I Have Always Wanted To Live-Blog a Tornado…

…and this is my chance, it appears.  Welcome to springtime in Oklahoma!

7:10 pm — Tornado sirens go off.  The air looks greenish and it’s VERY still.  That’s not a good sign.  Weathercaster is beside himself with glee and says it’s headed right for us.  He says we should go to our tornado shelter for the next 40 minutes.  Clearly he has never spent an evening in a closet with my four children, or he wouldn’t make such an unreasonable request.

7:12 pm — The kids are in the shelter and I’m on the phone with my dad, who called to make sure I heard the sirens.  Hubs, of course, is out of town, far, far away from tornado alley.  He always misses the excitement.  I’m wondering if I can lie on top of all four kids at once to keep them from blowing away.

7:18 pm — I join the kids in the shelter (yay for a laptop!) when the weathercaster darn near shouts, "TAKE COVER!"  Rain and wind are seriously picking up.

7:22 — Adam wants to know if he can sneak out to save his Nintendo DS.  I say no.

7:25 — Is it bad that part of me is hoping the pet rats blow away?

7:27 — The boys are tormenting their sister:  "I hear the tornado coming, Corrie!"  That will be a great moment for therapy some day.

7:28 — Major wind and rain, and the sirens are going off again.  Just heard the weathercaster say a funnel could drop from the sky at any moment.

7:29 — Corrie is squealing at the top of her lungs.  Did I mention this is a very small closet?

7:32 — Stephen just shouted, "The BABY BIRDS!"  They’re suspended in a flower basket, and the wind is awfully high.  I ran out to check on them, and I’ll be darned if their sweet momma isn’t sitting on them, keeping them dry.  I’m thinking about sitting on my own kids, though for considerably less noble purposes.

7:35 — Okay, somebody’s tooting in here.  I NEED AIR!!!

7:38 — The weathercast says the worst is probably over.  And it’s a good thing, because Corrie just bit Stephen.

7:43 — The sounds of family togetherness:

Download tornado.wav

7:49 — The worst is definitely over.  We’re leaving the shelter, in one piece.  The weather is still really bad south of us, though; I hope those folks are okay.

7:53 — The baby birds are safe!  But we don’t see the momma anywhere; we’re a little worried.

8:22 — The momma bird is back.  Wind is gone, rain is mostly gone, backyard is flooded!  But we’re safe, and these children are headed to bed.  Hallelujah! 

104 thoughts on “I Have Always Wanted To Live-Blog a Tornado…

  1. jen says:

    Oh no! I don’t know what’s worse…a tornado or a kid letting fluffy off the chain in an enclosed area. Ok…tornado…but the other is a close second.
    Hang in there! Literally…

  2. Amy says:

    Saying a prayer for you guys! I’m glad you can have a sense of humor through something like this. I’ve never been even remotely near a tornado and I’d be hysterical about now-

  3. Jen says:

    Hee hee…someday they’ll remember these wonderful times together. 😀 I still remember when my family would huddle in a bathroom or basement, or at my grandma’s in her coat closet. In Indiana, it’s just another spring activity. 😉

  4. Mrs. Bick says:

    I have a very vivid memory of a “tornado event”. I was in second grade, got to wear my Easter dress to school that day. Later that night dad was camped out watching the weather on TV, mom was sitting on the toilet, lid down of course, listening to the battery operated transistor radio… AM station if I remember correctly… and I was huddled in the bathtub with my Raggedy Andy. I have memories of the wind blowing like mad, and seeing the shadow of the trees whipping in the wind on the bathroom window’s opaque glass. I remember the feeling of fear that permeated the situation as the city sirens went off.
    We too have been having these storms… we’re down by the Allen Premium Outlets in DFW Metro… and have had more than our fair share of “take shelter” moments this very busy tornado season. I am glad that all the Dryer family came through relatively unscathed (although therapy might just be in Corrie’s future, as you said!)

