When I finally went to bed because my emotions were all exhausted, I called Peter.
Peter: Are you ok now?
Sara: Yes. Sorry I’m such a baby. I think the tornado in November had a bigger impact on me than I thought it did.
Peter: I think you’re right…