Thursday, June 19, 2008

it really was the frog's fault

One night last week I woke up to a terrifying sound. No, it wasn't Flavor Flav whispering sweet nothings into my ear - it was a different kind of terrifying. It was a sound like a million rocks being thrown at every window of our house. It took me a minute to figure it out because I had never heard anything like it - it was hail. Lots and lots of golf-ball sized hail. About a minute later, Bryan's mom called us to tell us to get to a shelter because a tornado was headed our way.
Now, if you live in Oklahoma, you already know this but if you are from somewhere else, you might be surprised to find out that hardly anyone here has a basement, including us. Some people have a little one room "basement" under their house but more common is the storm cellar (think Wizard of Oz). We don't have that either.

I took Wesley into the bathroom with a candle, fully expecting every window in our house to be broken but what troubled me even more was the thought that WE WERE ABOUT TO DIE!!! On TV you always hear tornado survivors say, "It sounded like a train was coming straight towards us," and that is exactly how it sounded.

Now, when I was a youngster, probably about six years old, I remember my dad decided that our family should have a practice fire drill. I know - it sounds very "Brady Bunch" and in reality we couldn't have been further from the Brady Bunch but DARN IT, we were going to be prepared for a house fire. Well, my sister and I shared a room in the basement which meant that to get out, we would have had to climb up on our dresser and out through the window well. This should have been a real treat - what kid doesn't want permission to climb on the furniture and out the window?!? Well, the answer is - me. Because I knew there was a frog that lived in that window well and it might touch me. Or even worse, look at me. And I knew in my six year old heart that it would be better to burn to a crisp than go near that frog. After many failed attempts to coax me out, it became clear that even the Jaws of Life would not get me through that window. My poor dad's plan to practice fire preparedness had failed, all because of me. The end result was a string of cursing that would have been more appropriate if, say, I had actually SET THE HOUSE ON FIRE.

But back to last week....I think my dad was right to try and make a plan. And in case we have another tornado, we need a plan, too. Because during our brush with the tornado, it became clear to me that our plan was something like this: gather in the bathroom and kiss your *asp* goodbye. And that plan doesn't work for me.

So I guess on my "to do" list, I need to add another item: formulate frogless plan for tornado preparedness. Yeah, that should be a piece of cake.

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