  5. Kim says:

    Oh, I’m so glad you are safe. You tell it in hilarious detail, but it doesn’t make the experience funny!
    So glad you are safe!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Of course, this wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining if you’d been hit by a tornado, but I’m glad you live-blogged. It was quite interesting — and entertaining, in that not-hit-by-a-tornado way. 🙂

  7. Kristenkj says:

    Okay, I know this is regarding a serious situation, but reading it now is cracking me up. Especially the tooting part. I thought I was the only one to use the term *toot*. Glad you all (and the birds) are safe. Very very scary.

  8. Amy says:

    So relieved that you’re ok. I read this to my dad and he said, “where does she live?” I told him, “Oklahoma,” and he said, “Oh, that’s a nice place to be from.”
    Maybe this summer you need to dig a proper tornado shelter, where you can keep water, canned goods, rats, birds, Nintendos, etc. Just a thought.
    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

  9. citystreams says:

    “Somebody’s tooting in here.” I laughed so hard when I read this that I nearly woke up the baby. Which, as you know, would be a serious offense. Hilarious.

  10. Christine @ Serenity How? says:

    Oh wow! I used to live in Ohio, and I sure don’t miss the tornadoes. I’m glad you found it blogworthy…and I don’t think you’re terrible at all for wanting the rats to blow away. 🙂

  11. Judy says:

    Glad everyone there is safe and sound – my parents are in Northeast Texas and are having some gnarly stuff, too…

  12. Rachel says:

    Glad you guys are safe. I think the momma bird needed some peace and quiet after holding them down for the wild weather just like I’m sure you did. I’m sure she brought them back a worm of something to keep them quiet for the rest of the night.

  13. Sheri says:

    Hmmm…I didn’t think to live blog our taking cover the other day! ActuallY I did but when my husband saw me grab the laptop his exact words were “So you can watch the news right?”
    Glad you are well. The warnings completely skipped us although our entire back yard IS a lake.

  14. kelli says:

    Holy Moly, Shannon. So glad you got your wish. Now DON”T! EVER! DO ! THAT! AGAIN!
    So glad you’re safe and the babies and momma came through 🙂

  15. Jen Zug says:

    I used to live in the midwest and I totally remember the greenish looking air. I joke with my husband that I spent half my childhood in the basement.
    Glad to hear you’re all safe!

  16. Bowden says:

    When the sirens went off my family responded like this:
    My wife said she was going to an interior room.
    Our daughter grabbed a book and said she was going to her room – please call her when it was time to take cover.
    Me? I headed for the front yard to see what I could see.

  17. Rachel says:

    Glad you guys are safe. I think the momma bird needed some peace and quiet after holding them down for the wild weather just like I’m sure you did. I’m sure she brought them back a worm of something to keep them quiet for the rest of the night.

  18. We are THAT family says:

    Nothing like holing up in a ‘shelter’ a.k.a closet with a tooter. That just beats all.
    While in college, I came home for a visit. Late one night the sirens sounded and my parents, who are healthy eaters dove on top of me as the tornado hit our home. My parents were praying loudly and at one point they yelled, “Pray.” I couldn’t. It wasn’t fear. They were still on top of me and all the air was squished from my lungs. Seriously.
    There was $50,000 damage to our home and The Red Cross fed us for a week. A neighbor died.
    I’ll never forget my parents laying on top of my 19 year old body for protection– much like that Momma bird.

  19. Fashion Paramedic says:

    OMG!! I thought I was going to pee my pants! I live in Northern California, so this is the closest I’ve ever been to a tornado event since watching “Storm Chasers” on the Discovery Channel. I’m so happy to hear that you and your family are safe!

  20. Cathy says:

    Okay, had to laugh! I’m the gal down south of you (Lawton) also with 4 kids (3 girls and a boy) and one remaining lonely rat. Our sirens went off (during naptime, no less!) as well, so I threw everything out of the hall closet and put the kids in there. I was going to have to sit on mine as well to fit in there, but I stood just outside the door watching the weather report and holding the door open to let the “toot” smells escape. Fortunately, no twister appeared!

  21. dana says:

    I’m so glad you’re safe. When we have tornado watches/warnings ’round these parts, I freak out. It’s like I lose my mind and immediately imagine the house spinning and the Wicked Witch of the West floating past the window.

