Oh the joys of living in Oklahoma!! The weather here is much different than I am used to, having grown up in Utah. Around here, the news channels are obsessed with weather. They'll break into regular programming to report storm warnings all the time. Dennis and I tease that it's usually something like: "We've issued a severe thunderstorm watch and flash flood warning for the entire state because some rain drops were spotted in the panhandle. Stay tuned for more information!" This time of year seems especially likely to have severe weather. In fact, all day yesterday it felt muggy - like a storm was coming. The news told us that there was some severe weather further southwest of us, so we didn't think anything more than rain would come our way. Well, when I was up to feed Andrew the storms were continuing to come closer and seemed to be getting stronger. There was "tornadic activity" in some areas only about 20 minutes from our house. I didn't bother to wake up Dennis, because I wasn't sure anything would materialize near us. But, then those famous tornado sirens sounded! It is such an eerie thing to hear at 2:00 in the morning when you've got three little ones to think about.
We hurried and loaded everyone in the car at that point... Luckily, there are some really nice people in our ward who we knew had a storm shelter (that's the other thing about Oklahoma - no basements). We showed up at their back door like a little homeless family, and they were so nice to take us in. The missionaries were already there too.
I don't know what I expected from a storm shelter, but it was very interesting! We climbed down a little ladder, and stood in this cement room that couldn't have been more than 6 feet by 6 feet. It was probably only about six feet high too (I don't know for sure because I sat on the floor with Emma). We had six adults and our three kids all in there for about 20 minutes. Then, when the weather radio said the storm had passed, we loaded up and headed home again.
The kids went right back into bed, but I couldn't fall asleep. I just laid in bed thinking how blessed we were to be safe. No tornado actually touched down in our town, but it was such a blessing to be able to protect our children and know that we were going to be okay. There are so many people in the world who don't have that blessing of feeling safe. It might be because of weather, war, poverty, or whatever... but, we are truly blessed to live where we do in the circumstances we do. It might seem like life is hard sometimes, but there is so much we have don't many don't.