On Sunday we spent some time with Dan’s brother and his family after church. We had a great time, listening to music, laughing, admiring the scenery on their beautiful property, going out for ice cream, and avoiding a tornado.
All day it had been stuffy, with about 200% humidity. We all agreed that ice cream would be an appropriate ending for the day. Just as we were about to head into town, a storm began to roll in.
But once you’ve told six children that you’re going to buy ice cream cones, you don’t let anything deter you. Even the possibility of major, tornadic storm.
As we were finishing our ice cream, the storm really began to blow in.
Dan and I had to get gas before heading home, but after two of the gas pumps didn’t work, it took us so long to get out of the gas station that we decided to go South, back to Eric’s house, rather than forging North, into the storm. Little did we know that we were driving right into another bad cell.
After driving a few miles, we heard on the radio that a tornado had been spotted on the county border (about six miles ahead of us, in the direction we were heading). Behind us, the tornado siren from town was going off. We tried to press on, but the wind was rocking our two vans so violently that we ended up puling off the road.
Unfortunately the people who lived in the house where we stopped have never, ever won any awards for politeness. The woman came to the door and told us we were fine – and that there was no tornado. She then told us we could wait out the storm on her porch, shouting over the roaring winds and tornado siren that “this is no tornado”. She even had the audacity to claim that her dog wouldn’t poop in a tornado. What sort of person would turn down a family with several small and terrified kids in that situation? Poor Gage kept crying “I don’t want to die!”
In retrospect, we were probably not in any eminent danger, but we’d rather be safe than sorry. The story about the family killed over Mother’s Day weekend when their vehicle blew off the road kept flitting through our minds, and we thought we’d play it safe by stopping. So much for Missouri hospitality!