  22. Megan says:

    Ha! I can’t tell you how many times I weathered one of these (groan) all on my own. My mom would call from work and instruct me to plug the black and white TV in the bathroom. I would then haul my mattress from my bedroom also into the bathroom and hunker down in the bathtub with the mattress over me.
    These are probably the kinds of things I could go to counseling for. 🙂
    I also remember seeing a tiny twister across the street from Joann’s (then Clothworld) on 21st when I worked there in highschool. I stood right in front of the store watching it. Fascinating.
    Glad you all are safe!

  23. Tracy says:

    Okay. I live in Ponca. And don’t be expecting me to be live-blogging any tornadoes. Oh no. My kids will be comforting me as we huddle in their bathroom.
    BTW, the other night Gary England said we’re supposed to be helmets on the kids when we take shelter. That’s a new one to me!

  24. Sara Bowyer says:

    LOL!!! I am certainly not laughing at the tornado in your area (we have been hit hard in AR lately too), however, your story telling is AWESOME. I belly laughed when you got to “someone is tooting in here”! My boys would have been doing it for entertainment!!!

  25. Blue Castle says:

    Goodness! I can’t believe you blogged that. My kids totally lose their heads if the sirens go off – which isn’t as often as for you guys down there. I’m trying to talk hubby into digging a root cellar outside for those times when we have tornado warnings. If I lived where you are, I’d dig one myself. 🙂

  26. momrn2 says:

    What memories this brings back for me!! We were right in the center of the Omaha tornado of 1975… without a basement! Why they even build houses in tornado alley without a basement is beyond me! Furniture in the lawn, broken windows, houses flattened, neighbors who didn’t survive… As children we played “tornado” for months after that instead of house or other child play one might normally expect.
    Tornado’s can be something else! I do not miss them one bit now that I live in the Pacific NW. My other family members still do the “tornado routine” just as you describe here.
    Glad this one was a false alarm for you all!!

  27. Momma Mary says:

    Green Air, The smell of ozone.. Gawsh I miss living in Nebraska!!
    Don’t you love how excited the weatherguessers get when there is bad weather?
    I’m glad you survived!!

  28. Striving\Tessa says:

    Glad to hear you made it out of your closet and everything is still in one piece, including mama bird and babies!!! I remember things like that in Ks. Slept through a tornado once myself, imagine that. Anyway, glad you are okay, I do not know what I would do if I could not read your antics. Thank God!!!

  29. Tammy says:

    Bwahahahah….totally laughing with you from another part of “tornado alley” (Alabama).
    The audio was TOO much and the thought of being cooped up with a tootin’ toddler is hideous. 😀 Be safe.

  30. themotherboard says:

    De-lurking here!
    This will sound bizarre, but I really miss that wild weather! I used to live in the Midwest and then got transplanted to the desert. The weather is oh.so.boring. in the desert. I miss the excitement of hearing the storms rolling in.
    So glad you’re all ok. My hubs is from OKC and I think its a wonderful place!!

  31. AmyG says:

    Oh my… I would’ve been freaking out, but you sound so calm. I’m glad you all are safe!! Love the little sound wav file!

  32. Grandma Rosie says:

    Great post. I have a secret to tell, wild spring weather thrill me. I don’t like the damage they can do, but the beauty of the clouds, wind and lighting excite me.

  33. imaginary binky says:

    Holy cow! It’s a bit different reading it from a mother’s perspective. I remember surviving tornadoes in East Texas as a wee child. I actually slept through one that lifted up our house. To this day, rain makes me sleep very hard.

  34. Blessed says:

    We had a scare the other day – me and the little one went to an interior room – hubby was in the front yard seeing what he could see!

  35. Alissa says:

    I’m very happy to NOT have to worry much about tornadoes- living in AZ, and of course glad you weren’t hit with one, but I had to laugh thinking of you not only being crammed in the closet with the four kids, but also trying to type. I’m surprised your post wasn’t filled with typos.

  36. edj says:

    I heard about the tornado in OK on the news and wondered if it was anywhere near you. Thanks for live-blogging and keeping us all updated.

  37. Alyson says:

    Oh my word, I got goose bumps reading that. I think earthquakes are much less stressful than tornadoes! Yikes! I’m glad you all (including the birds) are safe!

