Last week in our part of Oklahoma, we witnessed what is commonly know as “one of those Oklahoma storms”, complete with lightning, thunder, hail, and lots of rain and wind.
It all started about….
….2:00 AM. I woke up from a deep sleep with a painful back and bulging bladder. As my senses collected themselves and I hoisted myself from the bed, I was aware of a faint ringing sound. Having suffered tinnitus for dozens of years, this was nothing new for me. However, this sound was different. As I walked down the hallway to the kids bathroom on the way to the television, it began to dawn on me what I was hearing. The tornado sirens were sounding in our sleepy little community. As I finished my business, I turned back toward the bedrooms to awaken my sweet wife and children. We put on some clothes and shoes, and hurried to the hallway with our pillows and purses. The weathermen on television were telling of severe weather all over northeastern Oklahoma. Outside, the sirens were wailing their plaintive but steady cry. The wind was gathering with mounting fury as the rain came down in sheets. Periodic hail interrupted the sound of pounding rain on the windows and roof. Pea-sized, now bean-sized, with a few penny and nickel-sized chunks of ice fell on the patio.
We were nervous, but not anxious. We have completed this drill more than once, and we all, well, sort-of- knew that nothing would happen.
The sound of rain and wind faded; the tornado sirens ceased their wail. We listened to our friends at the news station deliver updated reports of terrifying weather in surrounding communities. We relaxed…
The wind picked up, the rain came in earnest, complete with additional hail and sirens. Three times in the course of 2 hours we were summonsed to the protection of a central room in our home, and urged to stay away from windows.
Finally our bodies’ desire for sleep superseded our fear of the weather, so we decided to return to the warm confines of our beds and try to get some sleep.
When the first light of morning broke across Green Country, we could look outside and know we were safe, that we had been spared a terrific and terrible storm. Others were not so lucky, and suffered terribly. Homes and businesses destroyed; damage in the millions of dollars. Some structures will need to be torn down and rebuilt completely. Some owners will choose to take their losses and move on to another area of the country.
Another area without sudden and powerful spring storms. Locations with milder weather and not so many difficult memories.
Locations that offer hope for their futures.
My family is grateful for being spared the brunt of the storm, and we pray for those who were not spared. We will press on one more day here in Green Country, Oklahoma.