  38. Chief Family Officer says:

    Wow, I’m glad you’re all okay! And I was freaked out for Momma Bird for a second, til I read the part about her coming back. Whew! I hope you never have to go through that again.

  39. Amber (Bringing Good Home) says:

    LOL! At least they were joking around and giggling My girls just start asking a thousand questions a minute in this really high-pitched terrified voice.
    It’s tornado season for us, too, here just above central Texas. I totally relate. Glad that you’re all okay, and the baby birds, too.

  40. Lisa says:

    The joys of Oklahoma in spring! We just got really strong winds and heavy rain. We did however have our sirens go off because someone got out of our lovely county jail and they warned us three times with the sirens not to make contact with him and to call the police ASAP if you see him. Needless to say all our doors were locked and my hubby went outside with me tonight when I needed to go out with my dog, it’s kinda nice having a body guard haha. Glad you are all okay.

  41. Kelli says:

    We are closer to the Arkansas border but we too had our family togetherness last night in the closet…ugh springtime in Oklahoma.

  42. Happy Mommy says:

    I used to live in Ohio, we had horrible tornados all the time! I live in a mountainous area now and we never have them! I am very thankful, very scary. I am glad all is well with you all and the birds.

  43. Jeanette says:

    Yes, a mother can lay on top of her kids, I have and they didn’t even complain.
    Can you believe we put up with this weather on a regular basis? My brother lives in Oregon and he says they don’t get lighting and thunder there. I can’t imagine.

  44. Mandy says:

    My husband read the post with me. He said “She’s seriously blogging through a tornado warning? In the closet w/ her laptop & children? And people want to hear this stuff?”
    He doesn’t get it. Great post. Funny stuff.

  45. kellie says:

    Although we miss Fort Worth TX a great deal, we moved 3 years ago, I DO NOT miss those evening you just blogged about! That green, still air gives me the chills just thinking about it!
    Glad you are safe and sound!

  46. pam says:

    Glory, closet moments are a bonder. We have an over-sized closet under our stairs and one week two years ago we were taking shelter for 5 days. One of those times the three of us were joined by 7 others. Some who had no basement and some who were caught driving in the area. Talk about bonding. Of course the dad and I were on the front porch watching the sky. I grew up in Kansas and my brother and I watched them go over our town a lot. I don’t think we had sirens. Oh surely we did, I’m probably just not remembering. Crazy.

  47. Fran says:

    Its always some sweet family time in the closet. my hubs was outside with his eye toward the sky on Friday when the storms came through here…sirens going off…a man outside looking for the dern thing.

  48. Cassidy says:

    Oh course my darling husband said “I can’t believe she took shelter!” He grew up in OK and seems to think you could’ve missed some good photos and such if something had dropped and so on.
    I of course tend to think I can live without the photos but my children might have a hard time if I died because I was trying to take photos…

  49. Donna Smith says:

    This story is so funny…I live in the panhandle of Texas and I know the fear of tornadoes with little ones….I came across your blog by my friend, Amy….Thanks for the great blogs!

  50. hm says:

    Can I be nosey? Sure? Fabulous.
    How many tornados have actually hit in your neighborhood? Have you ever had any damage done?
    I may have missed this along the way but did you both grow up in OK? If not what was it like adjusting to the lovely and highly desireable tornados?

  51. Swank Girl says:

    That was fascinating… thank you so much for blogging that. Where I come from, in Canada, we never face any serious weather crisises aside from terrible snowstorms that leave everyone immobile. I always hear about how terrifying tornados can be and your live-blogging really drove that home for me.

  52. suzanne says:

    Bless your heart! I am so glad that you’re safe. I was in OK recently and FREAKED out when I heard the sirens. I would never EVER get used to that.

  53. Tina says:

    What city in OK do you live in again? I am from North Texas and I’m thinking maybe I need to call and check on my dear memaw if she is just south of you!
    Love the testimony and spiritual application that can be taken from the example of that sweet momma birdie.

  54. tracey says:

    Oh hon… I sooooo know your pain! We have spent many a night and day in our basement while the wind whipped and the hail blew. Glad you guys are ok. Wish you had somewhere other than a CLOSET to wait it out, though!

  55. janet says:

    “tinkle tinkle in the car you should really find a jar”??? My boys are going to LOVE it!!
    are you sad that is what I got from your post? lol, you KNOW i’m glad you all are safe.

  56. Donna says:

    Yeah, been there with hubs away through it all… I feel your pain. My 2 y/o still thinks it’s slumber party time in the bathroom when we go in there and usually doesn’t want to leave.
    I’m a bonafide weather geek and quite weird when it comes to living in tornado alley. I’m glad you can find some humor in the midst of it.

  57. Shelly says:

    You sound so calm… we are about to move to Oklahoma City and I am trying so hard not to worry about the tornadoes. It’s all I know of OK and it does not make me happy about moving there!
    Glad you are all okay…

  58. Susanne says:

    Wow, live blogging a tornado. That’s awesome. You ought to win some kind of bloggy award for that!
    We had a tornado warning here, believe it or not, a couple summers ago. The kind where the tv sounds an alarm and tells you what to do. As in take shelter. And we, like the crazy Canucks we are, all ran outside to watch, ’cause who knows when we’ll ever see a tornado again, right?!

  59. Liz C. says:

    There are many wonderful things about the southern regions of our nation (my MIL is one of them)… but weather the hunts you down to smack you is *not* one of them.
    Thanks, I’ll stick with May blizzards in Idaho. You have to *work* to get yourself weather-killed up here.

  60. Samantha says:

    LOL, You must live not too far me! I am about 40 miles out from Tulsa…..Gotta love Oklahoma weather!!! i wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  61. Dionna says:

    We’re driving through Kansas towards Tennessee in July. Are there tornados that time of year? What would I need to know – I’m from the Northwest!

  62. Melody says:

    You are so BRAVE! I don’t know if I could have kept my composure as well as you did. I guess you had to for the kids.
    So glad everyone is safe, even little Miss Momma Bird!!

  63. Aunt Murry says:

    Just like I remember from when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma and being trapped in a tiny 1/2 bath with my brothers and my folks. Why is it that boys need to fart when they are in enclosed spaces?

  64. Doris says:

    I would have put the pet rats out on the porch. You’re a better woman than i…
    Great audio…brings back memories of being tormented in the basement by my brothers…

  65. Ewokgirl says:

    I live in tornado alley, too. I hate days like that. I don’t have kids, just cats that have to be shoved in their carriers and kept in the guest bathroom during tornado time. Let me tell you, wrestling cats, who have suddenly grown legs like an octopus, into their carriers, then listening to their wails because they’re in cages is not a pleasant way to spend an afternoon! But it’s the only way I know of to hang onto them if the tornado actually hits the house.

  66. Worlds Greatest Mommy says:

    I’m stuck in Texas with much the same weather. I miss Oklahoma and Gary England. His voice always comforted me during tornado season. Seriously, I wanted to marry the guy when I was a kid.
    Glad you, your family, and the birds are all okay!

  67. GiBee says:

    Oh, my goodness… I don’t envy you!
    We don’t get many around tornadoes here, but when we do, we are always on super-duper-high-alert, because the last time we had a tornado, my husband was standing outside, and four of us were standing in the doorway. He saw the tornado drop down from the clouds, and screamed for us to run to our “safe room” (a room in the basement that has no windows). The tornado skipped on our roof, took out our metal chimney stack, and took a sharp left turn and mowed down 4 six-foot fences, flattening trees, outdoor furniture, bushes, and anything else in its path. It was frightening… and it REALLY DOES sound like a train!!!

  68. Natalie Witcher says:

    It cracks me up to read your blog becuase again, everything that happens to you hit me first abou an hour earlier. Had to slide the shrooms off the stove and leave my manicotti empty til it all blew over. We were in our fraidy hole for about 5 min. Then…back to cookin’!

  69. nicole says:

    Other than my children drowning, tornados are the great fear of my life. I have never actually been in one, though I spent many moments in the hallway, closet, what have you in my childhood. Now that I have to be the brave momma I have found my fears easier to push down.

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